A Garden Therapy Group was first set up in January 2018 when June Tainsh our then Volunteer Co-ordinator set up a pilot scheme to develop a Horticultural Therapy Programme at the garden. We met regularly to discuss, consider and trial how we might organise such a programme in the garden. This group of June and three volunteers looked at the development of a horticulture programme, with teaching alongside other therapeutic activities such as a check in, meditation, yoga, mindful walking, horticultural learning/garden tasks, journaling, readings.

When June left the project the volunteers undertook to continue meeting as a therapy group outwith normal volunteer sessions, and to support others who might like to join us. We all have experience of mental health issues and of different therapies and interventions. We have formed a mutually supportive group that we feel has given us all benefit and provides a useful weekly meet up for all of us. We have had other folk come and join us as and when it suits them.

We do not offer any specific therapies and are not trained to offer any. What we do feel we provide is a safe and supportive environment and some “garden therapy” – we all recognize the positive benefits to our health and well being of spending time in the garden.

The structure of our session at the moment starts with a check- in where we have the opportunity to let others now how we are feeling and how the past week has been if we wish to. We then sit for a short period of meditation followed by some mindful walking or yoga stretches. Next up is usually a garden task where there is an opportunity for some learning or simply time to do some light tasks in this peaceful environment, these include, sowing seeds and planting, weeding beds, tree planting, pruning, harvesting and other garden activities. We usually break for tea half way through the session and there is usually further discussion or simply a blether, after tea we continue with tasks and then finish with a final ten minutes for feedback and meditation. We do not always stick to this structure and like to be fluid and open to suggestions – sometimes we may simply go for a walk!

If you are interested in this type of mindful and peaceful session please contact us