It wasn't too long ago that the Midwest landscape was bleak and white. But if you needed a sign of spring, look no further than the Avera Heart Hospital and their annual plant sale.
"This place will get packed, a lot of different vendors come in and a lot of different plants and it's very exciting we get a very good crowd and people really look forward to it." Said Dr. David Nagelhout with the North Central Heart Institute.
This isn't just a way to get your yard looking better, it an important fundraiser. The proceeds are put to good use at the prairie heart guest house.
"That's a very good cause it's a very low-cost housing for guests and families of folks that are in the hospital so it's a very big benefit and it's been a blessing for our patients." Said Dr. Nagelhout.
Having an affordable place to stay right here on campus keeps families closer to healing loved ones. The beauty outside can also take their mind off things going on inside.
"The aesthetic benefit for the families that can go out and sit in the garden when the weathers nice and meditate and that's a stress reliever too so it kind of started with that and bringing in a lot of the plants that people could plant and flowers and vegetables and that kind of thing I think it's morphed into something much bigger." Said Dr. Nagelhout.
Most of the people who show up for the event already have green thumbs, but Dr. Nagelhout says it's never to late to nurture a hobby that promotes your health.
"If you like planting flowers and stuff like that there's been studies that show the benefits for stress relief and helps alleviate depression. Gardening is a very healthful thing too because it burns calories so there's lots of different benefits from gardening." Said Dr. Nagelhout.
Just being outside in the sunshine is a benefit in itself as it allows the body to absorb Vitamin D. Many people also pick out some fruits and veggies to grow in their backyards. This isn't just "do-it-yourself" groceries but also a way to help keep your heart health in check.
"I would say it's probably the dietary benefit burning the calories and really relieving stress is important for the heart so I think the heart does get some action benefit for doing that." Said Dr. Nagelhout.
So if you happen to be near the Heart Hospital this Friday you should definitely take the time to stop and smell the roses.
If you're in need of a last minute Mother's Day gift you still have time! The plant sale is Friday at the Avera Heart Hospital in the lobby and runs from 7am until 2pm. For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.