Horatio’s Garden Midlands – Oswestry; familiar family time in the garden
Since 2015 The National Garden Scheme has been supporting Horatio’s Garden and has donated £255,000 to-date to help the charity create and care for the gardens across the UK.
Horatio’s Garden in Oswestry is the fourth of its kind, and was designed by award winning Garden Designer, Bunny Guinness.
For Adam Gleeson, Horatio’s Garden in Oswestry helped him whilst he was separated from his wife and children due to the Covid-19 restrictions earlier this year. Now with the garden open to family and friends, Adam can share this space with them and have the opportunity to feel like a normal family again. Find out more about Adam’s story here:
In June 2020, Adam was working on scaffolding when he received a call informing him that his mum had passed away. While trying to get down from the scaffolding, he mis-stepped on the ladder, slipped and fell onto the garden wall.
His initial time in hospital was very difficult. After having heard the terrible news about his mum and suffering a spinal cord injury, everything felt different, and the situation was completely life changing. He also has a wife and children, and so his accident had completely changed their lives too. ‘It’s a strange road we’re having to go down, but it’s one I’ve got no choice but to follow’, Adam says. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, Adam didn’t see his family for six weeks after his accident.
Feeling depressed and down, the nurses took him out into the Horatio’s Garden by wheeling his bed outdoors. Amongst the hustle and bustle of the busy ward, the garden gave Adam a vital sense of normality. Somewhere to connect with fellow patients, and with nature.
“One thing that will stay with me forever is the conversations I had with fellow patients.” Adam comments. “ The garden gave us a chance to exchange our stories in a way we couldn’t when we were on the ward.” Talking to other patients helped Adam to learn that many of the experiences he was having were part of the injury, tips for how to look after himself, and most importantly he wasn’t alone.
When visitors were eventually allowed, he was anxious about his wife and children seeing him in this condition, but he was relieved when he realised that they just wanted to see their dad. The garden gave Adam and his family a peaceful environment where, for a short while, they could feel like a normal family again. It gave them a safe, private and quiet space where he could talk openly to his wife about what was going on, and it provided a space for his children to play and explore – they particularly liked to collect the painted rocks and hide them around the garden.
Take a virtual garden visit
The garden was due to open for the National Garden Scheme in September 2020, but was cancelled due to Covid-19. In lieu of the garden’s opening, Head Gardener, Imogen Jackson, shares a guided walk through garden. Watch the video below to discover this special garden sanctuary which has become fundamental to the lives of the patients and staff within the ward.
To find out more about Horatio’s Garden, click here