September 5 2018
"A haven for our family coming to terms with a life changing accident. Thank you."
September 5 2018
"The garden lets you get away from the hospital. Inside you can’t help but think, but when you go into the garden it’s an escape."
September 5 2018
"The garden has improved my wellbeing massively. It’s nice to be outside and it doesn’t feel or look like a hospital. While I was on bed rest I was able to come down. Without the garden I would have had nothing to do."
October 18 2016
"Having a space away from the clinical apparatus, smells and stuffiness for us both is immeasurable. The moment we were in the courtyard my partner closed his eyes and enjoyed the sun on his head and the breeze on his skin. He smiled peacefully and as he sat in his wheelchair, still unable to move below the shoulders, he said 'I am holding you in my arms right now'."
January 30 2016
Victoria Theakston's letter to the Telegraph in January 2016:
'Sir - Jeremy Smith (Weekend, January 16) tells us how a tiny garden at Stoke Mandeville helped him smile again after he was severely injured in a fall.
I too have been a patient in a spinal injury unit, but my good fortune was to be sent to the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre at Salisbury Hospital, the home of the first Horatio's Garden.
This vibrant garden offered me an escape from the medical routine of hospital and gave me hope that I could once again enjoy life. Coming to terms with lasting injury takes time, but the opportunity to go outside, enjoy tea and cake with volunteers and chat about everyday things was life-saving.
I am so pleased you chose Horatio's Garden as one of your Christmas charities.'
Victoria Theakston - Cirencester, Gloucestershire
December 18 2015
'The time I spent in Horatio's Garden had an impact on me in several ways, mentally, physically and emotionally.
It was a place to go to escape the rigid routine and schedule of being on a hospital ward. A place where you could be left alone to gather your thoughts and try to comprehend what your future looks like after illness or injury leaving you with life changing results.
It is also somewhere you could be distracted by the beauty of the garden, the views, the smells, the tranquillity, or by enjoying a slice of cake and a coffee whilst chatting to one or more of the volunteers in the garden. Even getting your hands dirty potting plants, flower arranging or for me mainly being able to draw some of the amazing flowers and plants that were perfectly placed within the garden.
The garden was somewhere you could take your family or friends when they visited you, to share with them a little of what is here within the spinal unit surroundings.
Having such an amazing, uplifting space to retreat to after a heavy physio session or intense meeting with doctors/consultants, made it that bit easier to digest and come to terms with what the future held for each of us. It was somewhere you chatted to other spinal patients about how or why you were on the wards, where you discussed ways of dealing with different aspects of your new-found life situation.
Without the enjoyment and friendly atmosphere that Horatio's Garden had to offer, I know my outlook on my future would have been very different, and my depression would have been somewhat harder to manage, which would have added even more pressure onto the reality of a situation that was hard enough to come to terms with.
I sincerely believe that there should be a Horatio's Garden at every spinal rehabilitation centre throughout the UK - it's so much more than a few flowers and plants.'
December 2 2015
"While we have been in the spinal unit Horatio's Garden has been an oasis of peace and calm away from the noise and daily happenings in the ward. The opportunity to spend time in the fresh air amongst lovely plants and watching butterflies and birds also enjoying the same space has helped both of us. The garden room has enable us to enjoy the outdoors even in the inclement weather.
We have also much appreciated the time, friendliness and refreshments generously provided by the volunteers. We thank you for your vision in memory of Horatio and wish you every success in creating a Horatio's Garden in each of the regional spinal units."
September 29 2015
"Thank you to everyone who works so hard in this wonderful garden. The volunteers are all amazing, so kind and caring. Many thanks."
August 18 2015
"Horatio's Garden fosters a sense of community amongst spinal patients that we would not otherwise have. It's a welcoming space for patients and visitors alike and it's separate from the feeling of being in a hospital. It's a respite from the worries of spinal injuries and hospital stressors."
December 6 2014
“Thank you so much for providing us with this beautiful garden to enjoy – our little bit of heaven during a traumatic time for us all.”
October 30 2014
"I wanted to write to say thank you for being the wonderful people you are. Horatio's Garden was my sanctuary during my stay. Looking through the fabulous verbena to the Downs in the distance was the best tonic I could have hoped for. Thank you for providing such a tremendous sanctuary."
September 15 2014
Sunlight filters through the trees
Flowers swaying in the breeze
The gentle sound of buzzing bees
A garden of tranquility
I hear his voice whisper in the breeze
Dancing through the flowers and trees
An inspiration that's not hard to see
In this garden of tranquility.
Stephen Pascoe 15.9.14
September 4 2014
"We would like to say how much the activities which have taken place in Horatio's Garden have been such a joy during the long stay in the spinal unit.
Visiting the garden has been a great solace during the last few months and also extremely interesting to watch the changes to the plants over the seasons. The vision that Horatio had for enhancing the patients' environment has certainly worked.
We shall miss our escapes to the greenhouse for cups of tea and cakes and would like to thank you for your kindness and hospitality."
September 4 2014
“I feel better after hand therapy. I love planting things because it means a little part of me remains in the garden.”
September 4 2014
"I just have to say a very big thank you to you and your excellent team of volunteers. We were always made to feel so welcome when we visited the lovely Horatio's Garden and the afternoon cups of tea and cakes were a treat! It has been a great privilege to relax in the tranquil garden.
With profound thanks."
July 6 2014
Your garden makes a difference when I am so very low,
It's such an inspiration and wonderful place to go,
The helpers are so lovely with tea, cake and more,
It raises your spirits as you wheelchair through the door.
We know the tragic tale of why the garden came about,
But here in this place, success, could never be a doubt,
As the months go slowly by the garden changes too,
With spring going into summer, yellow, red and blue.
It's great to see the people, young and not so young out there,
Maybe think about your future or simply just to stare,
So here's a small gift, I hope to help it on its way,
And thank everyone involved again, there's nothing more to say.
June 13 2013
Horatio's Garden, such tranquillity, allows me to think of the life set before me.
I feel calm and relaxed sat quietly here, escaping the hustle and bustle and the deep dreaded fear.
Different colours and smells drift me away from my pain, before I'm back on the ward doing the same thing again.
I take myself away to a corner of this place, where I can sit and draw in my own special space.
Hours go by as I draw what I see, beautiful flowers set out before me.
As the sun shines down on my face, it slowly shows the true meaning of grace.
A beautiful place made and maintained by love. Thank you Horatio for looking down from above.