Children and Gardening

Are you a teacher, classroom assistant, parent or carer, out of school care provider, youth worker, paediatrician, community garden or school gardening club helper supporting children with additional needs? Then click here for resources, relevant links and examples of our work.

Trellis strives to uphold the articles of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child, in its work. Click to view a Summary or the CRC Articles in full. 






Balnacraig School in Perth is a school and residential setting for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable young people with complex behavioural support needs.  Initially the headteacher approached us to help them develop a gardening project.  Soon after, Mandy called our query service hoping to volunteer at a gardening project. Balnacraig and Mandy were a perfect fit and Mandy was recruited to lead the therapeutic gardening programme at the school in a paid position. Trellis support also included:

  • Help to recruit a volunteer for the project.
  • On-site Fieldworker visits to help create an action plan, sketch designs and a planting plan
  • Connecting Balnacraig staff with peers to support them through one of our network meetings.
  • We ran a Sharing Good Practice event at the school. This was attended by 35 people involved in running gardening programmes in educational settings.

“I truly believe the garden provides something on every level. It is absolutely crucial in allowing children to just be.  A safe place that enables young people to explore their world and have positive experiences” Dr Shona Quinn, Clinical Psychologist

“We would not be where we are today without the support of Trellis” Mrs Jo West, Headteacher

“Their moods change. They come out (to the garden) tired or unenthusiastic, or sometimes engaged and ready, but you just see that spark that goes on in their eyes - passion that comes out and it’s just fab - I just love it. They go away feeling that they’ve achieved something, feeling they can do something. And for me, if they’re not good at English and Maths and they’re inside and it’s all failure, failure, failure, they can go away knowing, “I can do that” Mandy Abbott, Therapeutic Gardening Practitioner

RESOURCES: From Jingle Bulbs to cheery cheerios ring bird feeders, check out our factsheets for inspired ideas of simple and seasonal activities to do with children and young people, indoors and out!  Outdoor Learning demystified - Get started with our practical Factsheets series - Outdoor Learning 1: Setting Up Your SiteOutdoor Learning 2: Using Your Site, Outdoor Learning 3: Activities Trellis have also produced a comprehensive guide to setting up a therapeutic gardening project which is available to download.  Still don’t know where to start?  Then just get in touch, we’re here to help

FUNDING: Explore the many possible funding sources available for your project

AWARDS: Gardening with children or young people at your setting can be part of a variety of frameworks, awards and qualifications including The John Muir Award and The Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society (The Caley) Grow and Learn Awards

TRAINING & SHARING GOOD PRACTICE: We regularly run training on gardening with children and basic horticulture.  We also host network meetings so that you can add to your learning and development and meet people working in similar settings.