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Hope Notes: Nature Therapy

October 07, 2015

Hope NotesHorticultural therapy is a unique part of the recovery experience at Skyland Trail. Clients work with our expert horticultural therapist in our greenhouse and in the many gardens on our campuses to use nature as a tool for growth. 

Unique hands-on projects in each season help clients reconnect with a sense of purpose and wonder - from making fairy homes and finger labyrinths to propagating succulents and cultivating bulbs.

A favorite fall activity in the greenhouse is to make "hope notes" by using flowers from the garden to make stationary. Our horticultural therapist, Libba Shortridge, HTR, MLA, shares the instructions below. Try it at home to welcome fall.

  1. Gather flowers from the garden. Violas, pansies and marigolds work well.
  2. Cut sheets of paper to the desired size. Use seed paper or a paper with some thickness and texture (such as watercolor paper).
  3. Remove the stems and place the flowers face down on the paper.
  4. Cover the flowers with a clear plastic baggie or parchment paper. 
  5. Use a hammer to pound the flowers onto the paper. The flowers will leave their imprint.

Ideas for use: 

  • Show your appreciation to friends or loved ones. Write thank you notes on your creation and send with your love and gratitude. 
  • Or plant your own seeds of hope. Write a message of hope on the back of your paper. If you used seed paper, plant it in the ground. Or if you used regular paper, plant it with seeds of your choice to nurture and grow hope for the next season.

The process also works on white 100 percent cotton fabric. Try it on cotton tea towels, napkins, aprons, or baby onesies.