Under the Glass: News from the Greenhouse

For the past year and a half, I have been involved in the founding of the Florida Horticulture for Health Network (FLHHN). The mission of the network is to “support horticulture for health initiatives in Florida and beyond through networking, knowledge exchange, and capacity building. We believe that horticulture and nature interventions can increase quality of life for people regardless of age, ability or background.”

FLHHN was established in 2021 by horticultural therapists and other allied professionals to promote horticultural therapy (HT) and related fields within Florida and the southeast. It does this by promoting resources and activities that use plants and nature to improve health. The FLHHN also aims to connect organizations to these resources and each other. Areas of interest under this horticulture for health umbrella include therapeutic horticulture and horticultural therapy, nature interventions, landscapes for health, emerging professional support, allied horticulture and health services, community and school gardens, and food security initiatives. The FLHHN is a free resource and a great way to explore the broad umbrella of horticulture for health initiatives.

There are lots of ways to connect to the FLHHN, including its webpage, YouTube channel, Facebook page, quarterly e-publication Cultivate, monthly newsletter Chive Talking, live and recorded webinars, and networking forums. One of the best things about the FLHHN is its Resource Hub, which is a vast database of current research, programs, videos, and other helpful and educational resources. Currently the hub is categorized into eight areas:

Horticulture for Health Overview

HT & Health Services

Horticulture as Catalyst for Social Interactions

Landscapes for Health: Designed Landscapes

Food, Nutrition & Food Action Initiatives

Horticulture Practices Impacting Health

Populations/Horticulture Programs in Specific Settings

Florida Gardening and Plants.

The Resource Hub shares more than 1,000 resources on HT, plant-based programming & treatment by allied health professionals, nature-based interventions, therapeutic and enabling gardens, school gardens, population specific horticulture programs, and setting-specific programming.

Whether you live in Florida, the southeast, or abroad, this is a great source of information for those newly exploring the ways plants and nature impact our health or for seasoned professionals looking for new ideas and connections.

I hope to see you on the network!

Elizabeth “Leah” Diehl, RLA, HTM
Lecturer, Dept. of Environmental Horticulture, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Director of Therapeutic Horticulture, Wilmot Botanical Gardens, College of Medicine