I got a request recently from someone who is looking for examples of children’s hospital gardens with rooftop conservatories (in other words, an enclosed space on a rooftop at a children’s hospital). I’ve found many examples of children’s gardens, rooftop gardens, and conservatories, but so far haven’t found all three in one. Anyone out there know of an example? If so, please share by posting a comment!
In the meantime, here’s an image of one of my favorite children’s gardens that is also one of my favorite rooftop hospital gardens, the Olson Family Garden at the Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, MO (got the image from the Waymarking website: http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM3NPR).
Landscape Architecture Magazine did a nice article on the garden in 2002, which you can read online: http://www.asla.org/lamag/lam02/may02/feature2.html.
Also, here’s a video clip about it: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7GrAsJnY2ww&feature=user.
I visited this garden a few years ago during the ASLA annual meeting with Roger Ulrich, Virginia Burt, Jack Carman, and other colleagues and we were all so impressed. While we were there, a nurse led a small child–who was recovering from severe burns–around the garden. We were moved to see this young patient, wrapped in bandages, maneuvering about the garden, touching the fountains, looking at the flowers, and generally interacting with the world despite the pain. For me, it was one of those “ah-hah” moments when what you do moves beyond the realm of the theoretical and academic. Yes, gardens really are important, especially in hospitals, and they really do make a difference in people’s lives.
I’ll be in Maine for a week starting Monday, with limited internet access, so this is my last post until next week. When I return, I hope to see lots of comments in response to this blog post!