Serenity Garden donated to IU Health by G. Marlyne Sexton

The garden at IU North Health Hospital. (Submitted photo)

The garden at IU North Health Hospital. (Submitted photo)

By Anna Skinner

A donated garden, designed and gifted to IU Health North Hospital over several years, opened this spring to benefit patients and their families.

The Serenity Garden is a rooftop garden on the fourth floor of IU Health North Hospital, installed with benches, decorative evergreens and succulents. The garden is near the pediatric, intensive care and post-partum units.

Sexton provided the hospital with a donation for the garden in memory of two men, her husband, Joseph, and Zeff Weiss, a man who worked with her who also was the brother of Dr. Sheldon Weiss, a physician at the hospital.

“She gave the gift in honor and celebration of their lives,” Tracy Miller, director of philanthropy, said. “We have had people comment that it’s just so comforting to be able to get fresh air without having to leave the hospital.”

The garden is wheelchair accessible, and patients do have to get approval from their doctor before visiting the garden. It is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day.

The $250,000 project began construction last December and opened in May.

“This is a dream the hospital has had. The hospital was designed for there to someday be this Serenity Garden, and it wasn’t until Mrs. Sexton said, ‘I would like to do this for you,’ that we were able to do it,” Miller said. “It’s a beautiful gift, and it’s something our employees always wanted for their patients.”

The Engledow Group of Carmel donated its time to be the garden consultants and maintain the garden.

“We would love to find someone in the community that would like to help weed the garden and help with watering like a volunteer or several volunteers,” Miller said. “Volunteers really make nice, special things happen in hospitals.”

Businesses or individuals interested in volunteering should contact Volunteer Coordinator Ann Sawyer at asawyer@iuhealth.org.

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