As a follow-up to a previous post (The Victory Garden) , I became interested in researching gardens designed for Servicemen/Veterans. Gardens as a healing sanctuary -- a place to rest, a calm, safe and therapeutic environment, an area to grow and flourish, a gathering space to commune and converse, to help ex-servicemen and women who may deal with psychological injuries.
A few examples follow:
Balboa Park, San Diego: The Veterans Memorial Garden is situated on a one-acre parcel directly in front of the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center with three individual gardens honoring veterans — Air, Land and Sea — united by pathways leading to the Veterans Circle, a central gathering place reflecting the principles of DUTY • HONOR • COUNTRY with quotes from Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Coolidge.
Women Veterans Meditation Garden @ the NJ Vietnam Veterans Center
The garden is a lasting tribute to the thousands of women, both military and civilian, who served during the Vietnam Era. It provides a quiet place for friends and family to reflect. The garden includes a fountain, a covered pergola with benches and a variety of plants chosen to provide color and texture year-round.
Each year at the Chelsea Flower Show in England, UK, one of the many show gardens there will honor their servicemen.
In 2009 "The Help for Heroes Sanctuary Garden" was built by heroes, for heroes and to raise awareness and funding for Help for Heroes -- an organization that supports the fighting men and women of the U.K. It is a sanctuary where those that do not return safely from war zones can find the peace to deal with either physical or mental trauma. Story from The Sun.
In 2008 "The Largest Room in the House" garden celebrated the 90th anniversary of the Great War WWI) and derived it's inspiration from Talbot House at Poperinghe near Ypres in Belgium. The garden is a cameo of the original, captures it's essence -- an oasis of peace and calm where soldiers were able to grab some much needed rest and relaxation between periods in the trenches.