How does your garden grow?

How does your garden grow? Exploring the acceptability of a simple eco-therapy based intervention for individuals suffering from cancer and their families.


How does your garden grow?

Project Team


We are looking for around 30 individuals to take part in the project across the South West Wales area between June and October 2011, including individuals with cancer and those who may be caring for someone with cancer.  The aim of the study is to find out whether growing an indoor-garden display can have beneficial effects for individuals with cancer, and also family members and carers.  Participants will be asked to attend an informal group meeting where they will be shown how to start their own indoor mini-garden and come up with their own ideas of how to create their own display.  They will then be given their own mini-garden display to take home with them and will be asked to look after it for a three-month period.  

Throughout the project, participants will be asked to write about how they have found looking after their mini-garden on a secure on-line blog on this website and a brief daily diary-writing exercise.   At the end of the project, participants will be asked to attend another group meeting to talk about whether or not they found looking after their mini-gardens to be enjoyable, and to let us know about any problems or frustrations along the way!


Lead researchers:

Dr Ceri Phelps:  Ceri is a health psychologist and a lecturer in Psychology at Swansea Metropolitan University. She can be contacted by e-mail at:

Carol Hughes:  Carol is a BACP accredited counsellor who leads the counsellor development programmes at Swansea Metropolitan University. She can be contacted by e-mail at:


Research Assistant:

Carole Butler:  Carole is the research assistant and can be contacted by e-mail at:

Project advisors:

Julie Bowen:  Julie is an experienced horticulturalist who runs the Gower Plant and Shrub Centre, Llangennith, Gower.  Julie will be on hand to help create the first part of the indoor garden displays and will offer advice on looking after plants throughout the project.

Liwsi Kim Protheroe-Davies: Liwsi Kim is a genetic counsellor who specialises in cancer genetics and will advise on important issues throughout the project.


Project website:

Gower Tree Shrub and Plant Centre: