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Woodwinds garden is a cut above

Four-year-olds Sophia Sosa, left, and Erin Hunt of Woodbury smell flowers from the new Woodwinds Healing Garden last Wednesday. Staff photo by Riham Feshir

Putting smiles on the faces of patients at Woodwinds Health Campus just got a little easier.

The hospital opened a new indoor "Healing Garden" late last month where visitors can bring freshly cut flowers to loved ones staying at the hospital.

The garden, which was fully supported by donations, cost about $17,000. It is now open to the public, but some of the flowers have yet to fully bloom.

"A flower really does brighten people's spirit," Woodwinds CEO Tom Schmitt said.

He added that the Healing Garden, which is also called the Cutting Garden, coincides with the hospital's mission of bringing nature indoors with big windows, natural light and a soothing environment.

"The healing environment is part of the healing process," Schmitt said. "Now we can actually bring a piece of that into the room."

The plants at the garden were carefully selected for cutting purposes.

Visitors who are interested in bringing fresh flowers to patients at the hospital may stop by the welcome desk to ask for a volunteer escort who can bring a vase out to the garden.

The garden will be maintained by Woodwinds staff. It is housed near a few other gardens that are dedicated to other donors in the back of the main hospital building.

Woodwinds held an open house celebrating the opening of the garden Aug. 31 where about 60 patients received hand-picked flowers from the garden.

Schmitt said the garden will continue the hospital's mission to holistically care for the entire family who goes out to see, smell and cut fresh flowers.

"We're actually caring for the family at the same time we're caring for the patient," he added.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.