By Lynn Kirkland
Healing in the Garden
Tonight at our wonderful city library at 6pm, Barbara Johnston
will share the journey behind the creating of The Garden of Tranquillity
at the hospital.
I was privileged to be part of this project and would like to talk about the choosing of the plants for this garden which gives the opportunity for patients or staff at the hospital to take time out and gain some peace during a busy day.
Gardens are healing to mind, body and soul and this project
followed the death of Barbara's son and her desire to create a place of
solace especially for those with mental illness.
During Greg's time as a patient at Manawaroa there was no healing place to go in the grounds. After Greg's death Barbara had a vision for a place of healing and this has now been achieved.
The choice of plants was important and we chose plants
that would appeal to all the senses; so colour, texture and of course scent
all needed to be considered.
We also added another element using the floral meaning of the plants to create an association with the story behind the garden.
An olive tree was added as the symbol of peace which we know Greg can now experience.
A red rose as the symbol for love is fitting to show not only the love between a mother and son but for all who are helping those who are not well.
Chamomile is for humility and patience and provides a relaxing aromatherapy experience for those who touch it to release the apple scented fragrance.
Lady's mantle edges a walkway and has the meaning of protection.
Lavender creates a beautiful scent to soothe the mind and its floral message is one of loyalty, devotion and friendship.
There are many carpet thymes in the garden creating a tapestry effect to walk on and thyme is the symbol for courage which is very fitting for this garden and the people who were involved in it.
These are just some of the herbs and plants which have been lovingly planted in the Garden of Tranquillity which is sited in the courtyard outside Ward 21.
This Garden of Tranquillity was developed as a place for
quiet reflection and offers an escape from the hectic demands of life.
It is a place of healing to all who visit it and we must thank Greg for giving his mother, Barbara the vision, and thank Barbara for her determination to bring this gift of a garden to fruition.