Planters filled with fragrant flowers entice butterflies to flutter in the sunshine. Whimsical birdhouses painted purple, yellow, red and blue are perched on posts surrounded by bright yellow and orange flowers.
Finding a place for quiet reflection and respite can be challenging under the bright lights of a hospital operating 24 hours a day. But this week, Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center officials are unveiling a newly renovated space they hope will provide just that for employees, patients and visitors.
Planters filled with fragrant flowers entice butterflies to flutter in the sunshine.
Whimsical birdhouses painted purple, yellow, red and blue sit perched on posts surrounded by bright yellow and orange flowers.
Water trickles down a wall of small tiles, pieced together to form a colorful backdrop for the running water.
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A labyrinth made permanent on the bricks with sky-blue paint offers a space for contemplation. And a rocking chair under a small canopy tucked in the corner provides a private space to reflect.
Standing in the middle of the new healing garden on a recent morning, it’s easy to forget the sanctuary sits atop the Vancouver, Washington, hospital’s second-floor roof and is flanked by towering walls of windows.
“We are kind of in a fishbowl,” said Shirley Gross with the Salmon Creek Hospital Foundation.
But at least the new space at the hospital provides the people in patient rooms overlooking the garden with bright colors and various textures, Gross said. This time last year, the garden was mostly concrete surrounded by bamboo and grasses in various shades of green.
The transformation has been a two-year labor of love for Gross and the foundation. Since launching the healing-garden campaign in May 2015, the foundation has raised about $275,000 in community and employee donations, as well as tens of thousands of dollars of in-kind donations and labor. Permitting delays and a long, cold winter postponed the garden’s completion. The garden will be formally dedicated at a ceremony Wednesday.
Since the space opened in late June, employees began using it to recharge before returning to their busy schedules.
Patients visit the garden for the chance to breathe fresh air.
And families take a break from the stress of having a loved one hospitalized.
“It’s been a joy seeing so many people use it,” Gross said.
Recently, Legacy Salmon…