Payne Wellness Center

Many Paths to Wellness


Gardening, or horticulture, is considered at Payne Wellness Center a platform or method for maintaining wellness. We use gardening activities to facilitate work on a skill that you wish to improve. The gardening work you do during your sessions may require some of the same motor or cognitive actions as the daily living activity you wish to improve.

For example, if you use a hoe to help cultivate a garden bed you may be training to follow a verbal direction – or remembering that you have five plants to cultivate in five minutes’ allotted time – or learning to visually tell the difference between your plant, and one quite similar in appearance. You may also get some experience logging information about your plant in a ledger. It depends upon your plan, as to what gardening activities might be chosen to help you along on your wellness journey.  Some of the gardening activities used by speech-language therapy have included the following:

  • Seed starting
  • Transplanting
  • Cultivating
  • Watering/fertilizing
  • Trellising
  • Harvesting

Carey Payne leads the gardening activities. He calls himself a “very enthusiastic amateur” with horticulture, though he helped manage the rehabilitation garden at Michael Reese Hospital from 2006-08. He also helps administer a gardening program at his present full-time employer. Carey’s horticultural training has come through classes with Greencorps Chicago, Openlands and Windy City Harvest. He also has an interest in advocating for more community garden plots in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Interested in helping on such a project? Contact us for more details.  

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