The therapeutic gardens have been created by renowned landscape designer Penny Rollitt and have been specifically designed to meet the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of our clients. The gardens contain an unparalleled collection of different plants from many other tropical and sub-tropical locations and the landscaped areas of Strong Hope are comparable to no other in the world of residential treatment. Our landscape designer and advisor on all things horticultural, has been involved in some of Barbados’s most important horticultural installations and is committed to making Strong Hope a natural zero-waste and sustainable facility.
As a member of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, Strong Hope places great importance on our gardens and landscape areas as part of our approach to the therapy of our clients. Spending time outside in nature has been shown to affect positively a person’s emotions and improve their sense of wellbeing. Access to nature balances circadian rhythms, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and increases absorption of Vitamin D. Nature has been shown to be beneficial for our overall health and wellbeing. We are all connected to nature and it is important to maintain this vital connection for our health and wellbeing, which is described in the work “The Biophilia Hypothesis” by Edward O. Wilson.
Once inside Strong Hope’s gates, clients are immediately greeted by a grand 400m driveway lined with tropical palm trees, supplemented with (and unique to the Caribbean) fabulous mussaendas in red, pink and white. The entrance is bathed with eranthemums, acalyphas, crotons and large ginger lilies. Heliconias laden with colourful bracts are interlaced with ferns, grasses and glossy philodendrons creating a warm welcoming explosion of colour and smells without the disadvantages of the hard architectural features of most treatment centres.
After the breath-taking experience of entering the property’s one-of-a-kind driveway, clients are greeted with sweeping views of further landscaped areas supplemented with unique Caribbean limestone coral stone walls, ruby red flamboyant ficus trees and old frangipani with scented flora, intermingled with many types of majestic palms.
The majority of elements in our therapeutic garden are plant related, but it is also important that they attract the natural wildlife – such as hummingbirds, warblers, swifts, caribs and doves.
As clients step further into the residence of Strong Hope, they will stumble upon the courtyard – a beautiful presentation of the lily ponds cascading into the koi pond surrounded by orchids, ferns and peace lilies.
The surprises will continue to occur during a client’s stay at Strong Hope, as the garden experience is exciting, never-ending and ever expanding. The property has taken advantage of the opportunity to develop many tucked away seating areas throughout the 14-acre landscape, each of which providing a one-of-a-kind botanical therapeutic experience and all easily accessible by coral stone walkways.