Therapeutic Garden Consultancy Service

As a fully qualified horticulturist, with extensive experience,  I can provide consultancy to support you in managing and developing community and therapeutic horticulture projects for a wide range of user groups.  I have built my expertise working in varied settings from medium and low security in-patients’ wards to schools, colleges, residential units, community gardens and parks.

Over a period of 15 years I have worked with organisations supporting those with mental health challenges, learning and physical disabilities, learning difficulties, hearing impairments and those who are socially excluded or disadvantaged. My consultancy service is focussed on supporting groups and organisations which work with plants and gardens to improve others’ wellbeing and health outcomes.

You may be based in an enclosed therapeutic garden within a school, hospital ward garden or residential setting.  Alternatively you may have a community-based therapeutic garden or park project that aims to involve a variety of different user groups from those living with dementia to young adults with learning differences.

Whatever your setting I can support you to develop and run your therapeutic garden project or bid for funding.  My consultancy service includes overall project management, site selection and/or evaluation, garden development and garden design advice.  In addition,  I can develop a year-long programme of engaging, meaningful and accessible therapeutic gardening sessions for a range of participants and user groups at your specific garden site.  Training can also be provided to your staff and volunteers to help them deliver the therapeutic sessions.

If you would like to discuss your requirements and how I can support you, please contact me.

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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