What is therapeutic gardening?

Therapeutic gardening is a way for people to improve their mental health, build up social skills and develop self-confidence through gardening activities. Our Growing Together gardens provide a safe, tranquil environment for people to enjoy being outside and learn a range of horticultural skills. Being in nature and socialising with a kind, caring community of trained key workers and members is one of the best ways to manage your wellbeing.

In the garden I see the fruits of my labour, which gives me such pleasure. It’s a real haven and I feel so supported – Richard, Member since 2012

Therapeutic gardening is at the core of everything we do at Trust Links, from our four Growing Together gardens and St Laurence Orchard to our work with young people in nature, Dig It Youth, and our Heritage and Wildlife workshops. Our horticultural workers will tailor activities and goals to meet each gardener’s individual needs. From planting bulbs and pruning hedges to watering vegetables and weeding paths, each day brings something different with therapeutic gardening. There really is something for everyone at our Growing Together sites.

The natural environment is not simply a pleasant backdrop to [mental health growth and recovery], it is an essential framework for them. – Sempik (2008:19)

By getting in touch with nature and enjoying the peace that gardening brings, we aim to nurture a sense of wellbeing for our members and restore confidence in their abilities. Learning practical skills can also help with future employment opportunities, and making friends with others in a calm environment is a brilliant way to reduce anxiety or social isolation.

Everyone’s willing to help at Trust Links. I’ve been coming to the gardens since 2013 and I know everyone here, they’re like a big happy family – Fran, Member since 2013

To learn more about therapeutic gardening, or to become a member, call 01702 134 213, email admin-support@trustlinks.org, or look at Our Projects.

 

 

  • Sempik, Joe, ‘Being Outside: Exploring Perceptions of Nature and Health in Therapeutic Gardens’, BSA Annual Conference (Warwick: University of Warwick, 2008).