Healing Herb Garden

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For those of us who enjoy planting an herb garden and a vegetable garden, with the pleasure of watching it grow from seedlings into plants, gardening is a ritual that brings us closer to nature in the spring and early summer as we celebrate warmer and longer days.

At Kendal on Hudson, herbs have been planted within the Healing Garden outside our skilled nursing home. Jennifer Petschko, dietician for the skilled nursing residents, planted the herb garden as therapy for sensory stimulation. Our executive chef also uses the herbs for several dishes.  In addition, some of the herbs are used for food-related activities, such as making bruschetta.

Jennifer has assistance from Samantha, a 13 year old Cadette Girl Scout, and a daughter of a Kendal staff member. Samantha  is working closely with Jennifer on the Healing Herb Garden project for her Girl Scout Silver Award.  Jennifer and Samantha planted rosemary, cilantro, oregano, parsley, three types of basil, sage, thyme and lemon balm. Samantha has labeled the herbs with colorful rocks and signs noting the benefits of each herb.

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“Planting this garden was truly inspirational and will give the residents an opportunity to enjoy seeing it grow and allow the scents of each herb to bring a stimulation that could take them to a time in their lives when they prepared and shared meals with their families,” said Jennifer.

“Working with Jennifer and meeting the residents at Kendal has been rewarding. When this project came to mind it was a perfect fit.  I love to cook and garden with my family. The herb garden is a positive place where the residents can go and enjoy some of their day with family and friends. Many of the residents had gardens prior to coming to Kendal and have shared some advice and memories with me. The residents are enjoying watching the herbs grow ”, said Samantha.