I’ve been in and out of Ninewells hospital in Dundee a fair bit recently, not for my own health reasons, but in order to to visit delightful assistant no.1. She has unfortunately had to spend much of the past three weeks there.
Delightful assistants in Ninewells. Sandy the donkey is attempting to get his teeth into a bag of freshly picked pea pods.
I’m pleased to say she’s currently recovering after treatment for gallstones and will hopefully get home for good tomorrow.
As hospitals go, I quite like Ninewells. The wards I’ve seen are bright and welcoming, and many of them have wonderful views out across treetops to the Firth of Tay and Fife beyond.
It wasn’t until last week that we discovered secret treasures lurking outside at the back of the buildings. One of these delights was a garden containing a labyrinth.
Labyrinth sculpture at the back of Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.
Near this is a Maggie’s Centre (Maggie’s is an organisation that supports cancer sufferers and their families), designed by renowned Canadian architect, Frank Gehry.
Maggie’s Centre, Dundee, with delightful assistants admiring the labyrinth.
The delightful assistants and I were able to wander around this area in the afternoon sunshine during visiting hours. We all appreciated a little time outside as a change from sitting in the ward.
Beyond the Maggie’s Centre lies a large arboretum containing beautiful big trees, some of which are 250 years old.
On the edge of the arboretum is a welcoming hospital community garden containing herbs, flowers, vegetables and various interesting features.
One area of the garden has been set up specifically to appeal to wildlife and contained something that fairly gladdened my heart.
Small tearoom for visiting birds and beasties.
As you might almost be able to make out in the picture above, on a wooden block next to the tearoom there were a few tiny dinosaurs. Delightful assistant no.2 was very taken with them.
His spouse attempted to draw his attention to other things, but he only had eyes for the dinosaurs.
Delightful assistant no.1: “Shall we move on to another part of the garden now?”
Delightful assistant no.2: “I want to stay and play with the tiny dinosaurs.”
Getting from the hospital to the gardens wasn’t easy because the obvious route, signposted within the hospital, had been closed off. It took us over half an hour to find our way out to the back of the building by an alternative route, and almost as long to get back in again. On the plus side, we got to walk along a curious temporary metal road in the sunshine.
If you happen to be in Dundee with a bit of time to spare I can recommend a mooch round the back of Ninewells Hospital. The paths beside the community garden and throughout the arboretum have been designed with wheelchairs in mind and there are well positioned seats so that visitors can rest their weary legs.
If you need a bit of refreshment the cafe inside the hospital serves drinks and snacks throughout the day, and between the hours of 14:30 and 18:00 they reduce the price of all hot beverages to £1 each. A bargain.
On Sunday 9 August the community garden is having an open day from 14:00-17:00. Admission is £3.00 (children get in free) and there will be various activities, a plant sale and tea and cakes on offer.