As if to prove that time really does fly when you’re having fun, Horatio’s Garden Scotland recently celebrated its fourth birthday!

Please click on the relevant link to read more about Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville’s second birthday or Horatio’s Garden Midlands’ first birthday

Together with Head Gardener Sallie, designer James Alexander-Sinclair, Trustee Catherine Burns and Fundraising Assistant Beth Keever, all visited the garden to quietly mark the special occasion. 

Befittingly, Catherine arrived with this delicious chocolate cake, complete with bespoke banner, which naturally attracted everyone’s attention! Indeed, it turned out to be so good that James later gave it a mention on his Instagram, crediting Catherine’s daughter Mary as the star baker. 

As a result of lockdown restrictions, James’ planned visits to the garden earlier this year were sadly cancelled, meaning that this was the first time he has been able to see Horatio’s Garden in all its glory in almost 12 months. He was, as always, enormously pleased to see the garden flourishing so wonderfully and immediately began to talk about his plans for continuing the sanctuary’s story for many more anniversaries to come. 

Head Gardener Sallie also had plenty of tales to tell, especially as the challenges of 2020 have led to patients, NHS staff and the charity having an even stronger sense of camaraderie. She shared that the ongoing warmth of everyone’s relationship could most recently be felt as patients and staff harvested the garden’s fruits and vegetables, which is also a testament to how well established the planting now is too. Similarly, patients have been gathering in the garden pods to share stories with each other and play games, particularly in the evenings. Many have made lifelong friends, making the best of the lockdown restrictions.

Together with a team of Occupational Therapists, the predominant autumn activity patients have been enjoying is picking Victoria plums, Heritage Brandywine and Moneymaker tomatoes, as well as taste testing the ripeness of the apples! This year’s crops have been so good that patients are currently in their third week of baking plum cakes, whilst smashed broad bean, garlic and tomato bruschetta and tartlets are also on the agenda for the coming weeks.

As Sallie said, despite everyone having to keep a distance from the garden, its truly lovely to know that all the sowing and growing othe past four years continues to have aimpact, just as intended. With the support of the amazing volunteer team, who continue to do whatever they can from home, the garden has truly become a vibrant, positive place to be for so many people from across Scotland. 

Like them and many of you, we’re very much looking forward to seeing what the next four years holds for our beautiful Scottish garden.