Growing Support - Social and Therapeutic Horticulture workshops

Growing Support - Social and Therapeutic Horticulture workshops 

Alive’s ‘Growing Support’ Social and Therapeutic Horticulture workshops enable older people in care to work together on gardening and nature-based activities, increasing their social interaction and sense of purpose and achievement. 

Depending on the season and participants’ interests, activities vary from growing fruit, vegetables and flowers, to wildlife spotting and nature-based crafts such as willow weaving or felt making. 

Benefits of 'Green Excercise' 

Connection to the natural world is proven to benefit wellbeing and mental health. Engaging in ‘green exercise’ such as gardening has significant benefits including reduced anxiety, improved mood and the exercise of vital muscle groups. 

The workshops are hands-on, fun and suitable for people of all abilities and experience. Specific benefits for people living with dementia include:

  • multi-sensory stimulation - through the varied smells, sounds, colours and textures of plants and wildlife 

  • enhanced verbal expression and reminiscence 

  • release of tension and frustration - bringing about positive mood change. 


A lively gardening group took place on the day of our visit..We saw a number of people engaged in this activity..Staff were sharing conversation with the people about a range of social topics. CQC Inspection report extract for a Bristol Care Home.