Plant Care = Self Care: Mind, Body & Soil™ Series

From the gentle act of seed saving, the mindful practice of companion planting and the resilience found in the face of change during transplanting, each step of plant care offers a moment for reflection, growth, and connection that ultimately promotes self-care.

Led by experienced instructors Katie and Kristin, our Mind, Body & Soil™ Therapeutic Horticulture series will guide you through gardening and therapeutic horticulture practices, inviting you to cultivate not only a flourishing garden but also a deeper connection with yourself.

In this blog post, we take a look at the different topics covered in our Mind, Body & Soil™ including the phases of seed starting, growth, and transplanting and explore how these activities contribute to your own self-care.

Table of Contents

seed starting and mindfulness

Seed Saving & Kitchen Gardening: Nurturing Well-Being

Seed saving opens up a world of self-reflection and mindfulness. When we take the time to carefully select and preserve seeds from our plants, we immerse ourselves in the intricate rhythms of nature’s life cycle. It’s a process that encourages us to slow down, observe, and appreciate the small wonders around us. This mindful practice not only strengthens our connection to the natural world but also prompts us to reflect on our own growth and resilience. In the moments spent tending to seeds, we feel a grounded sense of purpose, nurturing both the earth and our own well-being.

Regrowing plants from kitchen scraps is a sustainable practice that also  fosters mindfulness and enhances wellness. As we repurpose discarded kitchen scraps into thriving plants, we engage in a process that invites us to slow down and connect with the food that we eat. Each step, from selecting suitable scraps to nurturing their growth, becomes an opportunity for presence and joy. Through this practice, we not only cultivate new life but also cultivate a deeper awareness of our interconnectedness with nature and our own well-being.

Week one of our Mind, Body & Soil™ course will focus on all aspects of Kitchen gardening. Course instructors Katie and Kristin will teach you how to reflect on your surroundings during the process of seed saving. You will assess both your internal landscape and the environment around you, mindfully creating a safe and nurturing space for your well-being.

Learn more about the Mind, Body & Soil™ course here or take a look at our short promo video below.

Choices in the Garden: Self-Expression & Emotional Connection

Companion Planting

Companion planting is a gardening practice that involves planting different types of plants together in a way that benefits one another. This technique is based on the idea that certain plants can enhance each other’s growth, repel pests, attract beneficial insects, and improve soil fertility when grown in close proximity. Companion planting takes advantage of the natural symbiotic relationships between plants, creating a more balanced and resilient ecosystem in the garden. For example, planting aromatic herbs like basil or lavender alongside vegetables can help deter pests, while nitrogen-fixing plants like legumes can enrich the soil for neighbouring crops. 

Companion planting requires attention and mindfulness to the needs of each plant and the relationships between them. This practice encourages individuals to be present in the moment, focusing on the task at hand and cultivating a sense of mindfulness that can carry over into other areas of life. It also allows for experimentation and creativity in designing garden layouts and combinations of plant species. This creative process can be both satisfying and therapeutic, providing an outlet for self-expression and imagination.

Colour Theory

Colour theory in the garden refers to the understanding and intentional use of colours to create harmonious and visually appealing outdoor spaces. It involves selecting and arranging plants based on their colours to evoke specific emotions, set moods, and enhance the overall aesthetic of the garden. The GrowTH Network Activity Database has lots of great colour-themed activities to explore!

Understanding colour theory in the garden can help individuals connect with their emotions in several ways:

  • Self-expression: By intentionally selecting plants with colours that resonate with their emotions, individuals can express themselves and create outdoor spaces that reflect their inner feelings and moods.
  • Emotional connection: Certain colours may evoke specific emotions or memories for individuals. By incorporating these colours into the garden, we can create spaces that evoke positive emotions and provide a sense of comfort and calm.
  • Mood enhancement: By using colours strategically in the garden, individuals can create environments that support their emotional well-being. For example, incorporating calming, cool colours in areas designated for relaxation can help create a tranquil atmosphere conducive to stress relief and mindfulness.

During week two of our Mind, Body & Soil™ course, Katie and Kristin will help you explore the relationship between plants and learn how to make choices in the garden. From companion planting to understanding colour theory, discover how to express and understand your emotions through nature’s palette.

plant care equals self care

Seed Starting & Goal Setting: Intention & Purpose

As we carefully sow seeds and provide them with the right conditions to thrive, we are reminded of the power of intention and purpose. Similarly, in life, setting goals is like planting seeds for our future aspirations. Just as we select the best seeds and create the perfect environment for germination, setting meaningful goals involves identifying our hope, passions and values, and creating a plan to achieve them. 

As we watch our seeds sprout and grow, we are inspired to take action and cultivate our dreams. Like tending to seedlings, achieving our goals requires patience, dedication and perseverance. Through the process of seed starting, we learn valuable lessons about resilience, adaptability, and the importance of nurturing our ambitions.

During week three of our Mind, Body & Soil™ course, Katie and Kristin explore the choices you make as you sow seeds. You will learn to evaluate your space and establish meaningful goals for both your garden and your own personal growth.

If you’re interested in learning more about seed starting but not sure how or where to start, download our ‘Seed Starting Activity Starter Pack’ which contains five complimentary seed starting activities.


Plant Care: Cultivating Connection

Caring for plants goes beyond just tending to their physical needs, it creates a symbiotic relationship between plant care and self-care. As we nurture our plants, we also nurture ourselves, cultivating a sense of mindfulness, compassion, and connection to the natural world. 

The act of watering, pruning, and nurturing plants requires us to slow down and be present in the moment, offering a therapeutic respite from the stresses of daily life. In return, caring for our plants nourishes our own well-being, giving us a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and inner peace. Just as we provide our plants with the care and attention they need to thrive, we also learn to prioritize self-care and nurture our own growth and vitality.

During week four of our Mind, Body & Soil™ course, Katie and Kristin delve into the symbiotic relationship between plant care and self-care while nurturing your plants and yourself.

connection with plants

Transplanting: Embracing Transition & Change

When we begin the process of transplanting plants, it is a metaphor for navigating change and life’s transitions. Just as plants adapt and thrive when transplanted to new environments, so too can we discover our inner resilience during life’s changes. The process of transplanting requires careful preparation, gentle handling, and nurturing to ensure the plant’s successful acclimatization. It also involves acceptance that transitions can be difficult and stressful.

Similarly, navigating life’s transitions requires patience, courage, and a willingness to embrace uncertainty. As we observe the resilience of plants taking root and flourishing in their new surroundings, we are reminded of our own capacity to adapt, grow, and thrive in the face of adversity. Transplanting becomes a powerful reminder that change, though daunting, offers opportunities for personal growth and transformation.

During week five of our Mind, Body & Soil™ course, instructors Katie and Kristin embrace the beauty of change and explore the process of transplanting and handling life’s transitions.

Transplanting, transition and change

More about Mind, Body & Soil™

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.