Mind, Body & Soil™
Online Series

Series summary

This online therapeutic horticulture series is designed to take you on a wellness journey, connecting Mind, Body & Soil™. Therapeutic Horticulture harnesses the healing power of plants to enhance mental well-being and foster social connections. 

The virtual, hands-on series is co-facilitated by Horticultural Therapist Katie McGillivray and Therapeutic Horticulture Practitioner Kristin Topping. 

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting to explore the world of plants, this series offers a welcoming space for all. Each one-hour session aims to foster learning, community and a deeper appreciation for the natural world. Here’s what you can expect in our weekly sessions.

Week 1: Kitchen Gardening

Learn about seed saving while reflecting on your surroundings. You will assess both your internal landscape and the environment around you, mindfully creating a safe and nurturing space for your well-being.

Week 2: Choices in the Garden

Explore the relationship between plants and learn how to make choices in the garden. From companion planting to understanding color theory, discover how to express and understand your emotions through nature’s palette.

Week 3: Seed Starting & Goal Setting

Dig into the world of garden choices as you sow seeds. Learn to evaluate your space and establish meaningful goals for both your garden and personal growth.

Week 4: Plants & People | Cultivating Connection

Delve into the symbiotic relationship between plant care and self-care while nurturing your plants and yourself.

Week 5: Transition & Change

Embrace the beauty of change as we explore the process of transplanting and handling life’s transitions. Just as plants adapt and thrive, discover your inner resilience.

Course Details

This series includes:

  • Five virtual one-hour co-facilitated sessions
  • Access to series slides and other resources for 30 days

We love hearing from you!

Meet your factilitators

Katie McGillivray, HTR

Katie (she/her) is a Registered Horticultural Therapist (HTR) and a member of the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association. A strong advocate of asset-based community development and reflective practice, Katie has been supporting therapeutic horticulture projects and programs for a wide variety of populations since 2014.

Katie completed her horticultural therapy certificate with Ann Kent and was proud to “build her own degree” in therapeutic horticulture, completing a minor in counselling and majoring in general studies, focusing on courses in horticulture, agriculture, psychology and research. Katie is passionate about increasing access to therapeutic horticulture in communities and facilitates regular in-person and virtual sessions. Her approach is collaborative, client-centred and strengths-based.

Katie is also a major foodie and her work in therapeutic horticulture often intersects with community food security and food justice work. When not in the garden, Katie loves cooking, entertaining and paddle boarding.

Kristin Topping

Kristin (she/her) is a twenty-two-year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces where she achieved success as an engineer, academic and educator. She retired in July 2020, opening Sweetlife Flora, an e-commerce tropical plant shop. With each year that Sweetlife Flora has been open, the team has tailored and curated their operations becoming more eco-friendly by reducing their annual cumulative carbon footprint.

Her first book, Propagated from the Ashes, chronicled her recovery from a significant brain injury that shifted her life’s direction, focus and purpose. In 2021, Kristin was the recipient of the prestigious Prince’s Trust International, Aga Khan Foundation Group Award– and had the opportunity to meet the future King of England.

Now, aside from running Sweetlife Flora, Kristin is also a Horticulturalist, a Horticulture Therapy Practitioner and is a few months away from completing training as a Landscape Designer. She has a passion for the ‘Permaculture Movement’ and intends to use her knowledge to encourage responsible land management through efficient use of human energy, sustainability, and self-reliance.

Kristin’s interest in community-based horticulture began with her own journey to recovery and she hopes to extend the gift of Mindful Horticulture® to others.

The materials you will need for full participation are:

  • Fruits and/or vegetables that you can harvest seeds from (pepper, tomato, etc.)
  • Plate for drying seeds on
  • Nursery or fibre pots for planting seeds
  • A mixing bowl (for soil preparation)
  • Garden soil and water
  • Spoon or another scooping utensil
  • Optional: pen/paper/coloring materials


Yes! These sessions are designed for everyone with no pre-requisites.

Yes! Please see our student rate above. This is available to full-time students only.

We were hoping to have a Canadian price and an US price. However, our software (MemberPress) is only able to process one currency. Since the course is offered internationally, and the US dollar is widely recognized worldwide, we chose that currency and set the price at the US dollar equivalent of our intended Canadian price.

If you have more than five people who would like to join the series, please contact us at courses@rootinnature.ca to arrange a discount code. 

Yes – we have several versions of this series, ranging from a one-hour version to 30 minute sessions with no materials. Please contact Alexis at alexis@rootinnature.ca for more information and to schedule. 

Join the Community

GrowTH – Grow Therapeutic Horticulture is a supportive online international community of horticultural therapists, practitioners, and other professionals delivering plant and nature-rooted sessions.
1 Benefits for Clients
2 Benefits for Practitioners
Benefits for Clients

Benefits for Clients

Practitioners can benefit from using plants and nature in their therapeutic approach in several ways:

  1. Enhancing the environment: Plants and nature create a calming and relaxing environment that can promote wellness and enhance the overall atmosphere of a therapy session. 
  2. Reducing stress: Exposure to plants and nature has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels, which is beneficial for individuals who are experiencing mental health conditions or chronic illnesses.
  3. Improving physical health: Spending time in nature and around plants can promote physical activity and exercise. Recreation therapists can incorporate therapeutic horticulture activities into their therapy sessions to promote physical health.
  4. Boosting mood: Being in nature and around plants can boost mood and help individuals feel more positive and optimistic. This can be especially helpful for individuals who are experiencing depression or other mood disorders.
  5. Promoting social connections: Group therapeutic horticulture sessions can provide opportunities for social interaction and connection, as well as promote bonding and create a sense of community.
Benefits for Practitioners

Benefits for Practitioners

Practitioners such as recreation therapists may benefit from taking therapeutic horticulture training for several reasons: 

  1. Specialized knowledge: Root in Nature’s training program provides specialized knowledge and skills related to using plants, gardening, and nature as therapeutic tools. This can help recreation therapists better understand the therapeutic benefits of horticulture and how to effectively incorporate it into their therapy sessions.

  2. Professional development: Training in therapeutic horticulture can be a valuable form of professional development for practitioners. It can enhance their skills and knowledge, making them more effective in their role as a therapist.

  3. Expanded therapy options: With therapeutic horticulture training, recreation therapists can expand the range of therapy options they can offer their clients. Incorporating plants and nature into their sessions can provide clients with unique and effective therapeutic experiences.

  4. Improved client outcomes: Horticultural therapy has been shown to be effective in improving a range of outcomes for clients, including mental health, physical health, and overall quality of life. By taking Root in Nature’s training, recreation therapists can learn how to effectively use horticulture to improve their clients' outcomes.