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nature as therapist

Active ageing

design Arch. Monica Botta

The American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA) defines horticultural therapy as: “The commitment of a user, assisted by an expert therapist, to horticultural activities aimed at reaching specific and documented therapeutic goals”. Horticultural therapy is, therefore, a discomfort and disability rehabilitation technique that belongs to the field of occupational therapies and consists in preparing and assisting disabled people, elderly and children for the care and management of greenery, the cultivation of flowers, vegetables and other plants. Its primary aim can be summed up as the offer and acquisition of skills and abilities, together with autonomous and participated activities of the subjects involved, in a specific rehabilitation process finetuned thanks to the collaboration and experience of several professional figures. Taking care of living organisms, preferably in a group, encourages socializing and sense of responsibility, stimulates motor activity, improves general mood, tones up the body, and eases stress and anxiety.


The increasingly apparent need to allow disabled people, elderly, children and those undergoing a rehabilitation process to carry out horticulture activity for therapeutical purposes led us to develop a line of dedicated products. Suitably designed to be used by people with different types of motor deficit, they can also be of help to people with no particular physical limitations. The growing table and the growing planter are two items that can be used in different ways to carry out seeding, transplanting, harvesting and other activities involved in the growing of vegetables. Thanks to special precautions and a few supporting aids, these products can be used in an adequate and practical way by fragile subjects. The aim of these products is to offer equipment that will allow to engage in certain activities and best adapt to the different needs of sensitive users.

Active ageing
  • Therapeutical growing table: to contain the soil destined to cultivation of vegetables/flowers for horticultural therapy activities. The table was designed to offer access to horticultural therapy activities for people with poor or reduced mobility. In particular, it allows people to work either standing on their feet or sitting on a wheelchair.
  • The growing table accessories: were designed to help people with reduced mobility. These aids can be used to facilitate mobility and provide support, or to engage in alternative cultivation techniques.
  • Bookshelf: this aid allows the upper limbs to operate in a high position.
  • Handlebar: additional aid for disabled people, with a dual purpose: to provide a resting/supporting handrail to allow work on the bookshelf or table in a standing position, and to offer support for the body to paralytic people on a wheelchair, allowing movement of the upper limbs.
  • Internal tank: additional table element that can be removed and used for separate cultivations away from the table top.
  • External pocket: can be removed and used to keep the working tools.
  • Therapeutical growing planter: to contain the soil destined to cultivation of vegetables/flowers for horticultural therapy purposes. The planter was designed to allow children and people on a wheelchair to carry out horticultural therapy activities. In particular, it makes easier for people to work while standing up and allows both children and people on a wheelchair to go through such activities (the wheelchair’s side can be brought close to the planter).


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