Healing & Comfort

Photo: Lorene Edwards Forkner

Photo: Lorene Edwards Forkner

Gardens manifest beauty, creativity, and the physical embrace of nature. LIFE.

And, as we all well know, life can get notoriously messy, complicated, painful, and difficult. These days—surround by loss, illness, natural calamities, fear, and economic uncertainty—it seems especially so. But existence is not without grace and celebration. In my world, and I would venture in yours as well, many of those moments are found in a garden.

Pacific Horticulture contributors are real gardeners—knowledgeable experts, passionate home gardeners, and creative visionaries in the horticultural arts. Their voices are strong and trustworthy. And in this special healing garden issue they generously share stories from the inside, whether that’s facing the enormous challenge of caring for ailing parents (and newborns!) or having the courage to provide relief and precious respite for families that are not their own. And it’s from that very personal perspective that the power of gardens to heal and comfort is revealed. Today’s emerging field of therapeutic landscape design for hospitals, public spaces, and our homes, is borne out of experiences like these. We all benefit.

Recently our PHS community lost a good man when board member William (Bill) Marken passed away in August. I lost a hero. Bill was an editorial giant in the garden world and an extraordinary plantsman who never lost his wonder for cultivating a garden. He was also a gentle mentor who freely shared his wisdom and helped me to be better than I am. Bill’s touch is throughout this special Healing Garden issue, a topic that was near and dear to his heart. Our PHS staff and board of directors dedicate this issue to Bill.