Patients spend a long time in hospital following a spinal cord injury, around five months on average in Scotland. This can be a very difficult time for patients and their family and friends.
Designed by acclaimed garden designer and RHS judge, James Alexander-Sinclair, Scotland’s Horatio’s Garden has transformed the view for patients from the wards and communal rooms to something which is life-affirming to look out on to. The planting encourages birds, butterflies and bees, adding a dimension of interest for patients who can be on bed rest for weeks.
There is a therapy garden with a greenhouse, donated by Hartley Botanic, for patients to grow vegetables and plants and a play area for patients’ children to go to during long visits.
A stunning courtyard garden has become the heart of the spinal unit giving an oasis of calm in the clinical environment. This is an uplifting space, brimming with colour and life. There are sheltered areas so patients and their visitors can use the garden during bad weather.
There has been much evidence that gardens and gardening have a positive effect on a person’s physical, mental and emotional well being. Having an inspiring outdoor haven is particularly crucial for people impacted by spinal injuries.
“Horatio’s Garden has made a huge difference to my stay in the Spinal Unit. It has been a place to take my visitors and show them the plants in the woodland garden. I have watched this beautiful garden being created. I will be going home with wonderful memories of this garden and the people who work in it.”
Jenny, a patient in 2016