When you are hospitalized your world changes quickly. Independence is replaced by a structured environment that is not at all like home. For those that have never been in a hospital, it is very different, sometimes frightening.
Throughout history, gardens have been used to assist in the healing process. By definition, a healing garden is: “a garden in a healing setting designed to make people feel better.” The goal at SummitRidge Hospital is to provide a setting that makes our patients feel less stressed, more comfortable while teaching basic concepts of gardening that they can utilize after discharge as a leisure option.
The beauty of the garden is in itself healing – a place to relax and get away. For those that do not like to actively become involved, relaxing becomes just as important to them. It is the one place in the hospital that looks more like your own backyard, something the patients comment on frequently.
Part of our garden program includes planting, pruning, and harvesting what we grow. Our garden is not just made up of flowers, but also fruit and veggies.
We are an organic garden, so the patients are free to pick and eat as they wish.
We also teach composting and water conservation, and a variety of nature crafts.
It is a wonderful experience to watch patients showing others what is growing and listen to their thoughts about their own gardens or their memories of past garden experiences. For that period of time, they are free from the things that usually bother them. They are relaxed and engaged in the present time and place.