Bethany Harries

Postgraduate Research Student
BSc (Hons) Psychology; MSc Health Psychology


My research project


In the media

Therapeutic Gardens
The cut flower podcast
How to Optimize Garden Design for Well-Being
Psychology Today


Research interests



Bethany Harries, Lauriane Suyin Chalmin-Pui, Birgitta Gatersleben, Alistair Griffiths, Eleanor Ratcliffe (2024)Identifying features within a garden linked to emotional reactions and perceived restoration, In: Cities & health Routledge

This study aimed to identify what specific plants and garden features in an intentionally designed wellbeing garden influence emotional reactions and perceived restoration. To test this 142 garden visitors were recruited and asked to complete a survey as they walked around the wellbeing garden. The survey guided participants around the garden instructing them to stop at four specific Zones. They were asked questions concerning how the different Zones of the garden made them feel (sad, happy, excited, calm, and perceived restoration). In addition, the survey included open-ended questions where participants were asked to identify the features such as water elements, plants, views, and structures (sculptures, seating, paving) they felt evoked their emotional response. Using a mixed methods approach with ANOVA and Content Analysis, results found key garden design features linked to emotional reactions and perceived restoration include sounds of flowing water, open seating areas, far-reaching views, and a variety of planting (colour, height, texture, scents, attracting wildlife). This evidence can be used to inform the design of gardens that optimise wellbeing outcomes.

Additional publications