The horticultural therapy program at Barclay Friends creates a sense of home for residents. Moreover, it helps them to live productive and meaningful lives. Not only does horticultural therapy provide a reason for them to feel good about themselves, but it also serves as a catalyst for involvement in other activities. For example, weekly flower arranging that provides opportunities for creativity and socialization. In addition, activities touch upon the individual resident’s needs, whether those needs are physical, cognitive, emotional, vocational, social or spiritual. Our concept of creating a homelike environment encompasses our entire campus, where landscaping has the look and feel of a private residence.
Highlights of our horticultural therapy program include:
Five outdoor gardens which are open to residents, families and staff
Raised beds where residents can plant and tend their own gardens
Entries in the Goshen Fair, which creates a sense of pride for the whole community
Activities provided through various modalities, including floral design, indoor and outdoor gardening and sensory stimulation
Notably, Barclay Friends is one of the few long-term care facilities in the region to have such a comprehensive horticultural therapy program. Older adults can enjoy the unique opportunity to actively garden, or simply enjoy flowers from the main porch.
Each of our gardens has a different purpose:
Anne’s Garden is specially designed to enable people with disabilities to work in and enjoy the garden. Its figure eight shape addresses the need of residents with dementia to wander independently in a secure environment. This aspect of the garden and the fishpond create a calming effect for everyone.
Helen’s Grove is for pure enjoyment, especially by residents of our Bradford community, who can see the grove from their windows. This grove of trees contains many “memory trees” given in honor of residents and staff. Some of the trees were even transplanted from the old Barclay on Church Street!
Sidney’s Garden creates an opportunity for Barclay Friends to partner with the Chester County Food Bank (CCFB) to donate the vegetables our community harvests. It also serves as a cutting garden, where flowers are grown to provide materials for our flower arranging program, in which residents design arrangements for the dining tables and public areas.
Star Garden was created to give Barclay Friends employees a garden of their own to plant fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes of all varieties are the most popular crop, though some employees try lettuce, cucumbers, peppers and radishes. The garden continues to be a joy to employees and a source of ongoing community building.
Worth Garden is an inter-generational garden where residents and visitors of all ages can enjoy time together. With a sandbox, toys and a miniature cottage, the garden helps children to view a trip to Barclay Friends as a fun and positive experience, and thus encourages them to visit.