UK: Horticultural therapy for Northfleet hospice

Hospice charity ellenor has launched its Green Shoots sessions, a green-fingered therapy that encourages patients and their families to embrace nature.

The Green Shoots sessions will suit all abilities and involve planting bulbs and seeds and taking cuttings, as well as activities like flower pressing and a regular houseplant surgery. Most of the activities take place indoors so that the class is accessible to all, but there will be some opportunities to explore the hospice garden.

Horticultural therapist Katie Gardner is now visiting the Northfleet hospice every week to pass on her love of plants and the natural world. The sessions are open to everyone, patients, families, the bereaved, and members of the community. Katie has more than ten years of experience as a jobbing gardener, is RHS trained, and has completed a course with horticultural therapy charity Thrive.

Katie said: “Feeling at one with nature is relaxing and mindful. If you have ever grown an orchid on your windowsill or fed the birds in your garden, you will know how good that feels. So, when you are feeling poorly, stressed or lonely, it is even more important to take some time out to tend to a plant or find out about the little creatures that inhabit our open spaces and the insects which help pollinate our flowers and fruit.”

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