GET INVOLVED

Therapeutic Garden Invitations: Weekly Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle

Gardening and gardens are shown to have many therapeutic benefits, including reducing stress, improving mental and physical health, and contributing to your quality of life.

To inspire Canadians to “Live the Garden Life”, the Year of the Garden 2022 partnered with the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association (CHTA) to release weekly Therapeutic Garden Invitations.

Discover them below, and above all, apply them daily to reap all the benefits!

Celebration Garden

The CHTA’s Therapeutic Garden Invitations

Sow a seed, or two, or three, or more. Indoors or outdoors, it’s fun to watch a seed germinate and then grow into an adult plant.

Some spiritual benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include an increased sense of belonging, responsibility, and connectiveness to the environment and something greater than self.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Whether it be a community, botanical, forest, or even a balcony garden – anytime of the year is a good time to be in a garden. Spend some time noticing all the diversity that lives within it.

Some social benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include increased opportunities to socialize, connect, and collaborate with others which can lead to a decrease in feelings of isolation, loneliness, and separation.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Find a comfortable spot and watch birds go about their business. Bird watching provides an easy and entertaining opportunity for people to connect with their natural environment.

Some psychological benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include a decrease in anxiety and an increase in feelings of well-being, self-esteem, and happiness.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Go out to the garden and cut some fresh flowers or visit the forest and gather fallen cones or branches or other interesting nature items. Arrange them in a vase, a bowl, or on a table, and then appreciate their beauty from close-up.

Some cognitive benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include increased mental clarity, improved capacity for problem solving, and an enhanced ability to focus. 

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Find a spot that you could plant a native fruit tree – in your yard or neighbourhood. Tend to it like you would a member of the family, and before long, everyone will be enjoying the fruits of their labour.

Some physical benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include a decrease in stress hormones and an increase in cognitive functioning, mobility, and respiration.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Plan an indoor desert garden. Consider different combinations of succulents – plants that store water in thick, fleshy leaves and stems – some even bloom!

Some cognitive benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include increased mental clarity, improved capacity for problem solving, and an enhanced ability to focus.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Journal about some of the nature items in your environment. Sketch or write about what you see, hear, smell, touch and taste when out in nature or a garden.

Some psychological benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include a decrease in anxiety and an increase in feelings of well-being, self-esteem, and happiness.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Take a garden photo-of-the-day. Post your photos online and share your love of gardens with others from far and wide.

Some social benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include increased opportunities to socialize, connect, and collaborate with others which can lead to a decrease in feelings of isolation, loneliness, and separation.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Grow herbs in a sunny windowsill. Try low-fuss herbs like basil, chives, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and thyme.

Some physical benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include a decrease in stress hormones and an increase in immune function, mobility, and respiration.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Sit down in a garden outdoors. Close your eyes and listen. What do you hear – leaves moving in the breeze, birds singing, the buzzing of bees and other pollinating insects? Just listen.

Some spiritual benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include an increased sense of belonging, responsibility, and connectiveness to the environment and something greater than self.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Take time to compare the leaves of different plants in a garden. All plants have leaves, although they don’t all look the same. Some may be lobed, linear, spiny, or smooth, and they may have variations in colour too. If those words aren’t familiar to you – we invite you to look them up!

Some cognitive benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include increased mental clarity, improved capacity for problem solving, and an enhanced ability to focus.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Before you pull ‘weeds’, learn what they are. It might be a beneficial plant to the environment, or you could eat it! When removing plants, mindful weeding can be a relaxing activity that also helps your plants have access to water, light, and nutrients without competition.

Some psychological benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include a decrease in anxiety and an increase in feelings of well-being, self-esteem, and happiness.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Visit a garden centre, in-person or online, for inspiration. Go with the intention of checking out the displays and asking questions – inspiration is free!

Some social benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include increased opportunities to socialize, connect, and collaborate with others which can lead to a decrease in feelings of isolation, loneliness, and separation.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Find a fresh rosemary sprig; wash, dry, and lightly crush it. Put it in a dry, sterilized bottle. Fill the bottle with olive oil and use after a week. 

Some cognitive benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include increased mental clarity, improved capacity for problem solving, and an enhanced ability to focus.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Visiting garden centres, libraries, and the internet can help you learn about plants. Look at them through a magnifying glass and see their magnificence up close. Share what you learn!

Tell us a plant that you know. What’s their name? Do they have an origin story?

Some cognitive benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include increased mental clarity, improved capacity for problem-solving, and an enhanced ability to focus.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca.

