Development of IGGT and garden therapy

Since the beginning of the 1980s, gardens and gardening have again become increasingly important for internal and external therapeutic areas. In the field of garden therapy as well as in the field of therapeutic gardens, a wide variety of projects have since been developed throughout the German-speaking world. With the Gesellschaft für Gartenbau und Therapie e.V. (Society for Horticulture and Therapy e.V.; formerly Work Group Horticulture and Therapy from 1989), the first German-speaking organisation on this subject was founded in 2001. At the same time, contacts with horticultural and therapeutic associations intensified over the years. In 2002, the first nationwide congresses were held in both Austria and Germany, with organisations such as the Zentralverband Gartenbau e.V. (Central Horticultural Association), the Österreichische Gartenbau Gesellschaft (Austrian Horticultural Society) and the Deutsche Verband der Ergotherapeuten (German Association of Occupational Therapists) playing a leading role. In the following years, garden therapy courses of study, further education and training were created. further recognition of this specialisation has been ensured through various publications and, of course, the practice of therapy.

Vienna 2009, agreement to found the IGGT.
From left to right: Dr Thomas Haase, Konrad Neuberger, Renata Schnaiter, Andreas Niepel, Matthias Hub
This has required new organisational structures. The institutions, which had been informally networked with each other for years, decided to found a European umbrella organisation. Finally, in 2009, the IGGT was founded in Vienna with representatives from Austria, Switzerland and Germany. In 2010, the necessary structures with various Sections and a possible board of trustees were created within the framework of a transnational association. The Registration Section started its work in 2011; three years later, the Plant Section was added and then the Concept Section also started its work in 2015. The outputs of the Sections are continuously revised. In the meantime, contact has been established with other organisations that are important in this field. At the international level, collaboration is constantly being intensified. The Corona crisis has created an enormously dynamic network of cooperation, resulting in the establishment of the "International" section in 2021.
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