Jan Emfield intended for the garden to be an expansion of her English-style backyard garden on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota; a place that originally served as an escape for fellow cancer patients. This garden, however, not only serves as a respite to patients and visitors to the NCH Healthcare System Hospital, but also as an inspiration to artists; home to a weekly yoga group; and, as a rentable and serene setting for social events.
Bloom, the garden’s iconic bronze sculpture by local artist Kathy Spaulding, welcomes patients and visitors alike. Once inside, the mood is that of a secret garden, left to unveil tiny secrets around every turn. There are marble sculptures, bronze casts, begonias, impatiens, magnolia trees, bamboo, and giant banyan trees all unfurling in front of you as you wind your way through the circular path of the garden.
What is most remarkable about Jan's garden, is the hidden sense of community behind the tranquility. The walkway is lined with personalized pavers that list the names of loved ones, and each of the 47 benches is donated by members of the community. The local, Crawford Landscape diligently tends to the beds, ensuring perfection.
Completely accessible to all, the subtle change in the terrain along the walkway (small steps, inclines, and softer, rubber sidewalk sections) lends itself to patients going through rehabilitation. There is even a specially dedicated children’s garden complete with a sand-pit and oversized xylophone.
Whether you’re an artist, a child, an architect, or an outdoorsman, The Garden of Hope and Courage is inviting and loved by all.
On the corner of 2nd Avenue and 8th Street