So why is it that the same old crinums, philodendrons and caladiums aren't enough for me anymore? Sure, the park like atmosphere is plenty restful and relaxing, but whenever I see someone admiring a caladium for the first time the moment is brief. The patient returns to her worrying and nailbiting in an instant without further distraction from the curative powers of nature, however awe inspiring they might be, because a caladium is just a caladium. You can only get so much out of one painted leaf however beautiful it might be.
|This is part of the garden that inspired me years before... and now it just seems boring.|
|The sculpture in the middle suspends prisms in the air.|
|One of the rainbows created by the suspended prisms.|
|This alligator frequents the pond around Louchery Island. I named him Marshmallow.|
While my mother is stranded in her hospital bed, she longs to return to her garden. Plants aren't allowed here, and neither are flowers. She relies on my occasional narration of the events outside her window for something beautiful in a hospital room cluttered with wound care equipment, so I tell her all about the sights that she can't see from her bed - the osprey carrying a fish to its nest, the alligator floating around in the retention pond like a pool float, egrets and herons hunting their prey like graceful dancers, and softshell turtles like huge pancakes floating to the surface of the tea stained water for air. Even a little nature goes a long way.
|The parklike atmosphere here is great. I just want to plant a garden too!|
I want to someday plant a little healing garden here at the Mayo. Hey, maybe I feel obliged to plant a garden since I've practically lived here for a few weeks, I don't know. I know it's a stretch, but I have a whole lifetime ahead of me to accomplish it and there's no shortage of space around here. By then I'll have taken coursework in horticultural therapy too! This "Miracle Garden" will have year round interest and provide a feast for the senses.
The bones of the garden would retain the pleasing simplicity of the rest of the landscape. When seen from a distance, the silhouette will be clean and curving with a solid evergreen border planting of azaleas. I'd incorporate camellias for winter interest and to provide a dark green backdrop to the colorful foliage and blooms, and visitors will have something wonderful to smell even in the dead of winter. Pockets of butterfly attracting plants like butterfly weed, citrus and pentas would punch vivid holes through the deep green of the camellias. The awe inspiring blooms of bulbs like blood lily, hurricane lily, amaryllis and daffodils would poke up from a uniform groundcover of liriope throughout each of the seasons so that there's always something amazing to behold.
This imaginary garden will exist solely to spark a sense of wonder. This garden will have a section for plants with tactile qualities - huge alocasia leaves like rubber, velvety tibouchina leaves, sandpapery cardboard palm - you name it. Sensitive plant would be planted in a raised planter so visitors could touch the feathery leaves and watch them fold up in response. Teacup colocasia would fill up with rainwater before tipping over in a splash, much to the delight of kids. I'm sure that you can think of some other amazing plants too, right?
Maybe this garden won't come to fruition at the Mayo clinic. After all, I'm sure they would have planted a healing garden by now if they wanted to. Even so, I'm planting a "Miracle Garden" somewhere, someday. Just you wait!