Garden Therapy Activities Ideas For Mental Health

planting trees

Garden Therapy Activities are a great way to get people involved in horticultural therapy. An activity can range from basic gardening and planting to more complex horticulture tasks depending on the needs of the participants. 

PowerPACPlus’s Summary

  • Garden therapy, also known as horticultural therapy, is a program that offers therapeutic activities to provide the opportunity to connect with nature.
  • Early spring is a great time of year to start programming for garden therapy
  • By composting, you can transform your kitchen and garden scraps into valuable fertilizer for your plants, shrubs, and trees.

What is Garden Therapy 

Garden therapy, also known as horticultural therapy, is a program that offers therapeutic activities to provide the opportunity to connect with nature. 

Participants in a horticultural therapy program have the chance to grow plants from seed, water them, and observe the variety of flowers that can be grown in soil. 

Through the physical activity of tending to the garden, individuals are able to allow their senses to connect with environment. This connection allows them to gain a sense of accomplishment while allowing them to appreciate the beauty of nature. 

By offering activities such as weeding, planting, watering and learning how plants grow, participants gain a better understanding of nature while gaining physical exercise at the same time. 

Garden therapy is an excellent way for people of all ages and backgrounds to get outside and reap the rewards of connecting with nature.

Benefits of Garden Therapy

Garden therapy is a great way to face the outdoors and learn something new. 

As a gardener, you can teach horticultural activities to your clients that will help them reach their goals. Early spring is a great time of year to start programming for garden therapy. 

You can start by introducing succulent plants to get ready for the warmer months ahead or prep for a winter lesson in the greenhouse.

This type of therapy has many benefits, including teaching about meal planning and general care of plants, as well as providing a goal-oriented activity with measurable results inch by inch. Garden therapy is also great for clients who need something to do during down times, such as winter when there isn’t much else going on outside. 

Now is the perfect time of year to start planning your garden therapy program and setting achievable goals with your client!

Garden Therapy Activities Ideas


Planting is a fun and meaningful craft that may take some time to get used to but it can be an emotional therapy for many. Gather with friends and family in the same room, grab some affordable supplies like soil, pots, and plants, and have a great time! 

Before you start planting, it’s important to document the area where you will be putting your plants so you can make sure they are getting enough sunlight. 

As you plant each living thing into its own pot, it is important to set aside any emotions and focus on the responsibility of caring for them. Every day you should water them and check if they need anything else. Soon you’ll notice beautiful colors as the buds blossom into flowers or vegetables depending on what your planted. 

When harvest time comes around, everyone should gather around to eat lunch together as a celebration of all the hard work everyone has done to keep their plants alive! Planting can supply an opportunity for meaningful activities within any community at an affordable price that can bring great joy when everything blooms. Don’t forget that there’s always more tips available online to help make sure your plants stay healthy!

planting trees


Pruning is an essential activity in horticulture that can supply numerous benefits to people in the community. It’s a great way for children and students to learn about plants, soil, water, and other aspects of nature. 

Pruning can also be used as a form of therapy and activities that help participants figure out how to work together in a group setting. This type of activity encourages people to collaborate while learning new skills and ideas. 

State extension programs are often involved in providing these services to schools and other organizations, allowing them to benefit from the knowledge of experts in horticulture. Taking part in pruning activities is an excellent way for kids, families and individuals of all ages to work together while enjoying the time spent together and exploring their creative side. Pruning can be beneficial for everyone involved, giving participants the opportunity to gain valuable skills while having fun at the same time!


Weeding is a great way to benefit our society in many ways. Weeding can help develop skills in horticulture, supply a therapeutic outlet for stress and depression, and get youth involved in volunteer programs. Seeds are planted, soil is tilled, and eventually beautiful flowers are grown! 

Horticultural therapy has been used to help people with mental health issues and can be a great recreational activity as well. It is also said to increase serotonin levels which can lead to improved moods and overall wellbeing.

Volunteers help with weeding, planting new seeds, and maintaining the gardens – all of which work together for the betterment of their local communities. Schools often promote this type of activity as well due to its many benefits! 

Weeding is a great way to get people together, learn new skills, share ideas, get active outdoors, use therapeutic methods for depression management – all while creating something beautiful with flowers!

hand weeding


Composting is a great way to reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills, and it’s an easy process for anyone to do. 

Composting is the process of breaking down organic materials such as food scraps and yard waste into nutrient-rich soil. 

By composting, you can transform your kitchen and garden scraps into valuable fertilizer for your plants, shrubs, and trees. Compost also helps improve soil structure and drainage while preventing soil erosion. 

You don’t need a lot of space or equipment to begin composting; all you need is some bins or containers, a shovel, and some carbon-, nitrogen-, and water-based materials such as leaves and grass clippings. 

Once you have those materials in place, you can start the composting process by layering them with the necessary ingredients for decomposition – oxygen, moisture, heat and microorganisms. 

With just a bit of effort on your part, you can help reduce landfill waste while providing your plants with essential nutrients!

If you have any questions please comment below to let us know and don’t forget to follow our website to read the lasted posts such as Occupational Therapy Gardening Dementia, Garden Therapy Evidence Based Practice, Can Garden Therapy Reduce Obesity


Much of the science behind how gardening affects the mind and brain still remains a mystery. What scientists do know is that gardening reduces stress and calms the nerves. It lowers cortisol, a hormone involved in stress response.

One of the most obvious ways to stimulate the senses in your garden is by sight. Create a sensory feast of diverse plant colors, shapes, sizes, textures and patterns. You may want to opt for bright and bold flowers, such as purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea), pelargoniums, tulips and alliums.

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