Our Work

Sanford Health Healing Garden

Vermillion, South Dakota

Sanford Health Vermillion Medical Center selected Confluence to provide design development and construction documents as well as bidding/negotiation and construction administration for a healing garden at their existing immediate care nursing home facility which is attached to a hospital, clinic and senior living apartment buildings. The initial research and planning for the garden was an South Dakota State University (SDSU) student design competition. The garden is intended to serve a diverse group of users including dementia patients, long term care residents, physical therapy patients and general hospital patients, visitors and staff.

The needs of dementia patients were given special consideration. A rural/agricultural theme was developed throughout the courtyard. This theme is one with which many residents can relate and which may help to conjure memories of their younger days. The courtyard offers many opportunities for resident interaction and activity.

Site amenities include a potting shed inspired by a chicken coop, a windmill and a shaded ‘front porch’ allowing residents a place to relax and socialize. Other agrarian elements include white picket fences, a farm pump water feature and small garden plots. The focal point of the courtyard is a restored antique pick up truck with operable radio for resident enjoyment and entertainment. Appropriate plant selections were used for the themed areas, including raised vegetable gardens and work areas for supervised gardening activities.