Hospital Gardens offer patients, visitors, and staff a sense of hope, healing and peace. Gardens help take the edge off a day, or days, of sadness or stress. Gardens stimulate positive feelings for all ages. South Jersey Healthcare (where I've been doing my dietetic internship) offers quality healthcare facilities in Bridgeton, Vineland and Elmer, New Jersey. Elmer Hospital has a functional 'backyard' garden that yields nutritious herbs and vegetables for staff to cook and add to patient meals. Their Regional Medical Center (RMC) in Vineland has not added a cooking or public garden "yet". I can't help but think, wouldn't it be great if the RMC and other hospitals without gardens added a garden within their landscape?
Staff, patients, and their family and friends could walk around and take time out for the peaceful sights and sounds of nature. Gardens provide excellent areas for reflection, physical and emotional therapy, and hands-on community nutrition education. Within any garden added enhancements, such as: fountains, ponds or benches add even more pleasure. Hospital gardens enhance staff and patient satisfaction - the ultimate goals of healthcare facilities.
In my search for information about hospital gardens, I came across the video below. Magee Women's Hospital partnered with Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA to create a magnificent hospital garden. View it and see what can be done when hospitals team up with professional horticulturists, landscape designers and architects. No matter how large or small, gardens - especially gardens planted with herbs and vegetables - make a difference in health and well-being.