A DOSE of nature is being prescribed to patients at Redland Hospital after volunteers set up a community garden.
Radiologist Renae McBrien, who launched a community garden at the Princess Alexandra Hospital two years ago, said gardens provided a perfect respite for patients wanting to leave the confines of their ward.
"This garden is very much around person-centred care and about taking patients out of a hospital environment and putting them in touch with the natural environment," she said.
"It is a great therapy tool that can help with physical and mental rehabilitation as well as provide a social experience."
Ms McBrien is helping Metro South Health to roll out gardens at other hospitals.
She said staff and community members would help maintain the plants.
The garden at Redland Hospital, launched last month, was built with help from Bunnings at Capalaba, Victoria Point and Loganholme. The businesses had supplied soil, plants and volunteers for the project.
Plant cuttings taken from Princess Alexandra Hospital's garden were also shared by the hospital's spinal injury patients for the Redlands project.
Ms McBrien said native bees, which did not sting, had set up home in the garden thanks to work by Sarah Hamilton from business Bee Yourself.
"The garden provides a sensory escape from hospital and a landscape that gives back to patients with smell, sight, sound and touch," Ms McBrien said.
"We include a fairy garden to engage children and bee hotels which are a crucial connection with Australian Indigenous culture and the rhythm of nature."
"We can prescribe nature to our patients - a chance to be outside to feel the sunshine and the breeze.
"It's wonderful that Metro South Health sees how valuable investing back into the landscape is and how much it helps our patients."