Medical City McKinney March 22, 2016

Collin County Master Gardener Kay Morris talks about the various plants and how to care for them with rehab patient Joyce Ripperda.

Playing in the dirt brought on new therapeutic meaning for patients at the Medical City McKinney Inpatient Rehab unit when the Collin County Master Gardeners worked one-on-one with inpatient patients to help them build small container gardens.

“Gardening is good for the soul and mind,” said Master Gardener Kay Morris. “There is no right or wrong way to put a succulent garden together. What we did today was a fun, creative way to incorporate physical and mental aspects of gardening into their therapy.”

Patients dug in the dark, rich potting soil, placed glass marbles as pathways to miniature gnomes and planted beautiful succulent plants in brightly colored plastic containers they will be able take home to enjoy, once they are ready to leave inpatient rehab. Several patients recalled fruit and vegetable gardens they’ve planted in the past and enjoyed learning about the different types of plants and how to care for them.

Occupational Therapist Lakita Moore explained how the exercise, which focused on gross and fine motor skills, problem solving and sequencing served as a functional therapy activity.

“Gardening is fun and functional,” said Moore, “And this exercise allowed patients to use their brain and body together.”