Gardens: opportunities and threats from an occupational perspective

L. Edwards, Tania Wiseman

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Background: Gardening is an activity of daily living that can be a source of pride, or embarrassment. People will go without essentials to pay a gardener rather than upset the neighbours with a scruffy garden, or attract unwelcome visitors (Richards 2006). This study aims to explore individual's reaction to the lived or anticipated experience of losing a garden using a qualitative methodology. Methods: Data was collated from the Mass Observation Archive. This study utilises responses from the directive entitled ‘You and Gardens' 2007. Thematic analysis was applied to a purposive sample of 103 participants. Ethical approval for this study was obtained from the University of Brighton's School Research Ethics and Governance Panel. Results: This research highlights four themes: relief, bereavement of place, purpose and product; restriction coping strategies. These findings support the current literature and the concept of occupational deprivation Conclusion: Exploring the effects of not having access to a garden enables occupational therapists to deeply understand the meanings held by the lost garden space. This research also highlights concerns raised by the potential loss of this private, precious space before it happens. Overall the practical relocation of individuals away from their gardens raises the notion of occupational justice and the role of gardens in providing an equal and fair society. Private gardens provide a free medium for occupational therapy intervention, this has the potential to reduce strain on an overstretched healthcare budget. whilst enabling people to manage things they no longer felt possible.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2012
EventCollege of Occupational Therapists Annual Conference - SECC Glasgow, Scotland, 12-14 June 2012
Duration: 12 Jun 2012 → …


ConferenceCollege of Occupational Therapists Annual Conference
Period12/06/12 → …


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