Barcelona’s Sant Joan de Déu hospital in Esplugues de Llobregat has introduced gardening, as part of its therapy for the city’s elderly and mentally ill.
The new gardens, put in place by the health and social services department of the hospital, are intended to help improve self-esteem, social activities, memory, interpersonal relationships, attention and communication.
Accompanied by instructors, the garden’s users can plough land, plant seeds and water and care for their plants. A hospital spokesman said that this led to patients feeling “useful, important and responsible”. The hospital reports that results have been especially promising with the mentally ill.