By: Rebecca Hummer of Pura Vida Yoga & Physical Training in Maryland

What’s Social Therapeutic Horticulture?
Social and therapeutic horticulture is the process of using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills.

OK, so why plants? Did you know…
It’s scientifically proven that working with plants has the ability to reduce symptoms related to stress and anxiety, depression and PTSD? Plants can also help to increase your bone strength, cognitive skills, self-esteem and confidence! Heroic Gardens is an amazing group doing amazing things when it comes to this! Let’s get the word out!!

The Mission of Heroic Gardens.
They are a mental health organization that is dedicated solely to veterans. Their goal is to introduce and surround veterans with horticulture as a form of personal healing. Not everything has to be treated with a pill! Plants. They surround us. They’re in our food, in the clothes we wear, in the medication we take and even in the buildings around us. Plants are an integral part of all of us. Their team is a group of amateur and professional gardeners that believes in the power of plants. They also have military ties and a sense of responsibility when it comes to serving those that have served our country for generations. They work with small groups to bring thoughtful plant based activities to veterans in order to help them reduce stress and increase confidence. Their organization operates year round. They can help a veteran build an indoor garden, all they need to bring is their imagination.

The Program.
They offer plant based classes that follow a Whole Health model focusing on the important things in life, like Relationships, Nutrition and Movement. The one hour long sessions guarantee a few things: You will socialize, you will smile, you will create, you may even surprise yourself with just how much you have connected to a plant and to yourself.

Who They Serve.
Not only do they offer this program for veterans, but they also offer it for caregivers and family members. Please reach out to learn where and when these classes are scheduled. They want to help you connect with your plant family!

The Possibilities.
They don’t just meet inside… in the seasonal weather, they teach tree tending, raised bed vegetable, herb and pollinator gardening. They even build and deliver the beds on location.
If you’re interested in getting involved, donating to this important programming and learning about upcoming activities email them:

Join the Virtual Garden:

They meet monthly. All you need is a computer or phone with a wireless connection, a sense of wonder, and of course humor. They’ll do the rest. If you’re a veteran who lives in the US and wants to connect with other veterans who believe in the positive impact of plants, you’re in the right place. Classes meet the first Sunday of each month at 6pm unless otherwise notified. If you register after the 20th of the month, you will automatically be enrolled in the following month. Each month, you’ll get a package in the mail with an activity that you’ll unpack together as a team. If a veteran has a windowsill, they can grow anything. They’re bringing the healing power of plants to veterans in the comfort and safety of their own homes. I (Rebecca) am honored myself to be participating in this group. It’s true as they say… “there’s something about putting your hands in the dirt and seeing something grow from small”.

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