The strange new thing: defining gardening therapy

Posted: 9th Oct 2015

secret garden oct 2015


“At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing
can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then
they see it can be done – then it is done and all the world
wonders why it was not done centuries ago”.

The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett


When the strange new thing – gardening therapy – is borrowed from something as old and familiar as gardening, I am often asked what is new. Aside from useful techniques and tools, I have searched for an answer, and find this:

Gardening holds all the ingredients to unlock that which causes so much dis-ease in contemporary life. However, it takes a space, time, and readying the conditions for whoever presents themselves in need to make it gardening therapy. As a gardening therapist, I facilitate qualities that today are often only reserved as barely touchable luxuries, such as being present for another, making the natural world accessible and celebrating in human and plant life.