Social & Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) / Horticulture Services

Social and Therapeutic Horticulture / Horticulture Services

Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) is the process of using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills.Open to groups or individuals, our STH programs are suitable for young people and adults. They are not structured with a specific treatment goal for individuals, but working with plants, flowers & nature and other outdoor activities can improve mental and physical well-being.


Flexible Approach

STH activities can take place at our site or a location of your choice. We can provide these services in a wide range of settings including mobile outreach visits for those with individual budgets who would benefit from a personal visit in their home setting. These sessions allow each person time to observe and take part in our horticulture activities in the familiar environment of their own home or garden.



The key goals of sessions are:

♦ To create an atmosphere conducive to improving the comfort and emotional state of the people involved in the activities.

♦ To encourage and support participants, allowing them to benefit from access to plants & nature.

♦ To redirect participants’ focus towards nurturing, positive, tactile activities which can improve sensory awareness and induce response from therapeutic touch.

♦ To support participants to focus on their environment as opposed to themselves and any issues which may be affecting them, their behaviour and their emotional well being.

♦ To create opportunities to change and improve the relationship between patients and professionals by aiding them to forge their own connection through horticultural activities. 

Please contact us if you feel our STH services would be beneficial to your group or individuals with specific, additional or special needs.


Horticulture Services

Therapeutic and Forest School Garden Design and Maintenance

As part of our outreach services we are able to offer bespoke therapeutic or Forest School garden design for schools, private residences or centres. By working closely with participants we can analyse specific needs and create a space which offers them access to nature, positive physical & mental activity and a space in which to invest care and attention. After designing and installing or improving your Garden we are able to offer maintenance sessions to help participants care for and take ownership of their space. Our staff are experienced in designing, building and developing many different types of garden focusing on: sensory elements, fruit and vegetable production, forest gardening, organics, biodynamics and permaculture. All our STH sessions are led by trained STH practitioners. Garden design and maintenance are led by experienced team members with Horticulture training.

Please call the office to discuss your requirements or to organise a free consultation.

Regional Coverage

The ADO Therapy and Horticulture Services Team cover London and the South-East, Kent, Sussex, Parts of Hampshire, West of London, and parts of Essex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Regular garden maintenance is for local areas only. If you live outside of these areas, please contact us to find out whether we can cover your location.


Contact Us

Our STH sessions can be tailored to best suit group or individual needs, therefore please feel free to give us a call for an informal chat about how we can help you. 


For further reading on some of the uses of STH see the articles below:

Mind Ecotherapy

Lancet Articles

Marcus, Clare and Marni Barnes, Eds. (1999).

Healing Gardens: Therapeutic Benefits and Design Recommendations.

New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
Received the 2000 EDRA/Places "Place Research" Award; see Bressi, Todd in References.

Gerlach-Spriggs, Nancy, Richard Enoch Kaufman and Sam Bass Warner, Jr. (1998). Restorative Gardens: The Healing Landscape.

New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press. Tyson, Martha M. (1998 and 2008).

The Healing Landscape: Therapeutic Outdoor Environments. Originally published by New York: McGraw-Hill; re-published 2008 by Madison, WI: Parallel Press.

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