John Friel, Marketing Manager for Emerald Coast Growers and longtime friend, wrote in Green Profit magazine (December 2019) about a presentation at a perennial conference
by the high-end landscaper James Alexander Sinclair
His finale was “The Most Important Garden I Ever Made.” Something about his tone hushed the crowd, and rightly so: This garden graces a spinal injury center hemmed in by highways, a place for those who find their lives “changed forever, in an instant.”
A patient’s wife told him that when she and her husband simply needed “a good cry,” there was nowhere to go but a broom closet.
The cure: a public place composed of private places, where families can have their quiet time, or sit in fellowship amid living beauty, not antiseptic smells and beeping monitors. Or brooms.
Afterwards I told James of a garden visit that moved me deeply, on a children’s hospital rooftop. At random, I opened a guest book where visitors record their thoughts and found this: “I love this garden,” a mother wrote. “I was sitting in this garden the night the helicopter landed with my daughter’s new heart.”
I could not read, nor can I recount or even type those words dry-eyed. They get me every time.
May you always be surrounded loved ones. Don’t ever let anyone tell you gardens are a luxury.