Hope & Healing Garden

Hope & Healing Garden BirdhouseThis 5,000 square foot garden is a unique therapy garden designed exclusively for behavioral medicine. The outdoor oasis provides a tranquil and secure healing environment for mental health patients and behavioral health staff.

Our garden enhances Adventist Medical Center's mission of whole person care and commitment to the community by providing:

  • Secured outdoor space for therapy activities
  • Opportunities for physical exercise and social interaction
  • An enhanced horticultural therapy program
Wide pathways connect the following specialty garden spaces with carefully designed landscapes:

Northwest Native Plant Garden

The importance of planting with native species and in accordance with the habitat zone cannot be understated. Pacific Northwest native plants offer undaunted beauty, disease resistance and drought tolerance. Natives also provide food and habitat for a variety of birds, which are integral in the therapeutic garden experience.

Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden

Butterflies and hummingbirds add elegant, inspiring beauty to the garden. The combination of specific plants provide a four-season food source, and in turn, the little "flyers" pollinate flowers, vegetables and herbs throughout the garden in spring and summer. Butterflies and hummingbirds hold a very special place in the Hope & Healing Garden.

Hope & Healing Garden hummingbirdsShade Garden & Raised Beds

The shade garden offers cool in the summer, fragrance in the winter, and some of the first greens and blues in the early spring. It also provides a place to be “away” and quiet even during groups. Three raised beds of differing heights accommodate many horticultural therapy projects. Patients plant spring, summer and autumn vegetables, sow seeds, pick lavender and herbs, and cut flowers for the units. Raised beds allow work while seated, standing, or while using a front wheeled walker.


The Hope and Healing Garden received the American Horticultural Therapy Association Therapeutic Garden Design Award in 2010 for the purpose of “identifying and publicizing excellence in therapeutic design and programming to existing gardens and landscapes designed and maintained for therapeutic purposed.”

Therapeutic Intervention

The Hope and Healing Garden is used primarily for respite and restoration, offering fresh air, natural light, and a presence in nature’s rhythms. Doctors, social work, nursing staff and mental health therapists use the garden for patient care. The Counseling and Therapy staff provide the primary therapeutic interventions:

Patient goals are addressed through various therapeutic interventions and activities, through the garden design itself, and engagement with the outside world. Staff notice patients are often more receptive to social opportunity and treatment while in the Hope and Healing Garden.

Horticultural Therapy and garden tasks provide the following benefits:

  1. Physical, through appropriate levels of exercise
  2. Cognitive, through focus of attention, following direction, problem solving
  3. Psychological, from nurturing living things, creativity
  4. Social benefits are obtained through teamwork

Patient Quotes

"Getting a breath of fresh air just instantly changes how you feel."

"When I come out here it's like opening a new book - a clean, fresh page that is brand new."

"I can feel by blood pressure lower instantly when I come out here."

"It's so restful & peaceful when you get to just sit out here. It makes everything better.


A condensed version of the definition by the American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA):

A therapeutic garden is designed for use as a component of a treatment program designed to accommodate client treatment goals and provide for both horticultural and non-horticultural activities. It should be designed as part of a multi-disciplinary collaborative process by a team of professionals. Read the therapeutic garden definition in its entirety here.

For more information on therapeutic gardens see:

American Horticultural Therapy Association

American Society of Landscape Architects

Therapeutic Landscapes Network

Or read the book:

Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces Hardcover – October 23, 2013  by Clare Cooper Marcus, Naomi A Sachs