Legacy Health is a non-profit health system providing health services across six campuses in Portland, OR. Across these sites, Legacy emphasizes patient, family and employee-centered care through nature-based programming. The Legacy Emanuel Medical Center installed a terrace garden in 2014 through the Nature Sacred Award program. In addition to the Nature Sacred research investigating health outcomes, this four-season terrace garden connected to the Family Birth Center and Cardiovascular Care Unit provides healthful experiences for all who enter.
A pregnant mother, on bed rest for 40 days prior to delivery, shares this personal and uplifting story with us:
What would I do without the gardens during my 40-day stay at the hospital? After three days in a row of not spending time in the gardens, I can tell you that my mood deteriorated, I didn’t feel like doing my room exercises, and cried every day. I continued my garden visits after these three days and noticed an immediate improvement of my well-being.
It’s hard to describe in words the happiness created in me by the gardens. As I sit here now, birds are singing songs to me, bees are collecting pollen from the beautiful flowers, and a white butterfly flutters around me as if to say hello.
My eyes and senses are also brought to life by the gardens. The lilies are amazingly beautiful with a sweet aroma. The lavender and rosemary beg me to rub my hands on them so I may smell like their fragrance. Even the big bowl of mixed greens invited me to eat a small sample so that I may taste fresh life.
Whether people come here to cry, laugh, or relax, we are all positively affected by the healing natures of the garden.
Note: In consideration of privacy, photos here do not depict the writer.