Denver Botanic Gardens is hosting a weekly video conference series titled “Therapeutic Thursdays.” The webinar intends to guide participants on ways to connect with plants in their lives. The series is led by two of Denver Botanic Gardens’ horticulture therapists, Angie Andrade and Catharine McCord.
Plant-based therapy is the practice of using plants to improve mental and physical health. According to the American Horticultural Therapy Organization, it can be used to improve memory, cognitive abilities, language skills and socialization. Many have found these therapy sessions to be beneficial and calming in stressful times.
“With Therapeutic Thursdays we are hoping to foster our connection with our community when we aren’t able to open the doors to Gardens,” McCord said. “Our goal is to offer a weekly program that is educational, entertaining and provides engaging activities that people can use daily as they interact with what’s blooming outside their doors.”
McCord hopes that the webinar will allow people to identify with their community during the current time of physical distancing. Community members are encouraged to come together, share stories and engage in activities all while sharing their love of plants.
Past “Therapeutic Thursday” topics have included tips on houseplant care and studies on tree lifespans. However, “Therapeutic Thursdays” is scheduled for more weekly sessions. If you’re interested in growing rosebushes — Andrade will host a webinar on May 7 in which she discusses rose care and how roses are metaphors for our own lives. If you’re a fan of tea — then register for the webinar on May 14 — where you’ll learn all about herbal tea blending. If you’re just in need of some guided meditation — you can virtually walk through the gardens on a meditative plant walk.
“This program was designed to continue our goal of connecting people with plants,” Andrade said. “Plants and nature are an accessible tool for everyone right now to help us slow down and connect with something outside the daily stresses of the world today.”
For those interested in learning more about the webinar — more information and weekly topics can be found on the Denver Botanic Gardens’ website. Each virtual session is held Thursdays at 2 p.m. The cost of registration is $8 per session, $5 for Denver Botanic Gardens’ members. All sessions are recorded for participants to watch again afterward — which is also useful for those who register for a session but cannot make the scheduled time. People of all ages are welcome to participate and only one registration is required per household.