My friend Susan Vandendriesse, who works in the volunteer services department at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, recently gave me a tour of the gardens on the hospital's campus, where patients and staff can enjoy the beauty and solitude. In addition to the captivating garden areas, the hospital has an impressive collection of sculptures to enjoy.
A part of La Jolla since 1924, Scripps Hospital is continuing its tradition of bringing the healing powers of art and nature to the public. The hospital is one of the main sponsors of the La Jolla Historical Society's Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla. As a co-founder of the tour, I am very grateful for their continued support.
The 16th annual tour of some of La Jolla’s loveliest secluded gardens is scheduled to begin at Wisteria Cottage, 780 Prospect St., Saturday, May 17, at 10 a.m. For more information, visit www.lajollahistory.org/events/secret-garden-tour/.
The Wolfstein Sculpture Park was established in 1998 by Ralyn and Nathan Wolfstein in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary. The couple believes that art enhances the healing environment and that it should be enjoyed by all in celebrating life's special events. Over the years, others who have been inspired by the Wolfsteins’ generosity have also donated different works of art to feature on the grounds.
At 11 a.m. on the first Tuesday of every month, the hospital offers docent-led tours of the Wolfstein Sculpture Park and grounds. The 90-minute tour is free and open to the public. Call 858/626-6994 for more information or to RSVP.
In the spring of 2008, the hospital opened a serenity garden, designed to create a sense of healing and inner harmony in those who visit. The sounds of water from a fountain mark a meandering path through the peaceful garden, where artfully placed benches invite you to linger.
A plaque in the garden reads: "Recognizing the inspiration of a Master Gardener - Ernest Fybel." Fybel was the father of Gary Fybel, the hospital’s chief executive. Inspired by his father, Gary Fybel helped to bring this garden to life amid the love of gardening and nature his father instilled in him.
As I drove up to the main hospital building, colorful rose gardens were bursting with blossoms. Many of the roses were planted in honor of the volunteers who dedicated countless hours of service to the hospital. Beautiful garden roses can also be found throughout the hospital lobby, some from the hospital garden and others from volunteers and staff, who bring them from their own gardens. To celebrate the recent National Volunteer Week, they participated in a rose show that featured their homegrown fare.