With the tulips bursting into life and Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville bathed in spring sunshine, designer Joe Swift and Founder & Chair of Trustees, Dr Olivia Chapple, truly picked the perfect day to visit the sanctuary!
Having been unable to see the garden in person for so long in light of government restrictions, the day felt like a real event and presented a brilliant opportunity for Head Gardener Amy Moffett and Garden Administrator Debs Grigg to really come to understand Joe’s vision for the horticultural haven.
Safely exploring the garden together, the group agreed that it was wonderful to spend some valuable time discussing the details of the garden, which is becoming more impressive with each passing year. With every plant flourishing, including many responsible for encouraging wildlife to the garden, it was a chance to really appreciate the success of the seasonal planting scheme; whether that be the incredible variety of trees swaying in the gentle breeze, or the shrubs, herbaceous perennials and bulbs thriving in the soil.
The four really enjoyed discovering and discussing Joe’s plans for the future of the greenery, whilst they also spent time talking about various essential gardening topics. Everything the group chatted about will undoubtedly continue to inform the therapeutic events and activities Amy, Debs and our fantastic volunteers offer to patients, whilst there were also tentative ideas shared about the creation of a new plant nursery area.
With the day coming to a close, Joe, Olivia, Amy and Debs all felt that their “most social event of the year so far” had certainly been a good one, with it also prompting Amy to share that she feels “greatly privileged to be looking after this garden on behalf of the charity.”
We’re very much looking forward to seeing patients, their loved ones, NHS staff and supporters spending time in Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville and to welcoming Joe back regularly as the foliage goes from strength to strength for many years to come.