Pictured: Julie Meier (left) and Katy Luedke (right), members of the Kettle Moraine Garden Club, learn the benefits of grow light carts in supporting mental health at Rogers Memorial Hospital from horticultural therapist Jonathan Irish (center).
“See the dirt resting on top of that seedling? It’s a heavy load for that tiny plant to hold. How does the dirt relate to the heavy burdens you carry in your heart and mind? During times when you cannot brush the dirt aside, how do you continue to grow despite it?”
These are a few of the many questions posed by horticultural therapist Jonathan Irish to the children, teens and adults going through treatment at Rogers Memorial Hospital. The metaphors between gardening and life are plentiful, and there is no better way to demonstrate this connection than by digging in and being a part of the growing process first-hand.
Thanks to a grant from Kettle Moraine Garden Club, Rogers was able to purchase four grow light carts that allow our therapists to bring the healing powers of nature to individuals whose severity of symptoms or treatment location make it difficult to experience more traditional outdoor gardens. The grant was given in loving memory of garden club president and former Rogers’ board member, Rosann Young.
“Rosann was a great and sincere advocate of Rogers and of the gardens,” reflects Katy Luedke, garden club member, “Each one of these plants is a reminder of her nurturing spirit, and her belief that beautiful things can happen with tender loving care.”