2012: I have to say that so far, I’m not a fan.
Only three weeks in and there’ve been several deaths and unfortunate diagnoses among our circle of friends and relations. Then, on Wednesday evening, the Health Scare Fairy paid a visit to the Gray household, a 12 hour stay in the Emergency Room was endured, and two days of tests were performed in the INOVA Fairfax Health Labyrinth.
Thankfully, our patient is now home and feeling well, order and routine have been restored, priorities and perspectives have been re-calibrated.
So what does all this have to do with gardening?
Well, nothing, really. Except that I wouldn’t mind if hospital corridors looked more like this:
These are actually the restrooms at Longwood Gardens. They’ve got a whole corridor of private toilets, and as you can see, they’ve turned the whole space (ahhhhhhh, I said “space”!) into a living wall. It’s actually one of the coolest features of Longwood, I think. How often can you say that about public restrooms?
Anyway, I think Hospital Greenery is important. I know that many hospitals have “Healing Gardens,” and I think they’re a great idea, but not especially “healing” on a windy January day. While passing time at the hospital yesterday, my son and I wandered around to see if there was a Healing Garden to visit. Turns out Fairfax Hospital does have one — a sort of Japanese-inspired courtyard that we could peer at through a locked glass door. It would have been beautiful and restful in warm weather I’m sure, but it seemed to be closed for winter.
This is why I think hospitals should invest in some indoor tropical botanical gardens — something that convelescing patients and anxious loved-ones could visit year round. How cool would it be to step out of the chilly, clinical hospital corridors into a little paradise of palm trees and orchids for some gentle exercise, a mental respite, or a quiet conversation with your deity of choice? The moist air, lush foliage, and pleasant fragrance would certainly do a body good, don’t you think? And it would be open year-round! I will stop short of recommending the hospital add some interesting fauna to enhance the experience, like parrots and monkeys, even though that would be totally rad.