Actor and comedian Danny Thomas and his wife Rose Marie established the Danny & Rose Marie Thomas Memorial Garden. It is a beautiful garden in Memphis Tennessee. The couple loved to grow flowers, vegetables, and herbs. They also had an extensive collection of fruit trees on their property. Danny was an avid gardener and farmer until his death in 2012. His wife, Rose Marie would often help him with the gardening work around the house. After his passing, their children established this memorial garden in honor of them both for all of us to enjoy forever!
This memorial garden is housed in St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a hospital Danny built as a vow to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes. He had a simple aim as a young man: to amuse people and be successful enough to support his wife and family. But finding a job wasn't simple. “Show me my route in life, and I will build you a shrine,” he promised in prayer to St. Jude Thaddeus.
That prayer to St. Jude was a watershed point in his life for him. Soon after, he began looking for work and went on to become one of the biggest radio, cinema, and television stars of his day.
And, as one of the world's most famous people, Danny utilized his celebrity status to keep his promise to St. Jude Thaddeus and to make a difference in the lives of thousands of children and families.
In 1955, Danny and a group of Memphis businesspeople he recruited to establish the hospital felt it should be more than just a regular children's hospital. The survival rate for pediatric malignancies was 20% at the time, and just 4% of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, one form of childhood cancer would live.
They thought that St. Jude could assist these families who had no other options. In order to become this research center where doctors from across the world collaborate on finding treatment instead of only focusing on their specific field, they decided to make it free care until there is end-of-life stage which made its foundation unique compared even today when hospitals are trying everything possible not pay attention or give help unless you have insurance.
They built the garden in this place that means a lot to him with the help of designer Robert Green. A respite from a hectic day is found here, where an oasis of beauty and peace among trees including dogwoods, white pines, blue cypresses, elms, red oaks, crepe myrtles help to provide hope for those battling cancer or other diseases who cannot make it home during breaks in their treatment regimens.
The garden boasts over 60 unique plant species that serve as both sound buffers against noise pollution and city life but also contribute to its overall aesthetic appeal with shrubs such carrisa hollies, blue rug junipers, azaleas, and seasonal flowers. Family members, employees, and visitors all appreciate this peaceful environment especially when they need support while dealing with difficult times like having sick children undergoing rigorous trials.
Danny & Rose Marie Thomas Memorial Garden is a beautiful place for people to come and enjoy the beauty of nature. The garden also provides an opportunity for people who are grieving or looking to remember loved ones that have passed away, as it serves as a serene space where visitors can reflect on their own memories while enjoying the peaceful setting.
Memphis, Tennessee, has some of the country’s most diverse and gorgeous botanical gardens. Here’s a short list of our favorites:
- Memphis Botanic Garden
- My Big Backyard at Memphis Botanic Garden
- Oaklawn Garden
- Carlisle S. Page Arboretum
- Overton Park Formal Gardens
- Rhodes College Arboretum
- Dixon Gallery & Gardens
- Central Gardens Neighborhood
These amazing gardens are located just down the street from our location at Summer Avenue between Estridge Drive and Eastern Drive. Stop by for a visit anytime!