The Wellbeing Garden with Cath Manuel

Join Horticulturist and expert organic gardener, Cath Manuel, for simple ideas and inspirations to improve health and wellbeing from plants, nature and fun gardening activities.
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The Wellbeing Garden with Cath Manuel


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Apr 11, 2017

Many people living in urban areas want to create edible gardens and grow healthy food, but think you need a LOT of space to grow.

If this is you then you’ll love this episode!

I want to share these easy methods with you as I enjoy growing this way, and although I live on a semi-rural property and have about 1 acre of space to grow, I don’t have the time to grow through all my gardens.

Over the last few years I’m getting busier with family and business and I want to enjoy my gardening time, not feel like it’s a chore!

I’ve cut back the space in my kitchen garden and now growing in smaller areas, but don’t feel so overwhelmed with it.

It really is about time you have available AND the space for growing healthy gardens!

These methods are also perfect for enjoying in an aged care home or community organisation, as gardeners can enjoy these activities together.

Also this is great if you’re renting your apartment or home and want to take your garden with you when you leave!

In this episode I’m sharing with you 5 of my favourite and simple ways to grow food, herbs or flowers in small spaces.

I’ll cover…

  • How to grow little crops from your kitchen with sprouts and micro-greens
  • Gathering a grouping of decorative pots to grow a mix of veggies, herbs and flowers
  • Ways to successfully grow fruit trees in any space
  • Growing beautiful vertical gardens
  • Ways to brighten up a dull space with hanging baskets

Plus I share my extra juicy tips for successful growing!

If you need some extra help to get growing just download my FREE eBook ‘Get Your Garden Growing’ HERE.

Here’s the links I refer –

I hope you enjoyed this episode and now inspired to create many mini gardens!


Thanks for joining me in The Wellbeing Garden, see you again next time,


Mar 10, 2017

I’m always inspired by the work of many people in the gardening and wellbeing industries, and Steven Wells is someone who inspired me towards garden therapy.

In this episode I’m joined by the wonderful Steven Wells, whose work has helped improved the health and wellbeing of many people through his rehabilitation gardening programs.

Steven is a qualified nurse and horticulturist, based in Melbourne, Australia.

His work includes positions at Austin Hospital and Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre. Steven also established a horticultural therapy program at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre.

I enjoy discussing with Steven –

  • His journey from nursing to horticulture and landscaping
  • How he commenced garden therapy programs within his workplace
  • His fabulous award for ‘Gardener of the Year 2012’ from Gardening Australia Magazine
  • Travelling to other countries as part of the Churchill Fellowship Award
  • His suggestions for commencing gardening programs in hospital and rehabilitation facilities

I have been fortunate to meet with Steven at conferences and events over the last few years and am continually inspired by the fabulous work he does and also the stunning gardens he creates.

Find Steven here…

  • On Instagram - @stevenwellsthegardener
  • Find Steven’s Churchill Fellowship Report HERE
  • Contact via email -

To learn more about gardening for health and wellbeing head to where you’ll find information on Horticultural Therapy and Organic Gardening.

I hope you enjoy this insightful episode as much as I did! 

Thanks for joining me in The Wellbeing Garden,



Feb 16, 2017

Most gardeners struggle with pests, weeds and other problems in the garden.

In this episode I’ll share a few simple things to do to ensure your plants grow and your garden thrives.

I’ll cover –

These are just a few ideas to consider doing to increase your gardening success.

If you’d like more ideas download and complete this 25 point checklist to avoid pesky garden problems.

Through the Soil to Supper Community we complete the checklist, discuss results in the forum and cover topics in monthly masterclasses.

Consider joining our Community, connect with like-minded green thumbs and grow more!

If you’d like help identifying weeds, or other plants in your garden, then join our facebook community ‘The Soil to Supper Club’ and post a photo for us to see.

For more information head to for more simple ways to grow your garden or connect HERE.

You’ll find extra info on improving soil and organic gardening in previous episodes.

Thanks for joining me in The Wellbeing Garden,



Feb 4, 2017

One of the things I love about growing food is eating it! But it’s always wonderful to chat with someone who knows so much about the health benefits of eating ‘real food’.

In this episode I’m joined by the gorgeous Jane Hutton, The Functional Foodie.

Jane is a holistic functional nutritionist, food and health writer, educator, and chef with a driving ambition to help people reach, and maintain, vibrant all round health by making nutritious, delicious food a daily habit as natural as brushing their teeth.

