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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Now displaying: 2016
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!