Horticultural Therapy Staying Well _00001508.jpg
Digging in soil, planting seeds helps recovery
01:18 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Horticultural therapists work with plants to improve clients' health

Studies show that horticultural therapy shortens hospital stays

Plants and people have an ancient bond

CNN  — 

It’s a warm, sunny morning in Tony Wright’s lush backyard in Roswell, Georgia. The retired human-resources manager sits on a folding chair and gazes around in contemplation, surrounded by shade trees and chirping birds. He sips coffee and reads from his 12-step program book, “Daily Reflections.” Then he takes a slow walk through his garden, observing how his plants are doing and what they might need.

This is how Wright begins every morning. It’s a routine the youthful-looking 68-year-old began after years of struggling with addiction. He starts to pot petunias, digging his large hands into the soil and pouring water from a watering can to nourish the transplant.

“Even if I’m just watering a plant or trimming a bush, it just gets me in touch with nature, and I try to listen to what nature’s trying to tell me that morning,” Wright said.