Ann Kent, HTM

Catkin Gardens
Horticultural Therapy

Horticulture and nature-based therapy programs, education, and consulting

Ann Kent, HTM, is a horticulturist and a Registered Horticultural Therapist with more than three decades of experience in therapeutic horticulture, horticultural therapy, nature-based education, and restorative garden design. Her business, Catkin Gardens, is now located on Vancouver Island, near Qualicum Beach, British Columbia.

Ann is realizing a long-held dream of living and working on a rural property set in a beautiful coastal forest. Here she has space to create large gardens for vegetables, fruits, and herbs; a contemplative stroll garden; many nature trails; and indoor and outdoor activity spaces to support a variety of seasonal workshops and horticultural therapy courses.

Ann is an active member of several associations affiliated with Nature BC and the BC Council of Garden Clubs and enjoys exploring the forests, estuaries, and beaches of south-coastal BC.

Ann Kent

Nature heals, whether in garden spaces or natural landscapes. A growing evidence base supports the importance of access to nature for human health and well-being and it is an important theme in Ann's teaching and practice. The challenges of the year 2020, with Covid-19, economic and social upheavals, and extensive wildfires, has brought the importance of access to gardens and nature very much into the forefront.

Horticultural therapy education and training with Ann Kent

A popular instructor, Ann now offers horticultural therapy courses and workshops on central Vancouver Island. Over the past three decades she has taught continuing education programs in horticulture, garden design, and nature interpretation for institutions such as Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Vancouver Island University, and the Vancouver Board of Parks.

A member of the Canadian Horticultural Therapy Association (CHTA) and American Horticultural Therapy Association (AHTA), Ann holds a Master level designation (HTM) for her professional registration with the AHTA and is one of two Master level horticultural therapists practicing in Canada. She is a past chair of the CHTA and remains very active in professional development in horticultural therapy.

The HT Certificate courses originally scheduled for the autumn of 2020 sold out in January of this year. Sadly, these were cancelled due to uncertainties deriving from the challenges of Covid-19. For students trying to plan for travel from outside BC,  jugging new work and family responsibilities, and/or coping with loss of income, committing to studies many months in advance was no longer feasible. Ann is currently restructuring the HT Certificate courses for 2021 to ensure that indoor-outdoor instructional spaces  can accommodate small groups of 5-6 students and to provide for Covid-19 protocols.

Horticultural Therapy Professional Development Program

Would you like to bring your knowledge of plants and enthusiasm for gardening to a community where you work or volunteer? Are you interested in adding therapeutic horticulture programs to services for clients where you work? Are you wondering how to create a nature-based activity program that draws on resources close to home?

This continuing education program provides comprehensive training in Therapeutic Horticulture (TH), Horticultural Therapy (HT), and Nature-based Therapy via certificate courses and seasonal workshops. It has operated successfully since 2006.

Education and training opportunities continue year-round and are designed to be accessible for those who may be working full or part-time, or completing studies in related areas.  For a downloadable summary of HT Certificate courses that indicates typical content and duration,  please see the 2020 PDF file at bottom of page.

Each HT course stands alone. Some students elect to take one or two courses, others opt for the full HT Certificate. For more information about education and training, please see the HT Certificate page.

For more information about horticultural therapy, therapeutic horticulture, gardening, and natural history in British Columbia, enjoy exploring the Resources page.

If you have questions about the HT Certificate program or about Ann's availability for horticultural therapy consulting and workshops, specifically geared to your interests or place of work,  please email

Sustainable communities and sustainable and organic gardening

Individuals and groups look to gardening, where they live and work, as an important way of contributing to sustainability in their communities, now and for the future. Through nature walks, local field trips, and hands-on activities, students are encouraged to consider gardens and habitat in the context of healthy, sustainable communities.

Horticultural Therapy Certificate_2020_Vancouver Island.pdf