Aside from BBC Shropshire’s special live broadcast in the garden on Sunday 8th September (which you can read more about by clicking HERE) a lot has been happening in the short time since our garden opened to patients, volunteers and NHS staff.
Head Gardener Imogen, with support from staff from the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH), has been liaising with patients about the kind of events and activities they would like to be part of in the garden and there are already various activities taking place.
This week patients took part in the first Horatio’s Garden Oswestry craft session, creating and painting three bird boxes with the support of the Occupational Therapy team and Horatio’s Garden volunteers. Now that the bird boxes are suitably colourful, patients are waiting to apply the final coat and they will soon be adorning walls around the garden, offering homes for wildlife this winter.
Meanwhile many have also agreed that having the opportunity to participate in a book club throughout their time in the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries (MCSI) would be a great way to create a sense of community amongst fellow patients and families. The first meeting will be at the beginning of October, where everyone is welcome to suggest genre, author and book titles for the coming year. With the support of local libraries and the RJAH staff librarian helping too, there will be enough copies for everyone, as well as audio and large print versions to encourage as many people as possible to get involved – whether you’re an avid reader or not!
Elsewhere in the garden there has also been a lot of activity around the green roof, which has now been successfully planted with Osmunda regalis (Regal Fern), Sedum ewersii, Sedum ‘Matrona’, Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae (Mrs Robb’s Bonnet), Alchemila mollis (Lady’s Mantle) and Helictotrichon sempervirens (Blue Oat Grass). All these plants will provide some extra feeding grounds for bees, butterflies, various insects and birds, whilst also lending some added insulation and beauty to the garden.
We’ve welcomed some of our first visitors to the garden too, including a team from Lanyon Bowdler solicitors and girls from local school, Moreton Hall. Lanyon Bowdler were keen to visit the garden as it provided a stunning backdrop to their interview with a recently discharged MCSI patient, as well as Chris Bright QC, and offered them an opportunity to promote the charity.
Meanwhile, students from Moreton Hall joined a team from the League of Friends to learn more about the benefits of volunteering. They were a fantastic group who spent two hours watering, cleaning pots, deadheading and cutting back Symphytum from the paths, all of which made a real difference to the garden. It was brilliant to see young people getting involved with the charity and certainly encouraging to see their can-do attitude!