McKINNEY (March 17, 2016) — Playing in the dirt brought on new therapeutic meaning for patients at the Medical Center of McKinney Inpatient Rehab unit when the Collin County Master Gardeners worked one-on-one with inpatient patients to help them build small container gardens.

“Gardening is good for the soul and mind,” said Master Gardener Kay Morris. “There is no right or wrong way to put a succulent garden together. What we did today was a fun, creative way to incorporate physical and mental aspects of gardening into their therapy.”

Collin County Master Gardener Kay Morris talks about the various plants and how to care for them with rehab patient Joyce Ripperda.

Collin County Master Gardener Kay Morris talks about the various plants and how to care for them with rehab patient Joyce Ripperda.


Patients dug in the dark, rich potting soil, placed glass marbles as pathways to miniature gnomes and planted beautiful succulent plants in brightly colored plastic containers they will be able take home to enjoy, once they are ready to leave inpatient rehab. Several patients recalled fruit and vegetable gardens they’ve planted in the past and enjoyed learning about the different types of plants and how to care for them.

Occupational Therapist Lakita Moore explained how the exercise, which focused on gross and fine motor skills, problem solving and sequencing served as a functional therapy activity.

“Gardening is fun and functional,” said Moore, “And this exercise allowed patients to use their brain and body together.”


About Medical Center of McKinney

Medical Center of McKinney (MCM) is a growing 260-bed, acute care hospital that offers patients the most comprehensive services including emergency care, cardiovascular, neurological services, general surgery, orthopedics, women’s services, including a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and psychiatric services. By placing quality patient care as a foremost priority, MCM achieved the Joint Commission’s prestigious Top Performer recognition for the third time for sustaining excellence in heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. MCM has expanded its emergency services by opening a 12-bed provider-based emergency room, the ER at Stonebridge, located at the corner of U.S. Highway 380 and Custer Road. MCM has a 90-year history of serving the health care needs of McKinney and the surrounding communities. Over the past several years, MCM has strengthened its medical foundations by adding two new surgical robots, a newly remodeled labor and delivery suites, a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and an advanced biplane catheterization (cath) lab to treat heart rhythm disorders. MCM is an affiliate of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). For more information, visit

About the Collin County Master Gardeners Association

Members of the Collin County Master Gardener Association (CCMGA) are citizens of the local community who not only take an active interest in their own lawns, trees and gardens but also strive to promote sound horticultural practices in the community. CCMGA is an educational and volunteer program affiliated with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service of the Texas A&M University system, and it is organized as a 501(3)(c) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. They have three fund-raising events each year: The Garden Show, The Superstars Plant Sale and the Fall Bulb Sale. Money raised from these events is used to purchase supplies and fund educational programs and activities that we offer to the community. For more information, visit