Horatio’s Garden; finding hope for the future
Horatio’s Gardens are inspirational spaces for spinal injuries units being created by the charity founded in memory of Horatio Chapple. The National Garden Scheme is committed to supporting each Horatio’s Garden as it is designed and built, with grants of £150,000 per garden.
In 2018 the Horatio’s Garden at the world-famous National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville was opened. This was the specialist spinal injuries centre in the country and the garden is designed by Joe Swift, an Ambassador and former President of the National Garden Scheme. Joe’s garden has transformed what was an awkward and uneven space on two sides of the centre into an inspirational garden.
Flat surfaces ensure seamless access throughout for both wheelchairs and patients in beds and water tumbling into a pool provides the peaceful background sound. A superb garden room designed by Andrew Wells and spacious greenhouse donated by Griffin Glasshouses, provide sheltered spaces for patients and visitors to socialise and to garden.
In springtime planters and beds are filled with brightly coloured tulips, later a succession of flowering shrubs, perennials and grasses provide subtly changing shapes and shades of colour throughout summer and into the autumn.
At the opening of the garden one former patient said, “You can’t be depressed in such a beautiful environment…You lose your disability completely, you’re distracted by so many visual sights, colours, the water is so therapeutic. You just become normal again which is all you want when you’ve been through a massive life-changing experience.”
This film is being released during our Gardens and Health Week. For more information click here
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