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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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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
Christianity had personal resonance for the landscape architect.
a Christian,” Taylor said, “I have always wanted to give back and do something
that is meaningful for and of Christ.”
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