A Multitude of Gardens

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A Multitude of Gardens

By Joanie Buettgen
Copyright 2010

Even on gloomy days, our gardens bring us joy. Recent rains have brought the needed moisture to our farmland and local gardens. We are constantly reminded of the visual masterpiece unfolding right before our eyes in our little plots that we plant. With our short, three month window of opportunity, the four gardens at Ridgeview Medical Center are ready to be showcased.

David Bedford, Senior Grounds Keeper and Master Gardener at RMC, tends to his gardens daily with a fine tooth comb.

Recently, I headed out back to Bedford’s garden spot, where he doesn’t work in a typical office setting. His domain is in dirt and lots of it. In addition to the four gardens at RMC, Bedford maintains other gardens sites too. For instance gardens at: Marie Steiner Kelting Hospice Home and Ridgeview Clinics at Excelsior, Howard Lake, Delano, and Chanhassen.

At first glance at Bedford’s desk, you’ll notice stacks and stacks of reference books, ready to grab, if needed. Many of these volumes would be a gardener’s delight to read. They were jammed packed with horticulture information such as: Art Elements and Design Details; Rooftop Gardens; garden diagrams; and specifications. In his garage at RMC there were bags of fertilizer, garden tools, and of course a riding lawn mower. I suspect that the engine was still warm from his early morning mowing on this day.

Summer months in Minnesota are cherished. We finally can take a step outdoors. and quietly sit with our favorite beverage-perhaps a tall glass of ice tea. Bedford commented on the gardens. ”It’s a relaxing, and an esthetically pleasing place. It’s a place to gather your thoughts. The wild roses, out the basement door, are blooming now.”

Leading healthy lifestyles and enjoying the great outdoors can be achieved within our gardens. “We don’t want to just heal the body-we want to heal the mind too.” Said Bedford.

As you ride the elevator to the top floor of RMC, the last thing you would ever think to observe would be a Rooftop Garden. This garden is complete with potted junipers, crushed purple and pink quartz, and white limestone. This mosaic of mineral resembles wind patterns on Lake Waconia. In addition, many whistling swan sculptures and drift wood echo our Waconia heritage.

Bedford mentioned briefly that a vegetable garden, on the roof, with 50 more pots is in the planning stages.

Many comments from the staff and our community include, “The gardens are beautiful and the waterfalls are nice. People enjoy the gardens, they ask about the plants, and many staff members eat their lunch out here. Visitors and patients also walk through the Healing Garden.”

First impressions are important. Melissa Holley-from the Finance Department, was walking in the Healing Garden. “It’s very peaceful. The patients come down here to relax and take a break. I like the water features. I like the sound. The patients like the flowers.”

We invite you to wander the gardens at RMC. Where you’ll feel the calm, and feel relaxed, ready to take on your day.

If you are interested in volunteering in the gardens contact Volunteer Services at (952) 442-2191 Extension 5570.

Joanie Buettgen has been published in: More.com, ThankfulHome.tv, Minnesota Moments Magazine, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter.
Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop attendee.
Social Networking: Blog:https://joanie19.wordpress.com, http://twitter.com/joaniebuettgen, http://www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.

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