The Garden Cure

Jan Cameron

Jan Cameron has worked in therapeutic and community gardens for 40 years and has seen first-hand in many different contexts how gardening directly benefits our health. Jan has clocked up three years as a community education/youth worker; ten years working in residential school for distressed children; 25 years work in mental health training gardens and six years working in community gardens.

The Garden Cure, her first book, is set to be the primary resource on this important subject.


The Garden Cure

Cultivating our well-being and growth

by Jan Cameron

  • RRP: £9.99 (print) / £4.99 (ebook)
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781912235872
  • Ebook ISBN: 9781912235995

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This is a story of gardens and how people can grow well in them. Through a lifetime’s experience of award-winning work in community gardens and in mental health care and training, Cameron shows us how tending green spaces can bring tremendous benefits to mental health. Using the garden’s annual cycle, she reveals how stages of the growing year can act as a powerful metaphor and even mirror healing mechanisms that can help in times of distress, anxiety or depression. By exploring practices used in therapeutic and community garden settings we learn techniques that can be applied whatever your circumstances. The Garden Cure is full of ideas and tools that will help support your own and others’ physical and mental well-being, especially when life is challenging. How, in other words, gardening helps us all grow and thrive.

REVIEWS OF The Garden Cure

“A fantastic resource … Down to earth and powerful.” Julia Duncan, The Conservation Volunteers

“Full of inspiration with ideas and suggestions we can all use to carry us through these challenging times.” Jenny Mollison, The Scotsman

“Jan Cameron has distilled more than forty years of experience of working with groups in gardens and outdoors into a book full of wisdom and very sound advice … [The book is] as useful and as accessible to those who have mental health problems themselves as it is to those who guide them.” Reforesting Scotland Journal

“I would recommend The Garden Cure to both colleagues and users of the NHS. It explores both the therapeutic benefits and the joys of gardening. It captures and reflects on real people’s journeys, whilst exploring the relationship between wellness and illness … This book is an excellent reflection tool for anybody wishing to enhance lives by social prescribing.” Dr K Jones, Director, Salford Health Matters; Clinical Lead, Greater Manchester Training Hub (Dr Jones has been active in social prescribing at an allotment dedicated to this purpose since 2007)

“The Garden Cure is the book many community gardeners and anyone interested in gardening and good mental health have been waiting for … moving, insightful … Packed with real life stories and insights from the author's decades of experience working in the field … this book will be an invaluable read for anyone working alongside others in a garden setting …I will refer to it for many years to come.” Louisa Evans, Scotland Development Worker, Social Farms and Gardens

"Combines expertise and wisdom about gardening and mental health … an invaluable source of ideas and metaphors for anyone working in either field … offers stories of people for whom gardening proved lifesaving ... As GPs are exploring more options for social prescribing, this book provides good evidence to prescribe gardening." Dr Lesley Morrison, tutor, Edinburgh University Medical School and retired GP

"People involved in therapeutic and community gardens will find this book an invaluable guide to creating gardens and groups that offer maximum benefit to everyone involved. Both rookie and expert gardeners will see their vocation in a fascinating new light. For every reader, gardener or not, this book offers a wealth of profoundly thought-provoking ideas about what it means to be well and live well." Fiona Thackeray, Head of Operations & Development at Trellis Scotland