Throughout 2018 we enjoyed many good times in our therapeutic gardening groups growing fresh food and flowers and making beautiful green creations.

These fun activities were very popular with gardeners so I thought I’d share the top 5 and encourage you to give these a try!

Here they are…

Growing Sensory Plants

This fun, hands-on activity is always popular with gardeners of all abilities.

Using sensory plants, mainly herbs, we enjoy all the sensory stimulation from a range of plants before propagating them to grow more plants!

This is a wonderful way to grow more plants at low cost to fill your therapeutic gardens.

You’ll find information on sensory plants HERE and all the steps for growing new plants HERE.

 

Hanging Succulent Balls

My simple version of the Japanese Kokedama Moss Balls has been enjoyed by many groups over the last few years.

These stunning plant hangers are a modified method of the Kokedama and suitable for all ability levels. [find ideas for Kokedama on Pinterest and Youtube]

We use hessian squares to hold succulent mix and a range of plants, then tied everything together with twine.

This is a wonderful activity for encouraging participants to work in groups and give others a helping hand.

Painting & Potting

Paint and dirt…always fun to get hands into!!

At NoosaCare we had plans for creating a potted colour wall and what better way to add extra colour than with painted pots!

Residents enjoyed this activity over a few weeks, with painting first, then potting flowers and herbs, making a pallet shelf and adding pots for the final week.

The pots have added a lovely burst of colour to the garden and will be repotted each season with new flowers.

I’ve included a few tips for growing in small spaces in this podcast episode HERE.

Digging in the dirt and planting seedlings

One of our regular activities and enjoyed by everyone of all ages!

For gardeners with dementia, this activity is always enjoyed as digging in the dirt is incredibly therapeutic and has many positive outcomes.

With gardening groups for mental health, our gardeners prepared the soil and planted seedlings of flowers, herbs and veggies in a variety of gardens.

These are simple activities that can be completed in any garden, any location and enjoyed by everyone…perfect if you’re just getting started with therapeutic gardening!

Before planting I suggest building up healthy soil to encourage strong plant growth. Follow the easy steps in this article.

Christmas Mini Gift Pots

Leading up to Christmas, or other annual celebrations, is a perfect time to include gift making into group activities.

Our Mini Gift Pots were enjoyed by all with many packaged gifts made to share at Christmas time.

This is a great way to encourage others to try growing something through gift giving.

Find all the steps and items used in this video

A few other activities…

  • Painting plant labels
  • Ephemeral nature art - thanks to Dean Gaston for this lovely activity!
  • Regrowing foods - find all the steps here…

Find many images of our activities on Instagram and Facebook @soiltosupper

These activities promote physical and emotional wellbeing and also help to reduce social isolation. They are suitable for participants of all abilities and can be modified to suit individual needs.

If you are planning on establishing a therapeutic gardening program in your centre then you’ll find extra information in my articles and podcast episodes here…

and information on our Therapeutic Gardening services and programs HERE.

Have a question about your garden, activities or gardening program?

Join our Soil to Supper Facebook Club and post questions, comments and ideas each day!

Would you like to be a part of an online gardening community to gain a deeper understand of growing fresh food for your health?

Consider joining the Soil to Supper Community where you’ll access a monthly growing guide, information on what to do and extra support to help you grow a thriving garden in any setting, amongst a group of other passionate gardeners.

More information here soiltosupper.com/community/

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© cath manuel 3 january 2019

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