Horticultural Therapy Program

Horticultural Therapy is a complementary therapy, which uses plants and gardening to promote health and wellness. This holistic therapy is rooted in  the principle that plants and people share the rhythm of life. Both plants and people grow and change and respond to nurture and climate. Participants will find that as they tend their plants and gardens, they will also tend their body, mind and spirit. 

A professional horticultural therapist from the North Carolina Botanical Gardens plans and conducts activity sessions at the UNC Farm at Penny Lane to help participants achieve the following benefits:

•   Physical health through purposeful exercise (level determined by ability), fresh air, learning about nutrition, practicing healthy eating.

•   Emotional health through stress reduction, connection to nature, creative expression, successful outcomes with plants.

•   Social health through social interaction, cooperative enterprise, community building.

•   Learning new skills in horticulture and related fields to promote vocational and leisure opportunities.

Activities at the  UNC Farm at Penny Lane may include: Growing and maintaining plants; plant propagation; working in the garden and greenhouse; cooking with fresh produce; working with aromatic herbs and flowers; making products with plants, herbs and flowers; and learning about horticulture, nutrition, and the natural sciences. Specific activities will be determined by participant’s interest and ability. 

Weather permitting, all sessions include indoor discussions and outdoor gardening. Accommodations will be made for special needs.

Contact: Sally Haskett at haskett@email.unc.edu or 919.616.2262


How to participate

When:   Mondays 10:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m.

Transportation: Provided from Carr Mill Mall. The van will leave from CVS at 9:30 a.m..and return following the program.  Transportation contact:  Karen Frye at

Special Instructions: Participants should wear clothes that they don’t mind getting dirty and apply sunscreen. Water will be available; participants are welcome to bring snacks.

 General information: