Saturday, November 6, 2010

Healing Green:

Therapeutic Gardening for Combat Vets with PTSD

November 5 2010 - We all like to think we are good for our gardens, but are our gardens good for us? They sting us, give us creeping arthritis and the occasional rash, but fundamentally we are grateful to them, whatever the weather brings. As Bing Crosby well puts it in the film High Society, they are “positively therapeutic”.

Next Thursday, on the Remembrance Day for our war-dead, the therapeutic effects of gardening will be honoured in an unusual little ceremony. In the walled garden of the Scottish Agricultural College at Auchincruive in Ayrshire, retired army padre Jim Smith OBE of the Parachute Regiment will be holding a commemoration service with some special war veterans gathered in Scotland’s national collection of flowering poppies. The 67 poppy varieties include a Victoria Cross form of the “sleepy poppy” with a rare white cross on its scarlet petals. They have just become 68 with the addition of the scarlet Falklands poppy, a frilled “super-poppy” variety which was named to honour the 25th anniversary of the Falklands campaign. It is to be the symbol of this year’s remembrance. However, the veterans present will not be natural rememberers. They are sufferers from PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, the legacy of their intense experiences in battle. Through gardening they have begun to find the therapeutic route to normality, which happily-weary gardeners like you and I recognise in our own lives. {read rest}

Healing Combat Trauma

No comments:

Post a Comment