DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Residents at Windsor Senior Living celebrated Earth Day by practicing horticultural therapy in their garden. They enjoyed Tuesday’s beautiful, sunny weather as they planted herbs for use in the center’s kitchen.

“The smells, the feels, and the physical activity all add to the over all health of the residents and lends restorative benefits to the body,” according to Horticultural Program Director, Susan Morgan.

Horticultural therapy is an emerging field of clinical practice based on its benefits to physical, mental and emotional well-being.

“The warmth and comradery of the gardening program brings us together like a family. We work together and talk about life as we work,” said Windsor Senior Living resident, Jim Scott. “It’s a joy to share in this program.”

Morgan engages seniors to interact with nature, which isn’t difficult given many residents have gardened or lived on farms before. Roy Steen is one of them. He grew up on a ranch in West Texas.

“I like to get my hands dirty. Even after I left the farm, I still maintained a garden. I grew tomatoes and okra — it was a big part of my life before I moved to the Windsor,” recalled Morgan.

Windsor Senior Living owner Asha Bhakta-Roziere said that gardening has a sensory way of helping residents revisit their youth.

“They may not be 25 anymore but gardening brings back a sense of vitality and allows residents to live again” said Bhakta-Roziere.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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