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Plants in the garden benefit from the occasional tidying up to establish boundaries. Creating space by trimming off spent leaves and flowers will keep your plants and the garden healthy.

What is your favourite plant to tidy up? 

Some physical benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include a decrease in stress hormones and an increase in immune function, mobility, and respiration.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Plants, like people, have their individual preferences and needs. Find out what your plants need for nourishment.

Do you have a favourite way to nurture your plants? 

Some spiritual benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include an increased sense of belonging, responsibility, and connectedness to the environment and something greater than self.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

It’s so rewarding to connect with others. If you’re growing your own herbs, food, or flowers and you have extra – share it with family, friends and neighbours and surprise them with this home-grown gift.

What is your favourite garden gift to give or to receive?

Some social benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include increased opportunities to socialize, connect, and collaborate with others which can lead to a decrease in feelings of isolation, loneliness, and separation.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Every living thing needs water to survive. During the growing season, your plants need water for photosynthesis and to keep stems and leaves strong and sturdy.

What does watering your plants do for you?

Some psychological benefits of connecting with plants, nature, and gardening include a decrease in anxiety and an increase in feelings of well-being, self-esteem, and happiness.

To learn more about the multiple therapeutic benefits of activities like this and/or for more information about horticultural therapy/therapeutic horticulture visit the CHTA at www.chta.ca

©Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. 

Horticultural Therapy Frequently Asked Questions

Did you know that horticulture can have therapeutic benefits? In a few questions and answers below, you will find an overview of the different facets of horticultural therapy and the benefits you can derive from it!

To garden is the simple act of tending plants. Yet, we strongly believe that It’s even more than that as it also describes a creative and therapeutic experience.

A gardener is a person that tends and cultivates plants. Do you believe in the creation of a sacred bond between the gardener and their plants?

A garden can be any place where plants are being tended by human hands. What is your favourite gardening spot?

“Live the Garden Life” during the Year of the Garden 2022 and create positive, mental and physical health benefits for yourself, family and the community.

Spend time with plants in your home, garden, community garden or your favourite public garden. Connect and exercise your senses around plants and in nature to reduce stress, be healthier and feel better.

Follow the weekly Therapeutic Garden Invitation and “Live the Garden Life” – a healthy, environmentally friendly life and an enriched social life.

A therapeutic garden invitation is an invitation to connect with plants for therapeutic benefits.

The Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association (CHTA) invites you to learn more about the many therapeutic benefits of gardening, connecting with plants and nature, and engaging with a professional horticultural therapist.

Horticultural Therapy (HT) is a formal practice that uses plants, horticultural activities, and garden landscapes/ecosystems to promote health and well-being for its participants.

It refers to a broad range of services, settings, and populations that can be served.

HT is goal oriented with defined outcomes and assessment procedures.

HT goals, objectives, and assessments are specific, clinical, and in some part pre-determined through interviews prior to therapy taking place.

For more information visit www.chta.ca.

Therapeutic Horticulture (TH) is the purposeful use of plants and plant-related activities to promote health and wellness for an individual or group.

Goals and defined outcomes for individual participants are not necessarily discussed nor clinically documented, and assessments are general rather than clinical.

TH goals and objectives may or may not be shared and they can be flexible, self-directed, and set at the time of the activity/session.

For more information visit www.chta.ca

The Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association (CHTA) is a not-for-profit/social-profit, volunteer-driven organization, whose mission is to promote the use and awareness of horticulture as a therapeutic modality. 

Members come from diverse professions, backgrounds, and regions, and share a common interest in the therapeutic potential of connecting people with plants, nature, and gardening.

As the professional association representing horticultural therapy in Canada, the CHTA provides a voluntary professional registration process for horticultural therapy practitioners, and the most up to date news, research, and opportunities in the field of horticultural therapy and therapeutic horticulture.

For more information visit www.chta.ca

Mental clarity, improved capacity for problem-solving, and an enhanced ability to focus.

Watch for CHTA Year of the Garden 2022 Therapeutic Gardens Invitations posted weekly on the Year of the Garden Instagram and Facebook pages.

Canadian Horticulture Therapy Association

The Year of the Garden 2022 thanks the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association (CHTA) for creating this informative series of inspiring Therapeutic Garden Invitations.

Premier Tech

The Year of the Garden 2022 thanks Premier Tech for their valuable support of this initiative connecting gardens and a healthier lifestyle.

Founding Sponsors of Year of The Garden