Head Gardener Stephen Hackett was recently invited by Wiltshire Life to write a feature for their November 2020 issue, which resulted in him penning a timely piece complete with beautiful autumnal photographs of Horatio’s Garden South West. 

The article spans three pages and thoughtfully begins by acknowledging the way in which Coronavirus and lockdown brought the importance and value of green spaces to the forefront of our collective consciousness. Indeed, as Stephen writes, not only did it make us think of those cooped up in cities, it also gave many of us a miniscule glimpse into the world of patients with spinal injuries rehabilitating in hospital. 

The fact is that many people will have little to no access to outdoor spaces for many months as they adjust to life-changing injuries in spinal centres across the UK. Stephen delineates this in his feature, whilst also optimistically pointing out that Horatio’s Garden is working to address precisely that situation. 

Writing from first-hand experience of scenes in Horatio’s Garden South West, Stephen vouches that natural spaces make a difference to patients, their loved ones and staff. This has been seen more than ever throughout the past few months, particularly Stephen notes since visitors have been allowed to spend time with patients again in the garden. 

Every Horatio’s Garden provides year-round colour and interest, which Stephen believes serves as a good reminder that natural beauty can be found whatever the weather. Even as the days grow short, he writes that we can delight in piles of leaves and bright flowers as though we are all children once again. 

With the changing season in mind, Stephen also shares his gardening wisdom for the winter months in the piece. Much of this is about utilising the materials already available in your garden in order to be sustainable, for example creating your own leaf mulch. 

Most importantly, however, his article inspires readers to begin planning for next springHe writes about the joy of planting the bulbs of your choice now (recommending tulips), whilst he also encourages turning our sights generally toward the promise of hope, change and growth next year. As Stephen writes, this is perhaps a particularly apt sentiment for 2020. 

We are enormously grateful to Wiltshire Life for including us in the issue and hope that you enjoy reading Stephen’s wonderful writing as much as we have.