Therapeutic Reflections: The “Breast Cancer Now Garden”

June 14, 2017 by

Drawing inspiration from breast cancer researchers examining cells through microscopes in the lab, The Breast Cancer Now Garden: Through the Microscope at the 2017 Chelsea Garden Show was a space created to commemorate research scientists dedicated to eradicating breast cancer.

According to the garden’s designer, Ruth Willmott, the garden’s planting scheme illustrated cell shapes and represented the concept of magnification, imagining a future where all the visible cells through a microscope are healthy ones.

At the front of the garden, jagged rocks depicting breast cancer shared the space with three vertical circles representing microscope lenses.

At the back of the garden, the designer aligned a water feature to focus on a black microscope slide on which visitors could stand–take a stand?–beside a circle of magnified healthy cells and where scientists were invited to sit on–contemplate?– organic cellular-shaped seats.

Italian company Lovecement’s lightweight fiber-reinforced concrete “pebble” seats peppered the landscape. Their organic shapes and white smooth surfaces blended naturally within the garden.

A statement of hope, the back wall represented a surface on which to collectively benefit from and share innovative scientific ideas in the effort to battle breast cancer.

Hope, Survival, and the Earth Connection
The phrase “hope reigns supreme” echoes my feelings and those of the breast cancer survivors I have known who have battled the disease.

My good friend, landscape designer Jenny Nybro Peterson, is one of those women who fought the good fight and whose story embodies the concept of hope. The one thing, says Jenny, that pulled her out of the darkness was her desire to garden again.

Jenny credits gardening for clearing her mental fog and overcoming her depression, physical limitations and pain. This journey led her to publish The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion: Cultivating Hope, Healing and Joy in the Ground Beneath Your Feet.

In her book, Jenny shares her personal experience as a cancer survivor and explores the therapeutic benefits of that vital “earth connection.”

From her one-acre Austin, Texas urban farm, Jenny remains active in the breast cancer community with her Wellness Tip of the Day–short videos in which she shares tips on living a healthy balanced life in body, mind, and spirit. You can find Jenny’s daily podcasts on her YouTube channel or her Facebook page.

h/t ArchExpo. Photos via Lovecement.

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