The Most Important Garden

Is it any wonder that important gardens are popping up everywhere, right where people seem to need them most?

“Don’t ever let anyone tell you gardens are a luxury,” says the author of today’s piece, The Most Important Garden, recounting the memory of a mother who sat awaiting an important delivery, atop the local children’s hospital, on a rooftop garden. An important garden indeed.

I think it’s true that nobody who gardens comes out of it the same. I spent the first several years of my gardening life calling myself a black thumb, and frowning over the crops I barely tended. I thought you could plant seeds, and they would just grow, and it wasn’t until I became a mother that I learned what it takes to keep something growing and thriving… not just my kid.

But the fruit of a garden doesn’t just come from the ones you plant. They’re serene places you visit that give you a sense of peace, even if you’re surrounded by the chaos of a city. Especially if you’re processing major life events in the courtyard of a hospital, the zen gardens that are popping up everywhere can transport you to another place.

If you agree, I think you’ll enjoy today’s piece. And isn’t it funny that some cities and businesses have finally determined that it’s worth building gardens right where people might really need them? If you think these types of gardens are important, please do pass it on to others that may appreciate it.

If You Know a Special Garden, Share It

This story about an important garden comes from our archive that spans over 30 years and includes more than 130 magazine issues of GreenPrints. Pieces like these that inject the joy of gardening into everyday life lessons always brighten up my day, and I hope it does for you as well. Enjoy!

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John Friel, Marketing Manager for Emerald Coast Growers and long-time 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.

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Is there a special garden you can think of that has served as impromptu therapy for you before? Where was it?

  • My own flower garden has brought so much peace to me .sometimes it the only place that keeps me going .just the beauty ond joy it has brought me can never be bought with money ,I think everyone needs a place of peace when life gets rough


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