ROGERSVILLE – For many people, a home garden is a source of peace and relaxation. The sight of bright green leaves and the smell of blooming flowers simply makes people feel better.

Hawkins County Memorial Hospital is using this idea to help its patients feel better. With the community’s help, the hospital is creating a respite garden that will benefit patients, their families and the hospital staff.

“We wanted to have a nice green area where staff could get away from the hustle and bustle for a little while,” said Ruth Couch, Planetree coordinator at Hawkins County Memorial. “The area will also benefit patients and their families because it will be visible to patient rooms, and they will be welcome to use it.”

The hospital is working with Cherokee High School’s vocational department on the project.

“The high school was very eager to help, and this is a great way to involve the community in the project,” Couch said. “This is very much a community hospital and patients will be glad to say that their daughter, son, granddaughter or grandson helped prepare the garden here.”

Couch also hopes to get the staff involved.

“They can help with planting and get a real sense of ownership,” she said. “We have to take care of the staff so they can take care of others. They really are the people who make the hospital run.

“We want for the staff, the community and the patients to feel a sense of pride in their hospital. This garden will help us do that.”


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Jim Wozniak
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