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Episode 37: Horticultural Therapy




I have been so moved by many of you who have reached out to me sharing how caring for your plants has helped you walk through or live with a variety of tough things, whether its loss of a loved one, post partum depression, PTSD or other issues. As someone who has dealt with depression, I just want to say that I’m here with you and your messages resonate so much with me. It’s made me think a lot about Horticultural Therapy, the practice of it, what it actually is and the people that use it today. I’m so thankful to have had not one but TWO wonderful guests for this episode to shine a light on Horticultural Therapy and the practices that help heal through plants.

Barb Kreski is the Director of the Horticultural Therapy Department at the Chicago Botanic Garden and she joins us to discuss the ins and outs of what Horticultural Therapy actually is, how to get certified in it and how it is practiced at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The Chicago Botanic Garden has the oldest Horticultural Therapy program in the country and was founded by Barb’s mentor, Gene Rothert, who was a pioneer of the Horticultural Therapy practice.

Eve Minson is the Healing Gardens Coordinator at The Center for Discovery. The Center for Discovery is a major research and specialty center that offers residential, medical, clinical and special education programs. I personally know about the amazing work they do at Center for Discovery because my best friends sister was born with Cerebral Palsy and has been a full time resident at the facility for most of her life. The work they do at the Center is truly remarkable. They take horticultural therapy to the next level, with their “Food as Medicine” belief and their healing gardens that are an integral part of their guests treatment. Eve joins us to talk about how they use plants to heal at the Center.

In the episode we learn:

  • How Barb found Horticultural Therapy
  • What Horticultural Therapy actually is
  • The three theories of Horticultural Therapy
  • How the stress reduction studies are actually measured
  • How horticultural therapy is used and who can benefit from it
  • What a horticultural therapy session at the Chicago Botanic Gardens could look like
  • The various HT programs at the Chicago Botanic Garden on and off site
  • About The Center for Discovery and how they use plants to heal


Thank you to Gardenuity for sponsoring this episode!

Gardenuity creates custom garden kits for you and your particular environment.They pair you with herbs and vegetables you can grow successfully in your zip code through their matching system and sets you up for success with their Gro Pro Service that gives you growing tips and advice to ensure you have a fantastic harvest. To see what seasonal herbs and vegetables you can grow right now, visit and enter your zip code!

Bloom and Grow Radio listeners can use code BLOOM at checkout to redeem a free gourmet Garden Inspired Salt to pair with your grow kit!


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