Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Plant Sciences

Major Professor

Dennis Deyton

Committee Members

J. Mark Fly, Susan Hamilton, Curtis Stewart


The purpose of the study was conducted to identify the existing HT programs in Tennessee and to locate the types of institutions, staff, activities, and clientele involved in those programs. Horticulture as a therapeutic medium is increasing rapidly, especially in the U.S., and there is a significant need to compile information about available programs in Tennessee. The Web-Survey of Horticultural Therapy Programs in Tennessee was developed and used in spring 2007 to survey members of the Tennessee Hospital Association, the Tennessee Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, the Tennessee Master Gardeners; the Manager of Knoxville Sertoma Center Greenhouse; the directors of Cheekwood Botanic Garden, Nashville, Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, and the Memphis Botanic Garden. The estimated population for this survey was 1,314 (=N) participants. Two hundred eighty four people started to take the survey and 198 of those completed it successfully. These participants were a little-to somewhat familiar with the use of horticulture as a tool for therapy.

The results of the survey indicated there are at least 12 (=n) HT programs in Tennessee. The study showed that each horticultural therapy program was individualized depending on the type of client served, the type of funding of the institution, and the resources available for the horticultural therapy program. The survey found that the main purpose of the HT programs in Tennessee was to “improve mood” of their clients, following by “social interaction,” “stress reduction” and “motor skill development.” Ninety-one percent of respondents felt there was a need for an association in Tennessee, and 86% felt that there was a need for professional HT in Tennessee.

A restive-healing garden was designed at the Parkwest Medical Center, Knoxville. The multi-use rooftop garden was designed for patients and staff to provide feelings of security in a home-like deck environment where patients might receive individual and/or group recreational therapy, physical therapy, and horticultural therapy; provide opportunities to relieve tension, frustration and aggression; provide opportunities for reflection, relaxation and privacy for staff and patients; provide opportunities for different social and recreational activities; and provide stimulation of the senses with color, smells, textures, and sound.

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Included in

Horticulture Commons