This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Healing Garden: Studying Components of Healing Gardens and Expressing Them in Public Environments




Mullins, Whitney

Type of Degree

Landscape Thesis


School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture


According to Robert Ulrich, as pointed out by Betsy Severtsen in her article about healing gardens, our world’s physical environment is being more widely accepted as a direct influence on a person’s overall health -- mental, physical and spiritual, their stress levels, and even their mood or outlook on the world. Throughout time, gardens referred to as healing gardens have been designed and implemented to improve the quality of life for a specific user group. The purpose of this thesis is to study these gardens and test if they can be successfully integrated into public spaces in order to become a beneficial healing environment for user groups of various ages, mental and physical states, and to provide different types of spaces for the visitors to use in many ways. This study states that landscape architects can take these concepts from healing gardens and successfully implement them within a public frame for a variety of user groups. The importance of the spirit of the place being brought out by the healing garden, as well as the details of the design being sensitive to a regional populations views or beliefs, is imperative when designing a healing garden that will engage the public. This study explores theory surrounding healing gardens, gardens and healing gardens throughout time and the qualities they possess, what kind of site may be suitable for these kinds of implementations, and, through design tests, what the successes, implications, and obstacles that may come along with creating these kinds of places. for public use.