Local Club Visits Healing Garden
Members of the Garden Club of the Country Club of North Carolina visited the Healing Garden at the Clara McLean House at FirstHealth after their April meeting.
"Clara's House" is a hospitality house that will soon provide people with a place where they can rest between medical appointments and treatments, or spend the night for those with family members in extended hospital stays.
The building is similar in design to the century-old vintage homes in Old Town Pinehurst. The Healing Garden is situated behind the house.
Lynda Acker and Cassie Willis, lifelong gardeners who live in Southern Pines, conceived the idea of a Healing Garden seven years ago. They designed and developed the garden themselves, and have formed a team of volunteers who have helped with initial installation, and who will maintain the garden going forward.
Acker and Willis gave an extended tour pointing out all the special features. The gardens were inspired by classical English design and boast traditional elements with whimsical touches.
There are paths leading to garden rooms, with seating for reflection. There is a cottage garden, a kitchen garden, a children's garden, a library garden, a wildlife garden, a secret garden, a rose garden and a water garden.
A replica of a 15th-century round stone dovecote in Oxford, England, serves as the potting shed, and is the centerpiece of the garden, flanked by a serpentine stone wall in the flavor of the famed honey-colored stone of the Cotswolds.
Statuary was donated from Clara McLean's estate, and spectacular specimen trees, such as a live oak, were moved to the site. A life-size chess set by the serpentine wall and a topiary bear in the children's garden all contribute to the wonder of the garden.
"This is indeed not only a most beautiful garden, but a unique and very special place," said Sharlia Ragan, CCNC Garden Club president.
Joan Owen, program chairman, thanked the tour guides.
"We are very grateful for this opportunity to visit such a lovely place," she said.
Acker and Willis created the garden for people whose lives or lives of loved ones are in medical crisis, and for members of the community at large who may be struggling with difficulties that life brings. It is a green sanctuary, a place to renew and restore.
The garden will open officially on May 19. Visitors register inside the house to tour the gardens, and visitors are reminded to maintain a quiet and peaceful state during their garden stroll in consideration of the house residents.
The CCNC Garden Club, through their recent fundraiser fashion show luncheon, is able to join with other supporters with monetary donations that have and will support the Healing Garden now and in the future.
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