Nature can benefit mental health, but hands-on gardening has rarely been used as part of end-of-life care – until now
There are an awful lot of things that go through your mind when you know you’re not going to get better,” says Pamela Bolt, 87, who lives with a terminal heart condition. “It’s difficult to come to terms with these things if you’re alone.”
As Bolt says this, however, she is not alone. She is sitting at the head of a table surrounded by other people. In front of her are flower pots, ivy and a bowl of soil. She spends the next hour arranging and planting the bulbs and flowers, watering them and hearing other people’s life stories.
Bolt is taking part in a session of social and therapeutic horticulture (STH) at Phyllis Tuckwell hospice care in Farnham, Surrey. Those around the table all have different life-limiting conditions and illnesses, including dementia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).