Horticultural therapy

Horticultural Therapy- the use of plants and gardens for human healing and rehabilitation - is an ancient practice but a new profession, with many career opportunities. Horticultural therapists work with people who are disabled or disadvantaged by age, circumstance or ability.Trained Horticultural Therapists are in demand at hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, rehabilitation centres, schools and a wide range of other facilities serving individuals with special needs.

Social and therapeutic horticulture provides programmes that promote health and well-being. Through individually tailored work programmes and with caring and observant encouragement, clients develop confidence in practical and social skills.

Horticultural therapy (or therapeutic horticulture) is used in rehabilitation programmes, providing outdoor activity and physical exercise in a supportive atmosphere. Additionally, sensory stimulus gained from working with shape, form, colours and scents can give pleasure and help towards achieving positive outcomes.

This course comes in nine lessons and includes approximately 100 hours of tutored study. It is ideal for those working or proposing to work in the horticultural therapy industry, or those wishing to assist disabled or disadvantaged people.

Working with Colin Elliott, a professional garden designer and horticulturist with experience in the design of therapeutic gardens, this CD-based course provides the information you need to make the jump into this new avenue in garden and environmental design.

The 9 lessons are outlined below:
1         Scope and nature of Horticultural Therapy.
2         Understanding disabilities - communication, teaching and counselling skills.
3         Risk Management - chemical and physical; hygiene for vulnerable people.
4         Accessibility and mobility issues.
5         Enabling the Disabled.
6         Growing vegetables, fruit and herbs; plant propagation.
7         Container growing - vertical gardens, pots, hydroponics.
8         Creating a Therapeutic Garden
9         Generating income

Each lesson ends with assignments to test your knowledge and reinforce your learning; these are sent to your tutor for marking, comments and additional support. The course can be started at any time and is studied at your own pace.

Gardening is both one of the most popular leisure time pursuits, as well as a significant commercial industry. It offers the participant a wide range of both physical and psychological benefits:

·     It allows people with mobility limitations (at almost all levels), an opportunity to participate in something – even someone who can do little more than drop a seed into some soil and watch it grow, can be involved in gardening.

·     It is a dynamic activity; dealing with living things means that what you are working with is constantly changing - even if the participant is limited in the involvement they can offer.

·     It offers “meaningful” and “creative” activities to people who have had their capacity to be creative, or have meaning in life reduced.

·     It can be used to exercise and strengthen muscles in any part of the body. A skilled physiotherapist can prescribe horticultural activities that may be used to reactivate and strengthen damaged tissues, improve mobility and to slow down deterioration caused through degenerative disease.

·     Gardens connect us with nature and others; it can give us a sense of purpose and achievement, lessen feelings of isolation, improve our attitudes to others and engender a feeling of community inclusion. All this improves our mental health.  

·     It can help engender team building skills in the chronically unemployed (of any age) or for disengaged, disaffected or underprivileged youth. The skills that they learn in a gardening program can be transferred to other areas of life; learning new skills that require nurturing and day to day caretaking can enhance self-esteem, build trust (in a team setting), encourage feelings of self-worth and open up employment opportunities. It can also provide participants with a feeling of ownership, particularly when participating in a community based program such as the establishment of public spaces e.g. public parks or gardens. This is beneficial for the community as a whole, as public spaces that have been implemented through community jobs (or other type of program), instil a feeling of community pride in participants who otherwise may not have been socially engaged – they (the public spaces) are subsequently less likely to suffer from vandalism too.

·     It can promote intergenerational communication and activities i.e. programs that include both the elderly and children.

·     It can promote intercommunication with people from varied ethnic and cultural backgrounds (and from both genders); communication enhances cultural awareness, encourages empathy for others and creates friendships.

Book now using our secure payment system:

Cost: £ 380 (single payment)

OR 2 payments of £ 215


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