612 612

Gardening through Winter by Cath Manuel

29 May, 2020

On a lovely sunny day in Winter it’s wonderful to enjoy time out in the garden, but as the winter winds hit and frosty days arrive residents and staff could be reluctant to venture into the garden for activities.

To continue with gardening programs and grow some fresh food through the coming months, here’s a few activities to continue to enjoy through Winter.

  • Showy Shoe Planters – Growing a range of plants in old boots and shoes. Ask participants to bring a pair of their old boots or find some unique shoes at your local op shop (I once found gold glittered Ugg boots to grow flowers in!)
  • Growing Potted Herbs – plant a range of perennial herbs into terracotta pots to harvest for kitchen staff to add to warming soups! Try thyme, oregano, tarragon, chives and parsley. Choose seedlings or small pots of herbs for potting into larger pots and group a few herbs together in large pots.
  • Potting Bulbs – Planting flowering bulbs into low ‘squat’ pots to enjoy flowers in Springtime.
  • Creating Mini Succulent Gardens – In a decorative dish or pot, grow a range of succulents and finish off with coloured pebbles.
  • Painting Plant Labels – A fun way to make crafty re-usable plant labels for gardens. Download the Activity Guide
  • Ephemeral Nature Art – Creating beautiful ‘short lived’ pieces of art using items gathered in nature.

For extra ideas on Container Gardens please read my article from August 2019 here

Tips for table-top activities:

  • these activities are suitable for all abilities
  • choose a well-ventilated area to reduce dust particles from organic materials.
  • ensure potting mix is dampened prior to placing on tables and only refill trays with potting mix away from the table and participants.
  • if possible, start activity with participants standing for extra physical benefit, then allow them to sit as needed.
  • place some items slightly out of reach to offer an opportunity for participants to have small safe movements around table or to ask others to pass an item. This also helps with social interaction.
  • participants are encouraged to bring their own empty containers and plants to the activities.
  • follow safety practices and include PPE in all activities.

Are you interested in more gardening ideas?

Download a list of Winter Gardening Activities here.

To gather more guidance and resources for fun and meaningful gardening activities find the Soil to Supper Seasonal Gardening Programs here. Includes weekly activities, activity guides, session plans, videos and more! (currently available at a reduced price)

If you have any questions about gardening activities or growing food in-house please contact me – cath@soiltosupper.com

Growing with you,


Cath Manuel is a Horticultural Consultant specialising in therapeutic gardening and kitchen gardens. She is the Founder of Soil to Supper which provides online programs and onsite services nationally. Cath has many years’ experience in the horticulture industry and has a great passion for sharing her knowledge to inspire people of all ages and abilities to enjoy gardening activities and grow fresh food.

Find more on therapeutic gardening at www.soiltosupper.com