A lifetime love of good food and cooking combines with two decades of functional medicine and nutrition knowledge to create a way of returning to real food in a modern way, promoting real health, delicious meals and local produce – the art of functional food from The Functional Foodie.

Jane specialises in specific nutrition for mental health disruptions, ME/chronic fatigue, cancer recovery, autoimmune disorders, gut issues, hormones, ASD diet changes and reaching your happy weight. Oh, and delicious food!

She shares her simple ideas for food to eat (and enjoy) that is seasonally grown, local or home grown and how that boosts our health.

We discuss –

  • How Jane became the Functional Foodie
  • Her philosophy on real food, living a real life and enjoy real health
  • Her background in the health industry
  • How we can adopt simple methods to eat whole foods
  • How she works with clients to change eating habits and improve their health
  • The simple things we can do each day to change the food we eat

Jane also makes a wonderful offer to the our FREE  Soil to Supper Club and challenges us to change a few things we eat!

To find out more about ‘keeping it real’ listen to this fun interview, one that I thoroughly enjoyed!!

Find Jane online OR at her onsite workshops…

To learn more about growing your own ‘real food’ head to and join me and a group of passionate green thumbs in the Soil to Supper Club HERE

I’ll also share Jane’s recipe for Chia Jam and her tips for starting a food diary…which I’ll be completing and sharing in our group!

I hope you enjoy this wonderful episode as much as we did!

The Wellbeing Garden episodes available HERE.

Subscribe on iTunes.

Thanks for joining me in The Wellbeing Garden,



Jan 19, 2017

Most of us struggle with the soil in our gardens. We find it too wet, too dry, unhealthy, lacking life AND our plants aren’t growing!

In this episode I’ll share simple tips for understanding soil types, how to improve it and what to add to build a healthy layer of soil to grow a healthy garden.

The good news is ALL soil types can be improved, even the unhealthiest of dirt!

Let’s start from the ground up…

  • Soil is actually a living system. Nurture it like you would any other living things
  • Get to know your soil type. Do you have sand, clay or a healthy loam?
  • Grow more plants! Don’t leave earth uncovered as you’ll lose top soil which is important for growing. Try growing Comfrey in your garden…it has many amazing uses! Here’s a video on growing Comfrey and using Comfrey

Wherever you are located and whatever style of garden you have, follow simple methods to create healthy dirt to grow a healthy garden.

If you’re struggling with growing plants, pests in the garden or underproductive crops then consider building up your soil and you’ll notice a huge change in the health of your garden!!

If you’d like more information on growing a thriving garden then head over to and join our Club Community.

The Wellbeing Garden episodes available HERE.

Subscribe on iTunes.

Thanks for joining me in The Wellbeing Garden…now go get your hands in the dirt! ;)


Jan 4, 2017

Through my studies in Horticulture and Permaculture Design I’ve gained skills to create amazing gardens, and through the years I’ve developed simple methods to save time and money!

In this episode I share my simple methods for creating a new garden or for revamping existing gardens.

Here’s the simple steps I’ve covered…

  • When creating gardens the BEST place to start is with planning. This saves time and money! Create a vision board and add all the features and plants you’d like in your garden. Also consider how much time, money and space you have for these gardens. Create a ‘shopping list’ of the foods you enjoy eating as this helps with planning what to grow.


 “Dream BIG but start small. Make gardening a pleasure not a chore!”

  • Once you’ve planned your garden now it’s time to get your hands dirty! Time to create your garden. Follow your plans and start with paths, fences, seating and other garden elements.


Then create gardens by following a ‘no-dig’ method, set up an ‘in-garden’ compost system, plant trees and shrubs. Find links to these methods below.

  • After establishing your garden features and garden beds you can also start growing in containers.


Consider growing herbs, flowers and leafy greens. When potting use THE best potting mix you can buy and add extra fertiliser to feed plants long term.

  • The next step is to get your new plants growing! Follow the list you created of your favourite foods and start with these.


Also choose plants suitable for your climate and the current season and grow plants from seeds, seedlings or established plants.

  • Nurturing your garden is super important to keep your plants thriving and producing abundant crops.


Follow organic gardening methods, feed the soil not the plants, harvest foods regularly and observe everything going on so you can support your garden’s growth. Keep a garden kit on hand with all your favourite tools, equipment and organic garden products to save time when heading out to the garden!

Here’s links I’ve mentioned through this episode…


Want more ideas for designing your garden? Find my eBook ‘How to Design a Sustainable Garden’ or grab my free Monthly Garden Planner here -


Thanks for joining me in The Wellbeing Garden. Please contact me anytime you have any questions!

