Gardening As Therapy – A Success!

Today we hosted our Gardening As Therapy Symposium and it went VERY WELL.  The day started out early at 8 am and we had a full day of lectures and “hands on” activities.  The gardens were in good hands with Big John, Bob K., Cheryl, Nolan and Trevor taking care of watering and other activities.  Both Janice and Cindy helped with the event as did many other volunteers and members of our Horticultural Therapy Committee.  Mike M. and Darcie O. ran a tight ship and the feedback we received was very positive.  The audience was diverse and included horticulturists, program directors, horticultural therapists, Master Gardeners and many others interested in ideas and information on utilizing more plants, gardening and garden-related tasks in a wide range of formats.  Kris K., Molly, Polly and Mark had the set-up and details covered and special thanks also to Cindy, Janice, Linda, Tammie, Elsa, Ellie, Lois, Art, Bev, Elaine, Karen and all the other helpers that made today special.  Darcie also had students helping throughout the day.
The gardens were at peak for this event and it was nice to share the color with everyone.  We had a wide range of volunteers out in the gardens and while I was “disconnected” with garden activities today, I’m sure that our talented volunteers did an excellent job as usual!  Some plants and highlights of the symposium can be seen below the daily “plant fix.”
 ‘Sunsplash’ golden eye (Heliomeris multiflora) – annual
cup & saucer vine (Cobaea scandens ‘Purple’) – annual vine
‘Yellow Xenox’ stonecrop (Sedum hybrida) – perennial
‘Heartthrob’ hibiscus (Hibiscus hybrida) – perennial
‘Zowie! Yellow Flame’ zinnia (Zinnia elegans) – annual
‘Freckles’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) – annual
Mike (above) led the first portion of the day with lots of information on the importance of plants for people and shared lots of evidence-based research that supports what we already innately know! Plants can help people and that connection has existed for a very long time.  Regardless of attendee background, I think we provided some great references and information.  The rest of these photos were taken throughout the day and we feel that our 80+ participants (attendees and volunteers) found value in the combined presentations and concurrent, hands-on sessions!





cool adaptive tool display
Bev F. (one of our many volunteers)
Janice featuring some of our raised beds
containerized herbs being enjoyed in the Smelly Garden