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Returning from COVID lockdown, the need to address mental health in our students and schools became more apparent than ever. This Healing Garden at the Bush Upper School in Seattle, WA was inspired by the desire to have a space dedicated to mindfulness, calming and recovery. A space to sit in relative solitude, or for small groups of friends to find peace in the bustle of this tight urban campus.


Six days to research and design. Six days to build. This project took advantage of the Bush School ‘Cascades’ program that immerses High School students in three weeks of experiential education. Our group of nine students performed precedent studies at therapeutic gardens in local nursing facilities (Kline Galland and VA Hospital) and visited a cultural healing space at the Seattle Japanese Cultural Community Center. Their experiences and reading laid the foundation for two days of intensive design work, with final designs presented and shared with school leadership and grounds crew. Then the hard work began! Managing a budget, excavating, plant selection, laying stones and installation…


Dubbed the “Infinity Garden” these students built a space with calming sounds, scents, immersion in nature and two separate halves – one with an open view, the other more secluded. Located directly off of the Student Life Center – a social area – the garden is a welcoming and peaceful extension of this indoor space. Soon to be installed: a glass mosaic (shown) and a trellis arch supporting a native variety of orange honeysuckle.