Garden therapy

Urban farms, private, community, allotment, school, university, museum or library gardens are places to connect with nature both for adults and children. They are used as supporting environments for facilitating contact with nature in the city, outdoor schooling, nature education, health promotion, disease prevention, rehabilitation, green care or nature therapy. Gardens contribute to city greening, land based community growing, development of provisioning and cultural ecosystem services, promotion of intangible heritage, biocultural diversity and local knowledge. Gardens and farms are also places for plant foraging, growing local and biodiverse food, physical activity and social integration. Various city gardens are spaces to which individuals get attached, connected to nature spots and engaged into activities with local communities, contributing to sustainable development of community facilities and ecological transition processes.

There is increasing evidence that gardening provides substantial human health benefits. Many studies reported a wide range of beneficial effects on physical, mental and social health. Those health outcomes include higher levels of physical activity, and body mass index, better motor and cognitive functions, healthier nutrition behaviours, reductions in depression, anxiety, mental stress, better mood as well as increases in life satisfaction, experienced achievement, quality of life, and feeling of social cohesion and sense of community.


Van den Bosch, M., Bird, W. 2018. Oxford Textbook of Nature and Public Health: The role of nature in improving the health of a population, Oxford University Press.

Bragg, R., Atkins, G. 2016. A review of nature-based interventions for mental health care. Natural England Commissioned Reports, Number204.

COST Action 866. Green Care in Agriculture

Sempik, J., Hine, R. and Wilcox, D. eds. 2010. Green Care: A Conceptual Framework, A Report of the Working Group on the Health Benefits of Green Care, COST Action 866, Green Care in Agriculture, Loughborough: Centre for Child and Family Research, Loughborough University.


In the following, therapeutic gardens that can be found in Belgium and where NatureMinded has visited, are listed. The list is not exhaustive but it offers a typology of gardens according to their usage.  If you know of more gardens in Flemish, French or German speaking sides of Belgium, please get in touch with: Dr Vitalija Povilaityte-Petri, the contact for therapeutic gardens at NatureMinded:

Hospital therapeutic gardens

l’Hôpital psychiatrique St-Jean-de-Dieu, Leuze-en-Hainaut: Le jardin thérapeutique «L’accueil des Sens » Jardin Snoezelen

Hôpital Molière Longchamp – Hôpitaux Iris Sud. Uccle, Brussels: Le Jardin des pensées

Le  Grand Jardin de l’hôpital, Mons: Chêne aux Haies

Healing Garden Ghent University Hospital, Ghent:

Educational medicinal plants gardens

Jardin des plantes, Brussels:

Jardin des plantes médicinales de Jardin botanique Meise, Meise:

Jardin botanique expérimental Jean Massart – ULB, Brussels:

Jardin de Maison d’Érasme, Brussels:

Social and therapeutic horticulture

La Ferme Nos Pilifs, Brussels:

La ferme de Froidmont Insertion ASBL, Brussels:

Maison verte et bleue, Brussels

Community food growing (Community supported urban agriculture (CSA))

La Ferme du Chant des Cailles, Brussels:

La ferme Urbaine de Neder-over-Heembeek, Brussels:

Boeren Bruxsel Paysans, Brussels:

Oogstgoed zelfoogst borderij, Gentbrugge

Community gardening

Map of allotment gardens in Brussels:

Le Jardin Collectif du Chant des Cailles, Brussels

Jardin Collectif Tour & Taxis, Brussels:

Parckfarm Tour & Taxis, Brussels:

Jardin Essentiel, Brussels

Un potager collectif “Neptune”, Brussel:

Silent spaces

Jardin de Maison d’Érasme, Brussels:

Jardin Collectif Tour & Taxis, Brussels:

Un potager collectif “Neptune”, Brussels:

L’Hôpital Notre-Dame à la Rose, Lessines: