Horticultural Therapy in Chichester

With a background as an occupational therapist and experience of working as a horticultural therapist with clients with a range of mental and physical health issues (including depression, anxiety, dementia, Parkinson's, social isolation and mobility) along with a diploma in social and therapeutic horticulture, Edward provides either one to one or group horticulture therapy sessions.

These horticultural therapy sessions can be held in your own private, organisation or community garden and tailored to the client's needs. Seasonally and weather appropriate activities are provided along with gardening tools if required.

Whether you are a care home looking for someone to plan and provide horticultural therapy activities, a community or school garden requiring a session leader or know an individual who would benefit from getting outside and gardening in a supported manner please do contact us to find out more.

Gardener Chichester, horticultural therapy, sowing seeds of hope

Social and therapeutic horticulture (STH)


STH can be described as "the process of using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills. It also uses the garden as a safe and secure place to develop someone's ability to mix socially, make friends and learn practical skills that will help them to be more independent." (Thrive 2015)

Benefits of horticulture therapy can include:

Physical - active exposure to nature has been demonstrated to promote better general physical health, in turn promoting self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth  and encouraging healthier habits, such as healthy eating. 

(Patel 1992, Sempik, Aldridge and Becker 2005, Sempik, Aldridge and Becker 2005, Davies et al 2014, Wise 2014).

Cognitive -  STH may help reduce depression, rumination and attention impairments and help develop cognitive skills such as concentration and attention following traumas (Davies et al 2014, Gonzalez et al 2010).

Social, STH has the potential to address the avoidance and withdrawal aspects of mental health issues and isolation associated with ageing by promoting social inclusion and interaction in a group based setting (Perrins-Margalis et al 2000, Sempik, Aldridge and Becker 2005).

Even Passive exposure to nature (just being out in the garden), even briefly, has been shown to reduce both the physiological and emotional and behavioural aspects of stress and promote recovery (Ulrich 1999).

"There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling" ~Mirabel Osler

Davies G,  Devereaux M, Lennartsson M, Schmultz U & Williams S (2014). The benefits of gardening and food growing for health and wellbeing. Garden Organic and Sustain.

Gonzalez M, Hartig T, Patil G, Martinsen E & Kirkevold M (2010). Therapeutic horticulture in clinical depression: a prospective study of active components. Journal of Advanced Nursing 66 (9) 2002–2013.

www.thrive.org.uk ,


Patel I (1992). Socioeconomic Impact of Community Gardening in an Urban Setting. In D. Relf (Ed) The role of horticulture in human well-being and social development (pp.93-105). Oregon: Timber Press.

Perrins-Margalis N, Rugletic J, Schepis N, Stepanski H, & Walsh M (2000). The immediate effects of group-based horticulture on the quality of life of persons with chronic mental illness. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health 16 (1) 15-30.

Sempik J, Aldridge  J and Becker S (2005). Health, well-being and social inclusion. Therapeutic Horticulture in the UK. Bristol: The Policy Press.

Ulrich RS (1999). Effects of gardens on health outcomes: Theory and research. In C. Cooper Marcus & M. Barnes (Eds.), Healing gardens: Therapeutic benefits and design recommendations (pp.27-86). New York: Wiley.