Therapeutic Gardening

How can gardening help with my health and well-being?

More and more studies are showing the benefits of gardening to our mental and physical health.

  • Being in nature and getting our hands in the earth reduces stress, bringing a sense of peace and calm.
  • Learning new skills and seeing our plants grow is good for our self-confidence and sense of achievement;
  • Working in a group gives us a sense of belonging, helping us make new friends and reducing isolation.
  • There are improvements to our cognitive abilities, including dementia symptoms.
  • Exposure to sunlight and certain soil bacteria can help with depression.
  • It’s great for our physical health too – the varying tasks suit those recovering from many operations or illnesses or those living with chronic conditions.
  • And don’t forget all those vitamins and minerals in the fresh and tasty locally grown organic fruit and veg!

Why is a food garden ‘therapeutic’?

Primarily because here at REAP we strongly believe doing gardening is therapetic and we believe those people (including you, we hope!) that will be helping to build a garden and plant it up, harvest it and maintain it, will benefit in the ways outlined above. But also the garden will also provide an attractive, colourful, peaceful and wildlife-friendly place for you to go and engage your senses.



Here at REAP we recently produced a report on the importance of Therapeutic Gardening in Moray. Have a read, it features various projects in our area.

Don’t just take our word for it – some other links and studies

Trellis work across Scotland to promote therapeutic gardening by providing information, fieldworkers, training and networking. They have lots of good factsheets too.

Thrive are mainly active in England, carrying out a similar role, they have publications and tips on gardening with various disabilities

For an in-depth (and very interesting) study by commissioned by Garden Organic and Sustain, click here.

We’ll keep adding new links when we get the chance. Do you know some useful links? Please do let us know.

Get involved in our new therapeutic gardening project!

We are building and cultivating a new therapeutic organic food garden at Maryhill Medical Centre in Elgin. Gardening sessions with a variety of tasks take place twice a week. Patients can get a referral form from staff at the Medical Centre. If you’re not a patient at Maryhill, you can email the Grow Elgin Project Manager Alasdair Taylor at and ask for joining instructions. The first session was 28th August 2017 and activities continue every week – do come join us!