Thanks to one of the owners of the company and main designer, Andrea Mati who illustrated the garden and Obiettivo Pistoia, a territorial marketing project, in the heart of Tuscany, Italy and close to the historical center of Pistoia, well known in the world as the capital of culture but also the capital of one of the largest nurseries districts in Europe, the nursery Piante Mati has a division dedicated to the design and construction of therapeutic gardens. These places that have a positive effect on a patient’s mood and health, with the ability in some cases of reducing the use of medications. Plant Therapy is an ancient practice. Engaging with plants can have a relaxing, peaceful effect on many people. For individuals struggling with mental illness and depression, plants can help to generate positive emotions and help people to find meaning in their lives.
Thanks to the partnership with some universities, research centers, and companies specialized in non-pharmacological therapies, Piante Mati specializes in garden designs dedicated to the physical, psychological, and social needs of people affected by the diseases as Autism, Down’s syndrome, Alzheimer, drug addiction and alcoholism, as weel as pyscho and neurobiological disabilities. At the Piante Mati center, a model garden was designed following the suggestions and guidelines of the experts. The garden of Alzheimer’s disease was created, designed to help patients and their caregivers to relax, through sensory, tactile, olfactory, auditory, and visual stimuli, which create a sense of well-being by reducing possible drug regimens. The garden is conceived as guided and articulated path, surrounded by fragrant and aromatic plants with prolonged flowering because of their therapeutic effect on the patient. The garden designed for autism provides a natural enviroment with the sense of strong protection and care, through a walkway with different niches, realized with small bushes, which create a sheltered and protected space. The greenspace dedicated to the Down syndrome includes a large lawned area where it is possible to carry out various group of activities and a central mixed flowerbed, called ‘L’aiuola delle adozioni’, chosen and planted directly by the users themselves, due to the characteristic sociability of these persons. The therapeutic garden dedicated to the various forms of addiction has a high level of maintenance and is characterized by a continuous daily commitment by the operator, because it has to reactivate personal responsability and sense of order and balance, induced by the geometric shape of the garden. This great sensitivity of Piante Mati to social issues has led the company not only to create these prototypes as an example for other therapeutic gardens designed throughout Italy but also to set up social cooperatives that are also involved in rehabilitation projects for people in marginalized situations.