Garden Photo of the Day

A Healing Garden

Plantings this pretty surely make people feel better

At the entrance to the radiology building, a shady arbor and masses of peonies greet visitors.

Quick quiz: What department at Michigan State University has the best garden? Horticulture, you guess? NOPE! Radiology! The story is (and I don’t know how much of this is actually true, but this is the story I heard) that the university wanted to hire a rock-star to run the department, and he happened to be a garden lover. To convince him to take the job, the university promised him a garden, and boy, did he get one! The building is surrounded by a garden that, if you ask me, probably does as much or more healing as all the high-tech equipment inside the building.

This department has the best conference room ever: a patio, right out in the garden.
Star of Persia (Allium christophii) grown in mass creates a beautiful carpet around other plants, like these pink evening primroses (Oenothera speciosa).
A soothing pond is tucked between the trees and gardens, and is lined with moisture loving plants, like yellow flag iris (Iris pseudoacorus).
Bearded iris and oriental poppies welcome the beginning of summer with their bright colors.

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  1. user-3565112 01/04/2018

    Good morning Joseph, I am sure entering that building thru this garden lifts spirits & gives people hope. " In joy or sadness flowers are our constant friends" Kozuko Okakura Thank you for jump starting the new year with your terrific posts.

  2. user-7007498 01/04/2018

    What a lovely space, so peaceful. The pond really impresses me. Obviously, they are committed to keeping it looking good. I have seen many businesses attempt a small garden space, then neglect it. They are obviously “all in” when it comes to gardening.

  3. User avater
    user-7007816 01/04/2018

    As you know, Michigan State University has several amazing gardens, but I would agree with you that this garden is the best for design and execution. The garden is inspiring throughout the entire year--even now in mid-winter. The gardens, trees, and landscaping throughout MSU are a real asset to the region.

  4. Maggieat11 01/04/2018

    Truly an asset to the facility... and the region! It is fabulous.

  5. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/04/2018

    These garden areas certainly provide an inspiring distraction to take a patient's mind off the purpose of the visit. To be enveloped by so much constantly renewing life has to plant a seed of hope and optimism.This is all so much better than walking on a sterile swath of wide concrete towards nothing but the looming facade of a hard surface building. Nicely done Michigan State University!

  6. tennisluv 01/04/2018

    What lovely, soft colors and combinations; very soothing. The moon gate design of the door in the background of the 1st picture seems to continue the Zen like peace of the garden. Thanks for sharing.

    1. User avater
      LindaonWhidbey 01/04/2018

      Good eyes, Sonya. I thought that that was part of the arbor.

      1. tennisluv 01/05/2018

        Linda, I was given a docking station and really nice large monitor for Christmas (23" x 11") to plug my small laptop (15" x 7 1/2") into. Amazing how much more detail I can see now. May spend the next few days going back thru earlier blog photos to see how much I missed.

  7. User avater
    PKKing 01/04/2018

    The bearded iris and poppies sure help warm up an otherwise frigid day here in the Mid-Atlantic. The gardens at Michigan State, especially this one at the radiology department, must be an oasis of peace and calm in the midst of a busy campus.

  8. user-6536305 01/04/2018

    Very inspiring and give hope for tomorrow. Well designed and planted garden with a handsome budget as well. Love all but especially the Bearded iris and oriental poppies combination and the entrance! Thanks for sharing the garden and great photos!

  9. sheila_schultz 01/04/2018

    Who would have thought that going to get an x-ray would bring such quiet comfort? I bet very few take their lunch inside... Inspiring indeed! Wow.

  10. NCYarden 01/04/2018

    Wow. Beautifully maintained garden. That entrance is certainly welcoming...should definitely deliver a pleasant distraction and promote some good chi. Wonder if I can demand something like this from my employer.

  11. mjensen 01/04/2018

    wow, beautiful.

  12. hedygalow 01/04/2018

    What a fabulous, well-designed garden!

  13. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 01/04/2018

    Such a beautiful, inspirational garden. It’s also much more elaborate than you would expect to see around a public building. Do you know if they have volunteers to help maintain it? Those soft peonies make a great entrance.

  14. user-7008421 01/04/2018

    Impressive garden! Glad to see academia enjoying beautiful nature!!

  15. btucker9675 01/04/2018

    What a glorious idea and I'm certain that these soothing surroundings benefit the health care workers there as much as the patients...

  16. user-7008735 01/04/2018

    A few more gardens like this one around other institutions might begin to change the meaning of "institutional" from cold, hard, and ugly! I'll bet the pond draws in lots of birds, too.

  17. cynthiamccain 01/04/2018

    Wow, beautiful! Looks more like a private garden. And such a nice change from barberries and red mulch!

  18. carolineyoungwilliams 01/04/2018

    This is beautiful. I can see how it would contribute to healing. The beauty of this garden will surely affect your spiritual well being; this in turn will affects you emotional/mental health--which affects your physical etc. etc. Healing for the body, mind & spirit. :-) We should plant more flowers..

    1. User avater
      PKKing 01/04/2018

      I agree Caroline. Plant More Flowers!!

  19. foxglove12 01/04/2018

    What a heavenly place to work and study. Beautiful!

  20. user-7007140 01/04/2018

    Ooh! Such a beautiful way to say “Welcome”. Well done Michigan State.
    I live somewhat south of Michigan otherwise this would be on my “Must Visit” list.

  21. cheryl_c 01/05/2018

    I have to agree with Cynthia, that this is such a pleasant change from so many 'institutional' gardens that use barberries, spirea, nandina, and red mulch. All of those plants can be wonderful, as we have seen in so many of this blog's members gardens, but are so overused. This garden sets a high bar for other 'healing institutions' to try to meet. Lovely! Thanks so much for sharing!

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