March 8, 2024

Celebrating the women of the Horatio’s Garden gardening team on International Women’s Day

Amy, Head Gardener of Horatio's Garden Stoke Mandeville

Lucy, Head Gardener of Horatio's Garden South West

Chelsea, Head Gardener of Horatio's Garden Scotland

Kath, Director of Gardens

Today is International Women’s Day, the theme of which is ‘Inspire Inclusion’. International Women’s Day is a chance to celebrate women’s achievements while raising awareness of the struggles which preceded them, and which continue to make women’s lives more challenging across the world.

Until relatively recent history, women were excluded from working in horticulture, with the first women enrolling as gardeners at Kew in 1896. Since then, a wide range of talented female gardeners have changed the face of the gardening community. This International Women’s Day, we would like to highlight some of the incredible women working in the Horatio’s Garden gardening team today!

Amy Moffett – Head Gardener of Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville

We warmly welcomed Amy to the team in Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville in January 2021. She is a Kew-trained horticulturalist, with a passion for all things bright and beautiful. Her love of plants, trees, fungi and wildlife is no secret and as a maker of beautiful jewellery, Amy is a wonderful source of support, creativity and encouragement for everyone spending time in the National Spinal Injuries Centre.

“I am absolutely delighted to be a part of the team here at Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville. It’s a real privilege to be able to contribute to such a great cause while nurturing such a beautiful garden! I hope to continue to help facilitate positivity and hope for many more patients with spinal injuries into the future.”

Lucy Thorpe – Head Gardener of Horatio’s Garden South West

Lucy has been working in horticultural therapy and education for the past 15 years. She is happiest sharing her love of gardening and nature with others and supporting them to discover the benefits of horticulture for their mental health and wellbeing. Her passion is fruit and vegetable growing and she has had an allotment for the last 13 years.

Having completed a Professional Diploma in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture at Coventry University in 2013, Lucy subsequently worked for over six years with a military charity. She subsequently lent her time to the Defence Gardens Scheme CIC as a Volunteer Horticultural Therapist, and is also currently a freelance Nature-Based Therapist.

“In my role as Head Gardener and Horticultural Therapist at Horatio’s Garden South West I feel so fortunate to be able to support patients and their families during rehabilitation from life changing spinal injuries. It’s extremely rewarding to utilise my knowledge and experience of gardening and growing to inspire the patients and immerse them in horticultural activities during our garden therapy sessions.”

Chelsea Lowe – Head Gardener of Horatio’s Garden Scotland

Chelsea became Head Gardener of Horatio’s Garden Scotland in July 2022. Having previously worked in the horticultural haven as a WFGA WRAGS trainee from 2019 to 2020, Chelsea supported many people spending time in the charity’s Scottish sanctuary throughout the pandemic. Three years later, we were delighted to welcome Chelsea back as Head Gardener. She regularly facilitates garden therapy to help harness the power of nature for beneficiaries spending time in Horatio’s Garden Scotland and leads a brilliant team of volunteers in caring for the planting.

“It is a rare joy to work in such a magical place, and as part of a fabulous charity, who are making such a positive difference to people’s lives every single day.”

Kath Moss – Director of Gardens

Kath joined the team as Director of Gardens in November 2023. Kath has an extensive background in horticulture and strategic garden management and is passionate about creating and maintaining environments which are both beautiful and functional. Kath has worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Auckland Botanic Gardens in New Zealand, and has most recently been managing significant historic landscapes for a local authority. Kath enjoys the outdoors, walking, yoga, and loves using nature to inspire creative textile work.

“It’s such a joy to work with the wonderful team behind Horatio’s Garden. Everyone is so friendly and the all the garden staff and volunteers working in every gorgeous garden do such incredible work to support people affected by spinal injury. Their expertise and kindness make such a difference to so many people, something I see first-hand on my regular visits to all seven of the charity’s sanctuaries across the UK.”

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