Welcome to Sue Jeffries Therapeutic Garden Service

I’m a social and therapeutic horticulture practitioner with 15 years’ experience of developing and delivering projects to a wide range of people and organisations. My book Designing, Planting and Using a Therapeutic Garden is a practical guide to evaluating garden sites and assessing user groups’ needs. It also includes detailed advice on designing and planting therapeutic gardens to meet specific requirements. In addition, there is a wealth of ideas for therapeutic gardening activities and interactions with plants throughout all seasons of the year.   

As a trained and qualified horticulturist and teacher based in Lancashire I offer consultancy, training and support to community and therapeutic gardening projects and programmes. I work with a range of adult groups, children and those with specific needs.  My aim is to help improve wellbeing and health outcomes through using gardens, nature and growing spaces. 

If you would like to discuss my consultancy or training services, please contact me.



Designing, Planting and Using a Therapeutic Garden. The benefits of therapeutic gardens, where users can interact with plants for the purpose of moving towards a specific outcome or meeting a particular need, is increasingly being recognized in healthcare and beyond.

This book provides a practical guide for garden designers, horticulture professionals, landscape architects and therapeutic horticulturalists to create a successful and sustainable therapeutic garden space, whether from scratch or working with an existing site. An appreciation of how the garden will be used is an essential part of its design, so this book also outlines therapeutic activities and ideas, making it a valuable resource for healthcare professionals, counsellors, teachers, activity co-ordinators, social prescribers and occupational therapists who are looking to use horticulture within their therapeutic practice. 

Buy at Amazon, Blackwells or Crowood Press.

Designing, Planting and Using a Therapeutic Garden is a wonderful new contribution to the literature supporting therapeutic gardens. Beautifully presented, practical, informative and educational, this easy  to read book will appeal to both experienced horticultural therapists but also those new to the sector. All practitioners working within the Defence Gardens Scheme (DGS) across the UK, will find it an invaluable reference not only for developing new facilities and features but also ensuring the essential practical maintenance and health and safety requirements are not forgotten. I highly recommend it.”

Sally Coulthard, MBE CF FRSA - Founder and CEO Defence Gardens Scheme

'This is an excellent book, beautifully produced. I could have done with this at the beginning of my adventure into Social and Therapeutic Horticulture.'

Christina Hughes Nind,  PD Dip Social and Therapeutic Horticulture, ACIHort


"Designing, Planting, and Using a Therapeutic Garden" is an exceptional guide for anyone interested in creating a beautiful, functional, and therapeutic garden. The book is authored by experienced social and therapeutic horticulture practitioner and freelance trainer and consultant Sue Jeffries, who has thoroughly researched and compiled all the necessary information required to create a therapeutic garden that can be used for healing and rehabilitation.

The book is well-organized, with each chapter providing valuable insights into the different aspects of garden design and therapy. All the essential aspects of garden design are covered, including planning and surveying, concept planning, and planting plans, as well as an in-depth section detailing therapeutic activities in the garden including edible gardening, therapeutic plants, incorporating seasonal interest to keep the garden engaging year-round and 40 seasonal, graded therapeutic activities with design requirements and benefits listed."

Imogen Jackson, Ecotherapist and Wellbeing Programmes Leader at Wiltshire Wildlife Trust

“I recently purchased a copy of Designing, Planting and Using a Therapeutic Garden to consider as one of two required texts for the students in the Horticultural Therapy Certificate program for which I am lead instructor, and have subsequently made it one of the two recommended texts for the course …. I particularly appreciate the focus on the importance of enrolling stakeholders, as some 40 years of working in healing and therapeutic garden design has taught me that a failure to engage those who will use and maintain a garden early in the design process and the failure to build provisions for ongoing maintenance into project funding are the two main reasons that gardens fail, often becoming abandoned and derelict spaces.” 

Ann Kent HTR HTM, Registered Horticultural Therapist, Canada


"Sue Jeffries’ book, “Designing, Planting, and Using a Therapeutic Garden” is a meticulously curated treasure trove of present-day considerations for the creation of therapeutic gardens and activities that enable human/plant relationships. This isn’t just a design book, it’s the culmination of a lifetime of Sue’s experience observing, enhancing, and teaching the ways that humans engage gardens with their minds, bodies, and hearts. As a therapeutic horticulture educator, I view this book as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for aspiring and/or practicing therapeutic horticulture practitioners who seek visionary ideas and practical tools that will accommodate and engage the populations with whom they work, as well as garden designers who strive to push their designs to the next level. The use of colorful images, diagrams, and tables make this book a thoroughly digestible and recommended joy to read!"

Emilee Weaver, Therapeutic Horticulture Program Manager, North Carolina Botanical Garden - University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill


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