BC Landscape

Horticultural Therapy

Our Horticultural Therapy programmes are held at the Imbabali Horticultural Training College in Hekpoort, situated in Hekpoort on the R560 on the outside of the Cradle of Mankind World Heritage Site. The College is set in 25 hectares of farmland, nestled under the Magaliesberg mountain range and bordered by the Klein Magalies River. The College has modern facilities, allowing the delivery of practical tuition.


Horticultural Therapy is the use of plants and gardens for human healing and rehabilitation. It is an ancient practice which was originated in the 19th century by Dr Benjamin Rush, who saw the benefits of working with plants for his patients. These programmes are now common in the Western World, although it is not well known in South Africa.


A 5 day Horticultural Therapy retreat, where you are exposed to basic horticultural disciplines, such as growing herbs, taking plant cuttings, planting cuttings, sowing seeds and cultural gardening activities, for food gardens and ornamental plants. The emphasis will be placed on you working practically with plants, which offers you an opportunity to reconnect with nature. A good standard of self-catering accommodation is available.


We offer two Horticultural Therapy programmes that are targeted at corporate executives/management and individuals who would benefit from the therapeutic properties of Horticultural Therapy, which is also known as Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH).

Corporate Executives and Management

This 5 day break will offer Corporate Executives and Management the opportunity to de-stress and reconnect with nature, allowing them to relax and re-evaluate their commitment to their Company as well as being able to balance their life with their stressful working commitments.

During their stay, they will be exposed to working physically in a horticultural environment as well as gaining knowledge on environmental issues such as Environmental Protection and Global Warming etc.

Individuals with Stress Related Disorders

We offer a 5 or 10 day working retreat, where individuals will be exposed to the therapeutic benefits of working with plants. It will offer them the benefit of being able to manage their physical or mental condition. During the programme, the person will learn about the importance of balancing their lifestyle, in conjunction with healthy nutrition. The programme will also incorporate therapeutic instruction in the benefits of meditation, positive thinking and metamorphosis.

The Location

The retreat is situated in a tranquil country setting in natural bushveld (Hekpoort, Gauteng Province). The property has abundant birdlife, nature walks and a working plant production nursery and garden.

The Horticulturist and Tutor – Mr Robert Carrington

Robert Carrington has more than 37 years’ experience in the Horticultural industry. He received his Diploma in Horticulture from the Royal Botanical Gardens (Kew, London) in 1976 and his Masters in Horticulture at the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens (Wisley, England) in 1978.

Having studied the benefits of Horticultural Therapy, he decided to introduce these benefits in South Africa.