Healing Gardens


Among many of WC3’s versatile project experience is healing gardens. Healing gardens were originally a place to heal and reflect although this practice lost popularity in the last decade, its appeal it gaining ground once again. Projects are emerging in office buildings, hospitals, clinics and retirement communities. This form of therapy is meant to help with healing of the whole mind, body and spirit. 

Research has shown the therapeutic benefits of gardens. According to Roger Ulrich, a professor and director of the Center for Health Systems and Design at Texas A & M University, found that viewing natural scenes or elements fosters stress recovery by evoking positive feelings, reducing negative emotions, effectively holding attention / interest, and blocking or reducing stressful thoughts.

Irrigation plays a big role in this. Viewing nature rather than urban scenes is calming to the body. People are naturally attracted to the sound of water and nature. The outdoor are a place of tranquility for many. In addition, according to the University of Minnesota Extension, Ulrich’s research also implied that surgical patients with views of nature had shorter post-operative stays, fewer negative comments from nurses, took less pain medication and experienced fewer minor post-operative complications than those with a view of a brick wall. Although more research is necessary, results based on research thus far indicate the healing effects of natural elements such as gardens.

healing garden Design

Healing gardens are a place to relax. WC3’s designs are a part of making that happen. Irrigation Designer Debbie Bedway was part of healing garden project at The Center for Women Families in Louisville, KY. As a donated project to help women and children in abusive homes, Bedway constructed a design that could properly irrigated  the facility. The layout consisted of mostly playgrounds and benches. The safely fenced in area needed to serve as a space for moms to play and watch their children without concerns for safety.

“It was important to place rotor heads out of harms way from children,” Bedway explains. Setting up a watering schedule that ran early in the morning was important in avoiding wet surfaces during play times. Sprinklers and valve boxes were strategically placed so they were not visible to kids that may want to investigate. Dripline irrigation does not work as well when dug out and walked across; same for pop-up sprinkler heads. All heads and driplines were buried to avoid tampering.

Essentially designing an irrigation system for a  healing garden is the same as any other design. However, aesthetics and functionality pull greater in these high traffic areas.

Healing Gardens serve as a space for people to enjoy. Whether on play grounds, gardens or through green walls, healing gardens must be functional for the desired goal. Irrigation is a huge part of these gardens because you want them to be maintainable. A poorly maintained garden can quickly become a wasteland that no one visits. Installing irrigation makes it easier on the company or facility to maintain their space. Also, make the garden visually appealing. Bright colors, spots to sit and relax, texture, and scenery are essential. Designing an irrigation system that is hidden and molds with the garden will make the space seamless.

Click the following to view Bedway’s designs for this project:

CFWF Irrigation



Contact WC3 Design for any of your complex irrigation designs.