This March readers of The Lady will be able to discover more about Horatio’s Garden thanks to a thoughtful article penned by Ciar Byrne, which tells the story of the charity and how it has flourished throughout the past 10 years. 

As Ciar writes, creating and nurturing each of our beautiful gardens has been a constant learning curve. Nevertheless, every single one of them remains true to Horatio Chapple’s inspired original vision. 

Having spoken with our Founder & Chair of Trustees, Dr Olivia Chapple, whilst preparing the feature, Ciar’s piece offers readers an insight into the very heart of the charity and everything we do to ensure all our stunning sanctuaries are vibrant, welcoming places for everyone affected by spinal injury. 

Often it is the design of each garden that captures public interest, thus Olivia felt it was important to detail just a handful of the unique and common elements present in each haven. In particular, she emphasises how wonderful it is that each Horatio’s Garden reflects the singular style of each award-winning designer, whilst simultaneously sharing the attributes of providing year-round interest and, most importantly, being subtly accessible. 

Given the newfound appreciation for green spaces since the outbreak of Coronavirus, Ciar mentions that our gardens have been more important than ever throughout the pandemic and that there’s a growing body of research regarding the health benefits of outdoor spaces. 

Naturally, she cites Sue Stuart-Smith’s brilliant book, The Well Gardened Mindas an example, alongside her husband, Tom Stuart-Smith’s insights from designing Horatio’s Garden London & South East. 

Tom lends a little more detail regarding his considered creation, sharing that he consciously crafted a layered landscape to enable every individual visiting the garden to have a deep, personal connection with it. He also shared his fondness for living in close proximity to the garden, which has allowed him to remain very much involved with the project. Indeed, his most recent donation of over 2,000 snowdrops from his own garden to our London garden illustrates that he is as committed to the charity as the rest of our brilliant designers. 

The closing paragraphs go on to detail our future plans for Horatio’s Garden Wales, with Sarah Price’s gorgeous designs being brought to life as we speak, as well as how together with Andy Sturgeon we are starting to develop designs for Horatio’s Garden Northern Ireland. 

It is Tom who has the final word however, with the article ending on this rather lovely quote: 

“Olivia and all her gang make it a delight rather than a burden. People love being part of it because it’s such a creative atmosphere.” 

We are so grateful to Ciar and The Lady for including us in the month’s issue and hope you enjoy reading the full feature over a warm cup of tea this weekend.