Our team had a fantastic day at Stanley Park with Cliff. We started it with a mindful stretch on the beach that relaxed our mind and body and opened our senses. We then proceeded to an adventurous walk in the forest, exploring secret hideaways and venturing the less-taken paths. We shared stories and learned how to incorporate nature into self-care. Being in nature itself is very therapeutic, and we cannot think of a better way to learn and experience improving our mental and physical well-being.  We all need a day like that, and Cliff helped us to see how easy and possible we can make it happen!

J. Chen – Children, Parenting  and Youth Programs, MOSAIC

What is Therapeutic Horticulture (TH)?

TH is the purposeful use of plants and plant-related activities to promote health and wellness for an individual or group. A TH program leader is trained to use horticulture to promote well-being in others.

Source: Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association (CHTA)

20190517_124620Connecting with nature is healing, grounding, and an opportunity to experience mindfulness. A walk out in nature can stimulate the senses, provide escape from technostress, and help restore attention and focus. Spending time connecting with nature is one important way we can all look after ourselves and feel better for it.

KEEPING NATURE IN MIND is a horticultural and nature-based wellness session for both individuals and groups. Sessions are customized to meet individual or group needs and provide opportunity to get exercise outdoors, socialize with others, express creativity, and increase your awareness of the environment around us. Each session is facilitated in a structured and safe manner.

Cliff 20181012 Opa 1My own connection with horticulture began more than 15 years ago when I completed a Horticulture and Landscape Design Certificate program at Capilano University in North Vancouver BC. Since then I’ve gained experience through a variety of horticultural roles including as a seasonal gardener with the District of West Vancouver, an instructor of container gardening workshops and designer of art pieces for the garden. In my own garden, I have a passion for growing and harvesting herbs, and then using them for therapeutic and culinary purposes.

In 2019, I completed the Horticultural Therapy (HT) Certificate program and then a HT Internship under the supervision of Ann Kent HTM, a registered horticultural therapist. Currently I’m in the process of applying for recognition as a Horticultural Therapist Registered (HTR) with the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association (CHTA).


Everyone can benefit from TH programming including special population groups such as

  • stroke, spinal chord and physical disabilities
  • traumatic brain injury
  • mental illness including depression, anxiety and substance dependency
  • developmental disabilities
  • at-risk children and youth
  • elderly
  • offender rehabilitation
  • employees at risk for burnout

Email/call me to schedule a KEEPING NATURE IN MIND session for you or your group.

Cliff Thorbes

(604) 684 – 0584