Baraboo Healing Garden

Baraboo Healing Garden

Part of Ep. 1202 The Goodness of Gardening

Dr. Brad Schnee gives viewers a personal tour of a garden designed to promote healing at St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo. During the tour, he talks about the powerful impact natural surroundings have on a person's health and well-being.

Premiere date: Apr 21, 2004

TRANSCRIPT+
Wisc Gardener Transcript: 

Shelley Ryan:
I've been saying all along that gardening is good for you. Now I've got proof! I'm Shelley Ryan, host of the Wisconsin Gardener. Welcome. Today's program looks at "The Goodness of Gardening." We visit a garden designed to promote healing. The St. Clare hospital in Baraboo recently completed the newest addition to their hospital, a healing garden. The next guest on our program was an inspiration to me. Charlie Anderson is gardener, a very good gardener who happens to be almost completely blind. We'll tour his beautiful yard in Cooksville and find out why it's important for Charlie to continue gardening, even in the dark. Also on the program, learn about garlic mustard. It's a noxious weed, but it's also quite tasty. You can help control it by eating it. Wisconsin has a long history of handmade garden pottery. We visit a modern-day pottery studio where pots from the past are still being made. First up, wonderful additions to the early spring garden at Rotary Gardens in Janesville. It's all coming up on the Wisconsin Gardener.

Announcer:
Major funding for the Wisconsin Gardener is provided by Fiskars garden tools a Wisconsin manufacturer of garden tools ergonomically engineered for durability and comfort. Fiskars garden tools, a Fiskars Brands company; Additional funding is provided by the Wisconsin Master Gardener's Association and the Madison Chapter of the Wisconsin Landscape Contractor's Association.

Ryan:
We're in the newly-completed healing garden of St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo. And my guest is Dr. Brad Schnee. Brad, why a healing garden? What is the importance of this?

Brad Schnee:
Shelley, I'm a member of the St. Clare Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors and a physician here at St. Clare Hospital. I felt that there was a need to provide a beautiful and tranquil setting where patients, family members and staff that work here at the hospital could retreat to to help get away from the stresses and emotional turmoil often associated with a hospital setting. I feel strongly that nature with its sights, sounds and smells can provide a real strong healing presence in our lives.

Ryan:
I definitely agree with something like that. There's a tranquility a sense of serenity and beauty sitting in a setting like this. How did it come to be? I mean, this has happened fairly quickly. You've had a really good response to this.

Schnee:
Well, after the idea was brought up we put together a committee of ten people from the community. They brought their skills and love of gardening together and had several committee meetings often at 6:30 in the morning and came up with a plan. We had to go out and raise the money, of course. And Keri Olson, our director was instrumental in the success of that. We were able to meet our budget.

Ryan:
That helps! It was amazing how the community just fell in love with this project and not only did they donate money but time, and helping to come out and plant the various plants and also donated plants too. You had a combination of volunteers and you've had some really small volunteers.

Schnee:
That's right. The hospital has a day care center. And last summer... several of the members came out and tried to do their best at sticking seeds and seedlings in the ground.

Ryan:
The smaller members, right? Yeah! You've had plants donated. I know you said the Aldo Leopold Foundation donated lots of prairie plants?

Schnee:
Right.

Ryan:
And you've got a wonderful rose with a story behind it.

Schnee:
That's right. One of the staff members here donated a vintage rose that her grandmother had planted in 1890.

Ryan:
Wow.

Schnee:
We're anxious to watch as that grows through the years. We have lots of native plants here. We have a prairie section a healing plant, medicinal plant section.

Ryan:
Favorite spots?

Schnee:
Well, I think I like over by the waterfall and pond because of the soothing sound of the rushing water. But as you look through here, every spot is beautiful and throughout the year different things are coming up. The prairie smoke is awesome in the spring. I have Elizabeth Magnolia planted in honor of my daughter, Elizabeth. And a redbud tree, a particular favorite-- Being at the edge of it's range we hope it will pull through.

Ryan:
There's a labyrinth so there's something for everybody. That's right. Do you see people using it already?

Schnee:
It's been amazing, the response. There's not a day that goes by in the hospital where I don't run into patients or staff members that say how much they appreciate it. I had a patient just last month who was here for over a week and he came out three separate times. And every morning, when I'd see him he said how much he appreciated being able to come out here and how much it had helped with his hospital stay.

Ryan:
I think it's a wonderful setting. It's a great place to sit and be healed. Thank you, Brad. Next up, we'll learn even more about how important gardening really can be.

EPISODE SEGMENTS+

Funding for The Wisconsin Gardener is provided, in part, by The Wisconsin Master Gardener Association.