Flowers light up Xmas for patients

21 December 2007 | Story by Newsroom

Blooming brilliant: Catherine Thorpe of Groote Schuur; Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Njabulo S Ndebele; Wayne Steyn of The Green Perspective gardening services; and Dr Saadiq Kariem, CEO of Groote Schuur, at the annual handover of hydrangeas by UCT to the hospital.

Keeping up an annual practice that goes back decades, Vice-Chancellor and Principal Njabulo S Ndebele dropped off bakkie-loads of brightly coloured hydrangeas, sometimes known as Christmas roses, to Groote Schuur Hospital this morning.

The flowers will be distributed among the wards to bring some Christmas cheer to those patients who will spend the holidays in a hospital bed, explains Catherine Thorpe, head of nursing at Groote Schuur.

The annual hydrangea delivery - most likely started by nurses who make a point of decorating the wards over the festive season - dates back to 1938, the year the hospital opened, says Thorpe. On her office wall she has a picture of nurses collecting flowers that year.

"The fact that UCT now provides these flowers is greatly appreciated."

The flowers are collected and delivered by the UCT gardening service, The Green Perspective.

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