Skip to content

Gardening – Hands On

Intended Audience

All members including people living with cancer, family members and significant caregivers.

Program Description

Let’s get growing! In this extensive gardening series, you are invited to discover (or accentuate) your green thumb and unearth the deep well of joy that comes from planting, nurturing, and watching things blossom and grow. We offer informative sessions on annuals and perennials; vegetables and herbs; seeds, soils and fertilizers; indoor and outdoor growing, and harvesting your bounty. You can even learn how to make a flower arrangement and how to prepare your trees, shrubs and perennials for the fall and winter. Then move on to other plant and gardening pursuits while there is snow on the ground.

Benefits and Impact

Gardening has been studied as a form of therapy, and research has demonstrated that it can result in benefits such as improved anxiety, cognitive function, and quality of life (Soga et al., 2016). Several cancer-specific studies have noted similar trends and have additionally found that horticulture therapy can result in improved physical functioning, mental health, and vegetable consumption (Bail et al., 2018; Blair et al., 2013; Spees et al., 2015). Exposure to nature can also be an important part of the lives of people living with cancer. Engaging with nature has been reported to improve quality of life, fatigue, and anxiety in those with cancer (Nakau et al., 2013; Blaschke, 2017). 

What to Expect at a Session

Each season you can choose from a variety of topics, which might include some instruction and education, some demonstrations (in person and online), some opportunities to plant together, and plenty of fun garden banter. The leader will invite questions and offer information specific to your interests and your growing zone.

Program Details



Related Programs


Yoga is an ancient and well-known practice encompassing a wide variety of poses and postures that promote flexibility, strength, and balance, while bringing awareness to breath and mindful presence. There are many different types of yoga practices but all share the common...

Fly Fishing

In this seven-week expertly guided program, members are taught to observe the ‘mysteries beneath the surface,’ cultivate a mutual respect for and understanding of fishing and the natural habitat of river fauna, forge a meaningful connection with nature, and understand...

Pole Walking

Pole walking combines cardiovascular activity with vigorous motion that engages the shoulders, core, arms, and legs. Members are offered tips and guidance to master the proper technique, while enjoying the social aspects of their Wellspring community.

Mindfulness Based Cancer Recovery

MBCR is a 10-week program that introduces participants to a range of meditation and yoga techniques to help train them to use these practices to achieve a sense of calmness and acceptance of what is.