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As Get Gardening celebrates a year since launch, we look at how it has helped make gardening for health and wellbeing more accessible.

In July 2022, Thrive launched Get Gardening. This free online service is designed to help even more people use gardening for health.

We know the incredible power gardening has to support health and wellbeing. We have more than 40 years of experience seeing it through our Social & Therapeutic Horticulture (STH) programmes. There is also a growing body of scientific evidence around the physical and mental health benefits of time in gardens and with nature.

By sharing our knowledge freely through Get Gardening, we want to reach as wide a number of people as possible. It is ideal for:

  • Anyone with a health condition or disability who wants to start gardening or adapt the way they garden
  • Carers and support workers who want to use the benefits of gardening for health
  • People new to gardening
  • People who want to know the mental/physical health benefits of gardening

Visitors to Get Gardening can discover seasonal gardening ideas, ways to make gardening more accessible, inspiring stories and more. By using tags and filters, this advice can be tailored to suit a wide range of garden types, interests and health conditions.

Gardening together talking
Two people talking in a garden

The development of Get Gardening was made possible thanks to a funding grant from the Peter Sowerby Foundation.

It was developed over many months. This included extensive testing and feedback from individuals with a range of health needs and gardening experience.

Following the launch of Get Gardening, we have retired our Carry on Gardening website. This had been running since 2003 as a place to share our expertise around gardening with a disability or barrier.

We are proud of all that Get Gardening has achieved since launch.

Get Gardening year 1 figures
Get Gardening a year in numbers infographic

At the end of the first year, there are:

  • Around 215 guides available
  • More than 115,000 people accessing the information online (around 40% of who have a disability of long-term health condition)
  • Almost 370,000 pages viewed
  • 4,500 members of our Gardening Club

We also have a rolling survey in place, so we can keep taking feedback and improving the service as needed.

Get Gardening rolling survey results web
Get gardening survey results infographic

Respondents tell us:

  • 98% could find the information they were looking for
  • 92% feel they have a better understanding of how gardening can improve their health
  • 98% have put into practice / intend to put into practice what they have learnt
  • 83% with a disability or long-term health condition think the information has enabled the removal of barriers to gardening

Within Get Gardening, we have a number of guides offering advice for individuals with specific disabilities and health conditions. We have worked together with a number of other charities and individuals to create and share these.

These collaborations have been invaluable to help ensure the advice is accurate, suitable and accessible for those who need it and to help spread awareness.

Also, thank you to the Stroke Association for sharing ideas on stroke recovery.

Of the many guides on Get Gardening, there have been some stand-out favourites. These are your top 5 most read in the last year.

1. Chitting potatoes

Chitting potatoes

Chitting or sprouting potatoes is a fun activity to do. It is simply the process of forcing seed potatoes into growth before they are planted out.

Find out more

2. Plants to help ease the mind

Plants to help ease the mind

Constantly seeing and being around plants help us feel more calm and relaxed, thus decreasing levels of anxiety. In this article we look at some of our favourite plants which can help to improve our mental health.

Find out more

3. Why gardening is good for your mental health

Why gardening is good for your mental health

Gardens are special spaces. They can improve our wellbeing in many ways, helping us feel calm or giving a sense of purpose.

Find out more

4. Sowing sweet peas and broad beans in toilet rolls

Sowing sweet peas and broad beans in toilet rolls

Sweet peas and broad bean seeds are best sown in deep pots. This guide looks at using toilet rolls as a cheap, eco-friendly method.

Find out more

5. Plant a living willow structure

Plant a living willow structure

In this article we will show you how to plant and maintain a living willow structure in your garden.

Find out more

Our aim in creating Get Gardening is to support and improve the health and wellbeing of as many people as possible. So, there is nothing better than hearing your positive feedback and stories after using it.

Here are some of the things you have shared with us:

“I'm currently suffering from severe mental health and off sick … after reading your post I took up gardening to help my condition. Gardening has changed my life.”

Survey respondent

“I have found a wealth of information about tools and methods of working to help people with specific disabilities. As someone with mobility issues I could not recommend it more highly. It is easy to use and offers loads of really good advice.”

Thrive programme participant

“I joined a local community allotment group after visiting your site. This has helped with my mental health ... I can also recommend to our group the information and advice you give on your site for things to do through the seasons in the garden.”

Survey respondent

In June 2023, we were also proud to be selected as a finalist in the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards, in the category of ‘Inclusive Health.’

Ability Net logo web centre
AbilityNet finalist logo

It has been a great first year for Get Gardening. There is still plenty more we hope to do, though. We are looking to expand the advice available, hopefully working with more partners, so we can support people with an even wider range of health conditions.

We are also continually reviewing the ways we share information, to help bring you advice in the format you would most like it.

Thank you to everyone who has supported Get Gardening in its first year.

Share your feedback

Have you made use of Get Gardening? Share your feedback with us! Whether it’s something you enjoyed or an idea for how we can make it better, we’d love to hear from you.

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