Investigating Gardens

Thrive’s horticultural therapists gather evidence of how people who attend our garden projects benefit from their activities.

  • Developing communication skills at afternoon meetings – a therapist at the Thrive Trunkwell Garden Project noticed how the disabled gardeners skills and self-confidence improved when they were encouraged to take a lead at the 'day’s review’ sessions in the garden. This led to a research project to understand how we could best to support them to do this.
  • Client supervisory skills – this study pulled together best practice and described how we could recognise when a disabled gardener is ready to take on more responsibility in the garden, the type of support they need and the benefits they get.

  • Disabled gardeners’ views of three contrasting project settings – this interview based study showed that not all horticultural settings are liked by disabled gardeners. Our gardeners were asked about their preferences and they told us how working in the community, a walled garden or on an organic farm setting, offered them different opportunities and experiences.

Recommendations from the Investigating Gardens research have been used to improve and develop Thrive’s routine garden project practices.


Download a recent example of one of the IG research reports:  The views of 16 year old gardeners with communication and learning difficulties