St. Francis Peace Garden
14th Ave S.W. and 4th St. S.W., Rochester, MN 55904
Located on the west side of the Generose Building.
14th Ave S.W. and 4th St. S.W.
Rochester, MN 55904
No admission fee
Free street parking
Restrooms (in hospital)
This is a small garden attached to St. Mary’s Hospital, part of the Mayo Clinic. It was designed to honor the spirit of St. Francis, and intended as a refuge for patients, families, and visitors to the hospitals. The design is calm and orderly with trees planted in precise rows. There is not much color in the garden – some annuals mixed with lilacs and Russian sage. Mostly there is texture – grasses and ground covers all in differing shades of green. A central feature is a pool with geometric terraces down which water cascades adding the soothing sounds of falling water to the garden. This fountain area is planted with plant species to attract song birds, almost always depicted as companions of St. Francis. Arbors and benches affording quiet places to sit are also part of the garden. The outer edge of the garden is created by a dense screen of spruce to seclude visitors and encourage introspection. In 1999 a small addition by the original designers was made to the garden containing a statue of St. Clare, a human companion to St. Francis. The garden received several awards and accolades from the design world. It is an example of the restorative powers gardens can have.