2020 Winter Conference Carolinas Horticultural Therapy Network

— Written By


Carol Woods Waterfall

The North Carolina Botanical Garden was an incredible venue for the 2020 Carolinas Horticultural Therapy Network Winter Conference. Sally Haskett, Horticultural Therapy Program Manager at the Garden, and her crew put together an informative and fun two days of tours and activities.

On our pre-conference tour of Carol Woods Continuing Care Retirement Community we learned how residents across the continuum of care (independent through skill-nursing) come together to nurture plants and each other in the working garden spaces at the facility. Raised beds, a labyrinth, a waterfall, and fishing pond are just some of the offerings in the gardens. Yellow daffodils, daphane, and colorful painted stones made the dreary day bright on our walk.

At Central Regional Hospital, I was inspired by the innovative use of space and organizational skills of the Horticultural Therapy staff. They have learned to make the most of what they have, transforming a former barracks into a growing space that left many of us envious. In that space, hospital residents experience personal growth reflected in the beautiful plants we saw.

Saturday found us spending the day at the NC Botanical Garden, as we learned about projects completed by the Garden’s Therapeutic Horticulture Certificate program graduates, divided plants, made seed heads, reflected on our personal transformation through learning about Johnny Appleseed and toured the grounds, which are beautiful even in the dormant winter. There was also plenty of time for conversation with peers from around the region.

If you are interested in using horticulture in your current work or learning about Horticultural Therapy, these conferences are a great place to go, all experience levels are welcome. Carolinas Horticultural Therapy Network’s next conference will be in the summer of 2020. With date and location to be announced soon.

group listening to teacher

NCBG propagation area


Carol Woods Labyrinth