Why we do it

Horatio’s Garden is named after Horatio Chapple, who was a volunteer at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre, Salisbury, in his school holidays.

Horatio and his father David Chapple – a spinal surgeon at Salisbury Hospital – came up with the idea for a garden and Horatio drew up a questionnaire to find out what the patients wanted.

Tragically, Horatio was killed at the age of 17 by a polar bear. There followed an outpouring of love and goodwill – and donations flooded in for his garden to be created.

Cleve West designed the first Horatio’s Garden. He was the perfect man for the job. He knew the spinal centre well because his best friend had been a patient there – and Cleve was winner of the Best in Show at Chelsea in 2011 (he went on to win again in 2012).

Cleve used Horatio’s patient research as the starting point for the design and then listened to the views of everyone involved – patients, 

nurses, therapists, doctors, managers… he even asked us to take him around the site in a hospital bed and a wheelchair to get a patient’s perspective.

Horatio’s Garden opened in Salisbury in September 2012. In 2015 Cleve won three Society of Garden Designers Awards for the designs.

Following the enormous success of the first Horatio’s Garden, exemplified in patient questionnaires and feedback, the charity was set up to create Horatio’s Gardens nationally at the other ten regional spinal injury centres in the UK. Horatio’s Garden Scotland opened in September 2016 and Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville will open in 2018.

“Being outside in a beautiful garden changed everything for me during my long stay in hospital after I was paralysed.”

The garden song

The Evidence

Garden therapy in spinal cord injury
Garden therapy in spinal cord injury

Garden therapy in spinal cord injury

An article published about Horatio's Garden reviews the evidence for garden therapy in spinal cord ...

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Ulrich
Ulrich

Ulrich

Results from a hospital study found that a patient’s well being was improved when they had a room ...

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Gelser - 1992, 1993 Fund
Gelser - 1992, 1993 Fund

Gelser - 1992, 1993 Fund

Gesler (1992, 1993) suggests that certain environments promote mental and physical well being. He ...

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King's Fund report
King's Fund report

King's Fund report

Funded by the National Gardens Scheme, the King's Fund report looked at the evidence into the ...

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Mind: Feel Better Outside, Feel Better Inside
Mind: Feel Better Outside, Feel Better Inside

Mind: Feel Better Outside, Feel Better Inside

The charity Mind report: Feel Better Outside, Feel Better Inside, includes new findings from the ...

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Woodland Trust 2014
Woodland Trust 2014

Woodland Trust 2014

The Woodland Trust's chief executive has said increasing people's access to green spaces could cut ...

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Olds - 1985
Olds - 1985

Olds - 1985

Olds conducted an experiment during a series of workshops, on 300 participants, using a qualitative ...

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Paine & Francis 1990
Paine & Francis 1990

Paine & Francis 1990

A strong body of research suggests that gardens are also a vital point for socialising. Paine and ...

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Patient Testimonials

A thank you from a patient at Salisbury
A thank you from a patient at Salisbury

A thank you from a patient at Salisbury

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The best thing about Horatio’s Garden Salisbury
The best thing about Horatio’s Garden Salisbury

The best thing about Horatio’s Garden Salisbury

The garden lets you get away from the hospital. Inside you can’t help but think, but when you go ...

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Experiences at Horatio’s Garden Salisbury
Experiences at Horatio’s Garden Salisbury

Experiences at Horatio’s Garden Salisbury

The garden has improved my wellbeing massively. It’s nice to be outside and it doesn’t feel or ...

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Thoughts on the new Horatio’s Garden Scotland
Thoughts on the new Horatio’s Garden Scotland

Thoughts on the new Horatio’s Garden Scotland

"Having a space away from the clinical apparatus, smells and stuffiness for us both is ...

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Garden therapy
Garden therapy

Garden therapy

Victoria Theakston explains, in a letter to the Telegraph, how Horatio's Garden helped during her ...

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Reflections
Reflections

Reflections

The time I spent in Horatio's Garden had an impact on me in several ways, mentally, physically and ...

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A patient’s thank you
A patient’s thank you

A patient’s thank you

"While we have been in the spinal unit Horatio's Garden has been an oasis of peace and calm away ...

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Thank you from a patient
Thank you from a patient

Thank you from a patient

Thank you to everyone who works so hard in this wonderful garden. The volunteers are all amazing, ...

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To the Garden Volunteers
To the Garden Volunteers

To the Garden Volunteers

Just to say thank you and good bye for now! You all work so hard and it shows, the garden is a ...

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Thank you to Horatio’s Garden volunteers
Thank you to Horatio’s Garden volunteers

Thank you to Horatio’s Garden volunteers

Thank you very much for your kindness and the tea and cakes you gave me. The work you do in the ...

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Thank you letter
Thank you letter

Thank you letter

I wanted to write to say thank you for being the wonderful people you are. Horatio's Garden was my ...

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Garden Poem
Garden Poem

Garden Poem

Sunlight filters through the trees Flowers swaying in the breeze The gentle sound of buzzing ...

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Letter from a patient’s wife
Letter from a patient’s wife

Letter from a patient’s wife

We would like to say how much the activities which have taken place in Horatio's Garden have been ...

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Thank you card
Thank you card

Thank you card

Horatio's garden is such a delightful reprieve for us all we cant thank you enough for your ...

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Thank you letter
Thank you letter

Thank you letter

I just have to say a very big thank you to you and your excellent team of volunteers. We were ...

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From an inpatient
From an inpatient

From an inpatient

Your garden makes a difference when I am so very low It's such an inspiration and wonderful place ...

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Written with love from former patient
Written with love from former patient

Written with love from former patient

Horatio's Garden, such tranquillity, allows me to think of the life set before me. I feel calm ...

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