Growing with you,


Dec 20, 2016

In this episode I’m chatting with the fabulous Toni Salter, also known as The Veggie Lady.      

Toni has a passion to see organic principles adopted by everyone, encouraging people to grow organic produce anywhere, whether it’s in their backyard, hospital rehabilitation centre, day programs for people with disabilities or even mental health and aged care facilities.

Toni is a qualified horticulturist and has been teaching community education classes on organic gardening through local councils around Sydney since 2003.

Toni also spends her time running therapeutic gardening programs and developing sensory gardens through a number of community health organisations. She offers training on social and therapeutic gardening for staff, carers and volunteers working in aged care, mental health, disability, rehabilitation, schools or community gardens.

Toni has been a national councillor for the Australian Institute of Horticulture and is currently the President of Cultivate, the Horticultural Therapy Society of NSW.

Toni and I met online a few years ago and had an instant connection as our passions and interest are very much aligned. We’re like two peas from a home-grown pod!!

Through our conversation Toni shares;

  • Her journey into gardening and growing fresh food for her young family
  • Her failures at growing food then the solutions by following organic gardening principles
  • How she inspired many people to start gardening organically and began to share her knowledge with others
  • Her workshops provided throughout the Sydney districts
  • How she realised that gardening was a form of therapy through difficult times while her children were young
  • Training as a Diversional Therapist to provide therapeutic gardening programs
  • Her current position as President of Cultivate NSW
  • The national body for Horticultural Therapy in Australia

Toni also shares her top tips for starting a therapy program…

  • Find a champion to get the program started
  • Start small with a tray of herbs or potted flowers
  • Make it relevant and to mean something to gardeners
  • Let your clients lead the way
  • Have FUN!!

More information on Toni’s personal blog and her therapeutic gardening programs, workshops and resources are available at

Find Toni on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Cultivate is the peak body for horticultural therapy in NSW, and currently located at the Telopea Centre on the campus at Ryde TAFE.


Find more information on Cath’s Organic Gardening and Horticultural Therapy Programs at

Find Cath on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.


Thank you for joining us in The Wellbeing Garden!


Dec 5, 2016

Caring for our wellbeing allows us to live a healthy, happy and sustainable lifestyle.

Connecting with nature nurtures our mind, body and soul.

In this episode I’ll share simple ways to enjoy gardening to improve health and wellbeing, for yourself and others.

We’ll look at the health benefits from connecting with nature and the fun things you can do to nourish your body, mind and soul.

The benefits from nature and gardening range from –

  • Physical - burns calories, encourages weight loss, great cardio workout, improves strength and flexibility
  • Psychological – reduce stress and anxiety, beat depression and melancholy by heading outside and allow mother nature to nurture you

Helps to reduce the severity or impact from depression. Can assist in lifting the spirit or mood in people who are feeling very low.

There’s actually loads of research to back this up. Playing in the garden actually calms nerves, reduces blood pressure, decreases stress hormone cortisol and increases serotonin – the happy hormone!

  • Gardening brings JOY – It provides purpose and meaning to life. When growing and eating fresh food we are nurturing our body and soul

Home organic grown food is packed with good health AND vitality.

Grow healthy herbs like Parsley to boost your vitamin and mineral intake or Lemon Balm to relax and relieve stress.

To harvest the amazing health benefits of gardening try a few simple ideas

  • Spend 20-30 minutes in the garden, connecting with nature
  • Follow organic growing practices
  • Grow the foods that you enjoy the most
  • Share your abundance with family and friends
  • Eat something fresh every day
  • Ensure gardening is a pleasure, not a chore
  • Spend time in the garden with others, either a gardening group or community garden
  • Share your knowledge to help others
  • Ask for help if needed…that’s what I’m here for!

 If you begin each day with the belief that you’ll learn, grow and thrive, you will.

For more information visit

Here’s the links mentioned throughout the episode…

Share your abundance or connect with local growers at -

Join the Soil to Supper Club Community -

 Thanks for joining me in The Wellbeing Garden.


Nov 21, 2016

Welcome to The Wellbeing Garden with host AND expert gardener, Cath Manuel.

In this episode I'll share my journey from working in the Horticulture industry as a consultant and educator to training as a Horticultural Therapist and how I help people improve their wellbeing through gardening and growing food.

I'll also share future episodes and how you can learn, grow and thrive with me.

For simple ideas on organic gardening and horticultural therapy visit

Thanks for joining me in the garden!