• Healing Garden

  • The Healing Garden’s Spiritual Roots

    The healing garden in front of St. Anthony North Health Campus offers visitors not just a beautiful water feature and plants but literal references to Christian theology.

    The 7,000-square-foot healing garden is one of three gardens at the health campus, along with a smaller prayer garden and an expansive, public community garden.

    “Being a Catholic facility, St. Anthony North Health Campus’ healing garden felt like it needed a spiritual reference,” said Landscape Architect Eric Taylor with studioINSITE, the firm designing the garden. “So conceptually, I started with, what is our connection to Christ and God?”

    Healing GardenThat question led Taylor back to the symbolism of Calvary, the hill outside Jerusalem where Jesus Christ was crucified. For Christians, Calvary is the place where Christ paid for mankind’s sins, the place where sinful man meets divine love. As Taylor put it, Calvary “bridges the gap between earth and heaven,” and so it emerged as one of the healing garden’s central features.

    Visitors will enter the rectangular garden from the south and walk northward, up a cross-shaped path that leads them to the chapel. The hospital’s chapel will be the only part of the campus that abuts into the outdoor space, and the walk northward travels from earth to heaven, at least symbolically. On the south side, visitors will see a hearth, bricks, stones and other earthly elements. En route to the chapel, they will walk past a water wall that represents cleansing and redemption.  

    Healing Garden Gathering PlaceIn addition, patients and families will find places to convene around a fireplace hearth and at couch-seating and benches throughout, Taylor said. A barbeque grill, large patio, tables and chairs will also make the space desirable for community and social events. Vertical tall evergreens will separate the garden from the parking lot. Contrasting bands of grasses and annuals will complete the foliage.  

    The garden’s overt focus on Christianity and community differs from that of many other healing gardens. Such gardens often focus on the sensory aspects of plants or the therapeutic benefit of outdoor play. For Taylor, this theme felt like a natural extension of a campus that will display the cross, prayers and a statue of St. Anthony in its interior.

    Plus, Christianity had personal resonance for the landscape architect.

    “Being a Christian,” Taylor said, “I have always wanted to give back and do something that is meaningful for and of Christ.” 

Search: Current Site All Sites