Healing & Serenity Garden
As part of the restoration of the grounds of the historic Milton H. Latter Library on St. Charles Avenue, The Secret Gardens Tour® will install a Healing & Sensory garden, available and open to the public. We have raised about 30% of the funds needed for the installation. But, we still have a ways to go. With your help, we can reach our goal and offering a healing place for everyone in Uptown. Donate today!
To provide a physical space in New Orleans where victims of brain and spinal cord injury, their family, friends and the community can come to find healing and achieve a greater sense of inner peace. The Healing & Sensory Garden will be open to the public year round as a symbol of The Secret Gardens Tour® itself and its mission of aiding those recovering from brain and spinal cord injury.
Elements of Design
On a symbolic level, the winding pathway embodies a person’s journey to recovery. For many, the process of recovering from a brain or spinal cord injury is rarely a straight and easy path, but rather is a series of ups and downs, steps forward and backward on a seemingly endless journey.
Additionally, the use of a winding path nods to Japanese meditation garden tradition and to healing labyrinths, such as the one found in Chartres Cathedral in France. By guiding the visitor through the often narrow* and meandering route, a labyrinth functions to slow the visitor down, free him or her from the frantic pace of everyday life, and enter a state of tranquility. Benches or other points of interest, such as aromatic plants, may be provided along the path so that visitors may pause, reflect, and discover a peace of mind and body.
The Central Flower Garden
After symbolically releasing their day-to-day worries along the winding path, the visitor will be welcomed into the heart of the garden, a flower-shaped space. While functioning as a tangible representation of The Secret Gardens Tour®, the central flower projects the idea that gardens are a tool for healing. As a space at the culmination of the visitor’s journey, the flower-shaped garden will offer the visitors a place to sit, relax, meditate, and escape from everyday life.
The space also represents the culmination of the visitor’s journey and an opportunity for visitors to sit, relax, walk, and observe the sculpture, located in the center of the flower.
At the center of the central flower garden, a large sculpture of a flower’s stamen, the central life-producing structure of a seed plant, will provide a point of interest and centrality to the overall experience of the Healing & Sensory Garden. A roof-like petal structure projected around the stamen will provide shade and an interesting light play on the ground. Viewable from a distance and illuminated at night, the sculpture will encourage the public to come and experience the garden.
* To maintain full accessibility, the pathways will be wide.