University of Maryland Extension

Therapeutic Horticulture

Welcome to Therapeutic Horticulture!

Theraputic Horticulture in action!
Photo by Lisa Diamond

We are a community outreach activity with over 20 weekly and monthly on-going programs in Montgomery County.  Most of these are at senior assisted living residences and nursing homes and several are in gardens, including the Derwood Demo Garden, which serves two autistic youth groups. 

The goal of our programs is to bring a hands-on experience in the garden or with nature to a target audience who are either no longer able to be outside gardening or need assistance to do so. Through projects incorporating plants, flowers, vegetables and herbs and focusing on the seasonal changes in our local environment, we hope to invigorate their senses, promote their awareness of the natural world around them, and to foster creativity and socialization.

Whether making a floral arrangement of fresh or dried flowers, planting seeds in a garden bed, growing lettuces in a salad box, pressing flowers for bookmarks, or potting up houseplants, every project has an educational component with a specific topic and theme which master gardeners present to accompany the physical work product. 

A dedicated group of over 100 master gardeners put boundless energy into these programs hoping to inspire and bring a meaningful experience to the people we serve.

Theraputic Horticulture in action!
Photo by Lisa Diamond

Click here to see a short video featuring our Therapeutic Horticulture Program which was created for Montgomery County Cable TV.

Click here to read an article about our Therapeutic Horticulture program from the MCMG newsletter, The Seed, October issue, located on page 5

Click here to view our Therapeutic Horticulture shared site on Shutterfly where we display and archive photos and descriptions of the monthly projects from our 20+ programs, and where, during the growing season, weekly updates and photos show the status/progress of flowers that are grown specifically for our programs in the MG Demonstration Garden in Derwood, MD.

Therapeutic Horticulture Program Schedule by Site

Asbury Methodist Village (Assisted Living)

Gaithersburg (2nd Wed 3:15pm)

Bartholomew House (Assisted Living) Bethesda (2nd Tuesday, 2:00pm)

Brighton Gardens, Dementia Unit 

Friendship Heights (1st and 3rd Wednesday 2:15pm) Mar - Dec

Brighton Gardens, Assisted Living 

Friendship Heights (1st and 3rd Wednesday 1:00pm) Mar - Dec

Brooke Grove Retirement Village  (Assisted Living) The Woods 

Sandy Spring (2nd Thursday 10:45am Alternating months Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Nov)

Brooke Grove Retirement Village  (Assisted Living) The Meadows

Sandy Spring (2nd Thursday 10:45am Alternating months Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec)

Byron House Assisted Living

Potomac (3rd Thursday 2:00pm)

Friends House Assisted Living

Sandy Spring (Last Tuesday 3:00pm)

Friends House Garden, Independent Living

Sandy Spring (Tuesdays in season 9:00am - 11:30am)

Friends House Nursing Home

Sandy Spring (Last Tuesday 2:00pm)

Grace House Assisted Living

Silver Spring (2nd Wednesday 11:00am)

Holiday Park Senior Center Activities Room

This Plant Room is open on Tuesdays and Fridays (9:00am to noon) weekly. MG’s staff it and act as mentors to other volunteers there. In addition they are available to anyone who comes to the room for plant advice. Plants are propagated and grown here and are sold at the center to sustain the program. Occasional group classes on plant propagation and growing are offered.

Plants are available to members of the Therapeutic Horticulture Committee (for a minimal fee) for use in their programs

Kensington Nursing and Rehabilitation Center  (Nursing Home)

Kensington (3rd Thursday 2:15pm)

Landow House (Assisted Living)

Rockville (1st Tuesday 1:30pm)

Layhill Center (Nursing Home)

Silver Spring (2nd Thursday 2:30pm)

Manor Care Burtonsville

Burtonsville (3rd Tuesday, 2:30pm)

Marian House Assisted Living

Brookeville (2nd Tuesday 1:00pm)

Master Gardener Demonstration Garden (Community Services for Autistic adults and children Gardening Group)

Derwood (Tuesdays 10:30am during growing season, and additional projects)

Master Gardener Demonstration Garden (Autistic Youth Group. Sheppard Pratt Services)

Derwood (Tuesdays 11:15am during growing season, and additional projects)

Raphael House Assisted Living

Rockville (2nd Thursday, 2:00pm)


Wilson Healthcare at Asbury

Gaithersburg (3rd Wednesday 10:30am)

For more information on these programs or to inquire about a new program contact Therapeutic Horticulture co-chairs, Lisa Diamond and Wendy Band or the Master Gardener Program at the Montgomery County Extension offices.

Lisa Diamond -
Wendy Band -
Master Gardener Extension Office - 301-590-2842

Theraputic Horticulture in action!
Photo by Lisa Diamond

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