Marc Brodsky, MD, Medical Director of CIMW, had the idea of the Healing Garden after he was inspired by a visit to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and planted hot peppers and basil in a nook in the rear courtyard of Tully.
Seeing interest among staff and patients, Brodsky collaborated with Master Gardener Ganga Duleep to plan a more extensive Medicinal and Aroma Healing Garden as a relaxing and educational space for staff and patients.
Below is a short film capturing the spirit of the garden.
The Stamford Advocate featured a front page story when the Healing Garden was created in May 2011. About a dozen Stamford High School students helped with planting to launch the Healing Garden. The $5K start-up cost was provided by the non-profit Stamford Hospital Foundation. Most of the upkeep over the last decade has been volunteered with some continuing support from the Foundation.
The Healing Garden has evolved into 3 sections with aromatic, native-to-Connecticut, and herb garden themes to the plants in each section. Flagstones bordered in marble rocks form paths in each of the 3 sections of the Healing Garden.
An annual hot pepper festival in the Healing Garden has a decade-long tradition and is hosted by Brodsky, Duleep, and Supervisor Facilities Management at Tully Center, Andre Jennings. Each year, usually the second Monday of September at noon, all may enjoy learning about the plants in the Healing Garden along with hot pepper snacks donated by local restaurants and a grocery chain.
The Healing Garden includes the following medicinal and aromatic plants:
- Anise Hyssop
- Basil (Korean)
- Bleeding heart
- Evening primrose
- Ginger (wild)
- Hot Peppers (Carolina Reaper, Scotch Bonnet)
- Lemon Balm
- Mint (Chocolate, Bubble Gum, Peppermint, Spearmint)
- Saint John’s Wort
- Slippery elm
- Spice bush
- Yuzu (Japanese Bitter Orange)