The arrival of summer has led to a whole host of artistic individuals joining us in the garden for a variety of residencies, including Jayne Woodhouse, who’s become our very first Creative Writer in Residence in Horatio’s Garden South West! 

Jayne recently began visiting the garden and will be encouraging patients to join her amongst the planting every Monday afternoon from 2pm – 3pm until Monday 2nd August. 

With plenty of people alongside her, Jayne plans to explore the sanctuary using words and intends to support patients spending time in the oasis to do the same. Whilst many people may think writing requires a great deal of skill and thought, the beauty of Jayne’s creative writing sessions lies in the fact that none of this matters; passion for your subject is what counts and for that no amount of experience is required! 

As a professional teacher of creative writing courses, Jayne is well-versed in helping those just starting out in their expressive journeys, therefore everyone is welcome to join her. Alongside this element of her career, Jayne is also a published author, writing fiction for both adults and children. Consequently, she is full of excellent top tips for anyone attempting to write for the first time, whilst her wealth of expertise and insights will also be helpful to enthusiastic amateurs. 

Her initial sessions have already captured people’s interest, with various individuals stopping to spend time with Jayne and share more about the elements of the garden they notice whenever they visit. 

Whilst Jayne says she’s no poet, we’d beg to differ! Already she’s woven some of the sights, sounds and inspirations she’s gathered from Head Gardener Stephen’s chalkboard, Arts Coordinator Intern Evie’s acrostic and the kind patients who have chatted to her into a beautiful piece, which you can read in full below: 


July in the Garden 


It really feels like summer now —  

New plants with new colours grace the beds: 

Violet Queen Cleome, beloved by butterflies, 

Daisy-like Cosmos in its lacy foliage, 

Floriferous Dahlias, putting on a show. 


Bees are everywhere, 

Filling the garden with their sound and flight, 

And sparrows on the seed heads 

Bow the grasses almost to the ground, 

Before they spring back. 


Such a wonderful place, 

With something new each time I come here, 

A chance to be among real life. 


Soft yellow trumpets of Foxgloves 

And slender white spires of Epilobium —  

This is their time; 

While ever-changing Aruncus opens feathery plumes, 

Creamy-white on bronze stems, 

In constant tribute to its dear namesake. 


(The last plant’s full name is Aruncus ‘Horatio’) 



We very much look forward to reading the works Jayne helps to inspire and are intrigued to see what the rest of her residency holds for everyone over the coming weeks.