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Is gardening a stimulating activity for people with advanced Huntington's disease?



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Dementia (London). 2014 Nov;13(6):819-33. doi: 10.1177/1471301213486661. Epub 2013 May 9.

Is gardening a stimulating activity for people with advanced Huntington's disease?

Spring JA1, Viera M2, Bowen C2, Marsh N.

  • 1Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, UK jspring@rhn.org.uk.
  • 2Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, UK.


This study evaluated adapted gardening as an activity for people with advanced Huntington's disease (HD) and explored its therapeutic aspects. Visitors and staff completed a questionnaire and participated in structured interviews to capture further information, whereas a pictorial questionnaire was designed for residents with communication difficulties. Staff reported that gardening was a constructive, outdoor activity that promoted social interaction, physical activity including functional movement and posed cognitive challenges. Half the staff thought the activity was problem free and a third used the garden for therapy. Visitors used the garden to meet with residents socially. Despite their disabilities, HD clients enjoyed growing flourishing flowers and vegetables, labelling plants, being outside in the sun and the quiet of the garden. The garden is valued by all three groups. The study demonstrates the adapted method of gardening is a stimulating and enjoyable activity for people with advanced HD.

© The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.


Huntington's disease; colour perception; gardening; quality of life; questionnaire



The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps


Horticultural therapy