Therapeutic Gardening

What is therapeutic gardening?
Gardening activities carried out with a focus on enhancing well being. Gardening can be an enjoyable medium for supporting physical, social and emotional health. In addition gardening can also provide education and training opportunities, not only horticulture skills but life skills, literacy and numeracy.

Formal definitions of therapeutic gardening include:

‘The use of plants by a trained professional as a medium through which certain clinically defined goals may be met.’

‘… the process by which individuals may develop well-being using plants and horticulture.  This is achieved through active or passive involvement.’
Journal of Social & Therapeutic Horticulture, 1999.

What are the benefits?
Social interaction or solitude as required - essential for well-being
Mentally stimulating - can provide opportunities for initiative taking, decision making
Aids physical health and fitness
Increased self esteem and confidence
Builds skills - gardeningskills, life skills, literacy and numeracy and communication skills

Who takes part in therapeutic gardening?
A survey of the Trellis network of therapeutic gardens shows they support a range of gardeners:
Pie Chart showing % of Trellis network who provide gardening for specific groups


For a more in-depth description of therapeutic gardening  click on these factsheets;
What is Therapeutic Gardening?
Word | pdf

Therapeutic Gardening: theory and evidence
A summary of the main studies relevant to gardening therapy Word | pdf

Please contact us if you have any specific questions about therapeutic gardening.
We can research information for you and also call on the expertise of over 230 therapeutic gardening projects already established in Scotland.

Use the online form at to send us your contact details. This will ensure you receive our eBulletin and advance notice of events. We can also put you in touch with other projects and individuals with common interests. 
Your information will be held securely on the Trellis database and not divulged to third parties without your permission. Alternatively, you can download and complete a .doc Word version or a .pdf version of the Contact Form to post or email to us.

If you wish to remove your details from the database at any time, please drop us an email with your reference details.

Roll over this list  information on many aspects of therapeutic gardening, from adapting gardens and gardening activities to research and case studies.
Gardening & dementia
Useful links

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