Permaculture Physical Therapy Garden

Design Team:  Liz Braithwaite, a garden designer, with Joe Braithwaite DPT, current rehabilitation

Permaculture Physical Therapy Garden at Pioneer Care Center.  The Permaculture Physical Therapy Garden at Pioneer Care Center is designed to promote rehabilitation at the facility. The garden converts an underused lawn to an interactive space, enhancing patient well-being and recovery by providing an edible and fragrant habitat for pollinators and people, one that captures rainwater and lowers landscape toxicity.

Design Narrative- Permaculture Physical Therapy Garden at Peioneer Care Center

815 S 200 W, Brigham City, UT 84302

Design by Liz Braithwaite, a garden designer, with Joe Braithwaite DPT, current rehabilitation director at Pioneer Care Center.

The Permaculture Physical Therapy Garden at Pioneer Care Center is designed to promote rehabilitation at the facility. The garden converts an underused lawn to an interactive space.

Care of People

Patients at Pioneer Care Center are diverse and include the elderly, disabled and veterans. Problems for patient care for those in physical therapy at a skilled nursing facility include motivation, stress, and the lack of opportunity to engage in a variety of functional therapeutic activities. Gardens can benefit those in a therapeutic setting including decreased stress, depression and overall health. This garden builds on these benefits and adds functional therapeutic activities. These activities include a variety of benches, multi-surfaced pathway, and ramps and stairs, as well as gardening activities.

Care of Earth

In addition to functional activities, the garden will feature a range of plants designed to replace the lawn with an environmentally friendly landscape. These plants include many edibles including blackberries, currants, strawberries, grapes, herbs, and several fruit trees. There will be a water feature for birds, bees, and butterflies, as well as adding visual interest. Pollinator plants include yarrow, bee balm, butterfly weed, catmint, and penstemon and plant selection favors native plants. A depressed rain garden is devoted to rainwater catchment and recharge. The whole area will require less water, chemicals, and maintenance than the current landscape by using dense plantings and mulch.

Share Surplus

Raised, accessible beds provide a place to grow annual vegetables. Produce from the garden will be used by patients at the facility. The garden will be open to all residents and staff at the facility, as well as their guests. The area provides a place for residents to enhance their therapeutic experience and experience the joy of nature.

Budget and Timeline

Work will be accomplished by volunteers associated with the facility






Spring 2019

Sheet mulch existing lawn with coarse compost

Coarse compost

20 yrds3


Summer 2019

Build pathways and structures



Fall 2019

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Plant stage one of plantings









Perennial plants



Spring 2020


Finalize plantings, complete garden

Perennial plants




Annual plants



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*Additional funding available from the facility

Liz Braithewaite

After completing a degree in horticulture, Liz Braithwaite began designing residential landscapes and working as a garden consultant. Not long after, she found Permaculture and studied it for several years and received her PDC. She started integrating permaculture design and principles into her work. In addition to residential design, Liz has worked with the local Extension service, taught a variety of community education classes, and volunteered with community gardens. She decided to pursue more education that would enable her to work on larger projects and is currently enrolled in a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture at Utah State University. Throughout her career, her favorite role is as a home gardener and mother to three boys.