Behind The Garden Wall: Kate Gleason Memorial Park, Beaufort, South Carolina


If you’ve spent fretful hours in a hospital bed or visited there with a sick
friend or loved one, you might have taken time to rest in a
hospital garden for meditation and reflection. But more than likely
you didn’t even know one was on campus. When I was confined to
hospitals a few years ago for a serious illness, the “wellness”
gardens were immensely comforting to me. What was before unnoticed I
now greatly appreciate.

Laken Brooks
published an article in the May 29, 2021 issue of Forbes, Why Hospitals Are Planting Gardens, explaining the marvelous benefits of
making nature accessible to patients and to those who attend them. In summary, “…medical professionals have found that as the plants grow, so
too does the mental wellness of their patients.” I recommend it to

She notes, “A
review in the International Journal of Environmental Research and
Public Health states, ‘Viewing nature has been repeatedly
demonstrated to provide a range of benefits for human health and
well-being. Benefits include reduced anxiety, reduced stress, shorter
hospital stays, lower heart rate, and increased directed attention.’
That same review explains, ‘It has repeatedly been shown that the
sounds of nature such as wind, water, and animals, are preferred over
anthropogenic sounds such as traffic, recreational noise, and
industrial noise … Nature sounds have been used therapeutically to
relieve stress.’” This is accomplished through gardens and
horticultural therapy on site.

Since my healing,
I’ve taken time to visit these nearly secret gardens in
appreciation of the thoughtfulness of those who have taken care to
establish and maintain them.

I recently visited
the Kate Gleason Memorial Park on the campus of Beaufort Memorial
Hospital, Beaufort, South Carolina. Though it’s not easily
accessible to patients, it could be with some modification. In its
current state, it does afford a peaceful place for visitors and
hospital staff.

Beaufort Memorial
Hospital was founded in 1944 and is situated on a bluff above the
Intracoastal Waterway and the Beaufort River. That in itself presents
a fabulous view from benches and picnic tables of the river, marsh
and the town of Beaufort in the distance. Follow me to see what lies
behind the garden wall.
























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