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Roses for recovery

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - In the hustle and bustle that normally surrounds Sharp Grossmont Hospital, there's little time to stop and smell the roses. But the well-tended gardens that dominate this landscape have become a part of the healing process.

"We've got over 200 rose bushes here on campus, and this team, who I couldn't be more proud of, is out here maintaining them and they've been doing it for years," operations manager Andy Grossman said.

These highly skilled landscapers move through the grounds with precision, producing an abundance of flora and fauna and fragrance worthy of the White House Rose Garden.

"The pride is in every cut. They trim them, they clean them up, and when they turn them in they look like professional vases," Grossman said.

Tending rose gardens is not for the faint of heart, nor thin of skin. There are thorns that prick, bees that sting. Just ask Rudy, it's downright dirty work.

"We work outside all day. We really don't interact with people," Rudy said.

But a three-year-old program at Sharp Grossmont has turned these gardeners into guardian angels.

"It's a program where the landscape engineers actually go inside two rooms, deliver flowers and visit with the patients," Grossman explained.

Receiving a boutique of fresh-cut flowers from a team of hard working laborers is enough to overwhelm any patient.

"I think it's so beautiful. I feel so special right now. They've been outstanding, the staff here," a patient said.

It makes the ground maintenance men feel a mile high.

"It makes everything worth it. The hard days, the long, hot summers, the cold winter mornings, it makes everything worth it," Rudy said.

For those on the outside looking in, it turns a day in the dirt into a labor of love. For those on the inside looking out, it stimulates the senses and helps promote the healing process.

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