Getting your hands dirty – horticulture skills in therapeutic settings


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Presenters: Doug and Carol Twentyman

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Targeting those new to gardening in an Australian therapeutic setting.

There is so much to discuss but we will spend some time on:

– Work health and safety

– Tools

– Growing media – soils, potting mixes and propagation mixes

– Propagating a selection of plants that are useful in a therapeutic garden setting

– Plant maintenance including nutrition, pruning and correct watering techniques

Doug and Carol have, together, close to 60 years’ experience working in horticultural related fields. Doug has owned a production nursery, been a landscaper and taught horticulture at TAFE for over 25 years with the last 5 being Head Teacher of Horticulture. Doug is a regular presenter on Newcastle ABC Radio Gardening Talk Back.

Carol’s background is in retail nursery, she taught horticulture at TAFE for 16 years. Carol has partnered with Lake Macquarie City Council’s Ageing and Disability Support to deliver programs for their over 55’s and disability programs and participated in a research project involving therapeutic horticulture for people living with dementia and their carers.

Doug Twentyman

Doug lives in Lake Macquarie, NSW and has been involved in horticulture for over 40 years as a partner in a wholesale propagation nursery, horticulture teacher, garden maintenance, design and horticultural consultant.  The inclusion of horticulture into therapeutic applications over the last 4 or 5 years has provided an avenue of great interest and enthusiasm. 

Particular areas of interest in horticulture and nature-based activities include training of allied health workers into sustainable outdoor activity practises across all sectors. Of particular interest is aged care, mental health and community gardens with the inclusivity these settings bring to enhancing people’s lives.

Carol Twentyman

Carol lives in Lake Macquarie, NSW and has been practicing horticulture for over 25 years, including many years as a horticulture educator.  She is a partner in Twentyman Horticultural Consultants and is passionate about the therapeutic benefits of gardens and gardening for people of all capabilities.

Carol has participated in and is enthusiastic about therapeutic horticulture research and application.  She has delivered therapeutic horticulture workshops and social garden activities in the Lake Macquarie/Newcastle region as well as volunteering at a day respite centre for people with dementia.   Carol has a particular interest in working with seniors, aged care and the aged care with dementia sectors.

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