By Kathy Jentz
The Silver Spring Garden Club brought color and cheer to the Holy Cross Healing Garden with a planting on Saturday morning, May 26. Fourteen club members gathered with trowels in hand and sunhats on head to give the garden a quick face-lift.
The Holy Cross Healing Garden at Holy Cross Hospital in the Forest Glen neighborhood of Silver Spring, MD, is a place of solace and recuperation for hospital patients, visitors, and staff. Currently, the garden has lots of native perennials and shrubs, but does not have many spring- or summer-blooming annual flowers. The Holy Cross Hospital staff approached the club to take on the project of introducing more color and vibrancy to the garden.
The hospital staff and club members met last year to see the garden and assess the project needs. Club members discussed various possibilities for improvements and what would create the most impact for the garden’s visitors. Last fall, the club planted bulbs donated by EcoTulips, based in Brightwood, VA, and the Takoma Horticultural Club as well as perennial flowers and pansies.
The pansies were quickly devoured by a family of rabbits living the garden and over the winter, many of the bulbs were lost to them as well. The club decided rabbit-proof was the way to go with the new spring-summer plantings. In addition, any plants that are known to be rabbit favorites are potted in high containers — out of reach from the hungry bunnies.
Bell Flowers of Silver Spring, MD, contributed flats of wave petunias. Holy Cross Hospital and the Silver Spring Garden Club also contributed funds to buy plants, soil, and decorative, ceramic pots at local garden centers to bring seasonal color and flowers to the garden. The containers can be switched out seasonally to add spots of interest around the garden when the perennials and shrubs are not in bloom.
Nine full flats of flowering annuals were planted in sunny spots around the garden and near benches where they could easily be viewed and appreciated by garden visitors. The rabbit-resistant selections include Dusty Miller, Marigolds, Portulaca, and annual Vinca.
In the fall, the club plans to add more bulbs and perennials again. The rabbit-proof sections will include daffodils and mums.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kathy Jentz is editor of Washington Gardener magazine and is a long-time DC area gardening enthusiast. Washington Gardener is all about gardening where you live. She can be reached at http://www.washingtongardener.com and welcomes your gardening questions.