It is the latest in comfort and healing and it can be found right here in Livingston, Texas. This week Memorial Medical Center—Livingston officially opened one of the first roof gardens housed at health care facilities in Texas. The 2,023 square foot garden is home to towering palm trees, tropical plants and green synthetic grass. Made possible by The Pedigo family of Livingston, Jessie Patino of Tropical Gardens and Memorial Health System of East Texas, the garden will serve as a quiet “get away” for patients and guests wanting to soak up the sun while reading a good book or just relaxing on one of the many park benches with family and friends.
According to David LeMonte, Administrator for Memorial Medical Center—Livingston, the garden was created as parted of the hospital’s “Growing for Your Future Campaign” in 2006. As part of that capital fund raiser the hospital presented various sponsorship programs to the community, one being the concept of a roof garden. The Pedigo Family donated funds for the project in memory of Gloria Pedigo, Cheri Pedigo Wheeland and in honor of Joe and Rogene Pedigo. The family wanted to provide a quite, tranquil place for patients, family members and employees to sit and relax.
“We are grateful to have a community which supports its hospital and the vision of Memorial Health System of East Texas,” said LeMonte. “We are fortunate to have a beautiful environment which helps promote the healing process.”
The roof garden was designed by Jessie Patino, owner of Tropical Gardens and Peggy Stapleton, Project Manager for Memorial Medical Center—Livingston. Patino and his employees spent long hours developing the garden giving time, talents and financial support to the project. Other contributors include Elmer Sanders, Donald Sanders, Gerald Sanders, Nunny Sanders and Daniel Grimes. Each one of these people offered a special touch that makes the garden extraordinary and easy to care for throughout the year.
The garden features 450 square feet of beautiful, composite decking in weathered wood. As part of the hospital’s mission to go green, the decking is a unique combination of wood and plastic fibers, which was produced from reclaimed or recycled resources such as saw dust, used pallets and recycled grocery bags. The exclusive composite formula combines the qualities of wood and plastic to create a superior alternative to wood by providing a plastic shield to protect the wood from moisture and insect damage, rotting and splintering. In return the wood protects the plastic from UV damage while providing a natural, attractive look and feel.
The garden’s foundation is synthetic green grass that blankets the entire area providing a tranquil relaxing atmosphere. “At Memorial Medical Center—Livingston, we look for ways to conserve natural resources,” said Peggy Stapleton, Project Manager. “Water conservation and “going green” are important to us. Synthetic grass requires no watering. In fact, we are saving an estimated 46 gallons of water per square foot per year by installing synthetic grass.”
As you follow the winding flagstone path, you will encounter palm trees in large decorative pots, bottle brush, lantana, potato vine, knockout roses, jasmine, lily of the Nile and many other colorful plants. Each pot is customized to provide a water source for the plants. The sprinkler system is programmed to water twice a day during the hot and dry season, but can be adjusted as the weather changes. Teak benches line the path and surround the deck to provide comfortable seating for visitors, while three conversation benches are featured in the gazebo for a quite visit with a friend.
The garden, which is located on the second floor of the new patient tower, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. It is the hospital’s goal to provide a healthy environment for patients and guests; therefore, Memorial respectfully asks patients and guests to kindly refrain from smoking or using tobacco products in the garden or while on the hospital campus.