July 9, 2024

Sarah Price shares horticultural advice at Horatio’s Garden Wales

Sarah Price, designer of Horatio’s Garden Wales, returned to the garden to meet the team and share some horticultural advice.

Sarah is an award-winning garden designer renowned for her artistic, naturalistic planting style, having received three RHS Chelsea gold medals. Horatio’s Garden Wales, one of her stunning creations, opened at the Welsh Spinal Cord Injury and Neuro Rehabilitation Centre in University Hospital Llandough, Cardiff in 2022.

Sarah spent time with a number of members of the Horatio’s Garden team including Head Gardener Owen, WRAGS Trainee Amy, CEO Katie Tait, Director of Gardens Kath and members of the Head Office team Alex and Kate, also taking the time to talk to patients, family, friends and NHS staff who came into the garden while she was there.

Observing the garden two years after it opened, Sarah was pleased with the look and feel of the horticultural haven, where all the plants have really begun establishing themselves. Flowers bloomed all around, with lots of birds and wildlife also adding interest to the garden – including some baby seagulls nesting on the spinal centre’s roof!

Sarah and Owen discussed a few tips on how to get even more out of the garden, which might also be helpful for you at home:

  • Cloud pruning: Lift and cloud prune trees and shrubs including cornus mas, osmanthus x burkwoodii, and buxus sempervirens. This involves shaping plants to loosely resemble clouds – if left unpruned, trees can look like lollipops and the shrubs will be a dense mass of foliage. Cloud pruning is visually striking, improves air and light penetration and creates new viewpoints, opening up the garden!
  • Chelsea chops: Doing more Chelsea chops on herbacious perennials can extend the flowering season! There are two methods: a partial chop, whereby you cut back a third to a half of the stems for staggered flowering; and a full chop, whereby you cut back an entire plant to half its height to control the size and hopefully prevent its flowers from flopping.
  • Adding new bulbsIncorporating summer flowering bulbs like allium nigrum and increasing the bulb order next year will add more variety to to the garden!
  • Filling in gaps: There are a few gaps in the flowerbeds by the garden path, where Sarah suggested some lovely new plants to incorporate! Owen will be adding erigeron ‘Lavender Lady’ to spill out over the path and soften the edge, as well as various species of thyme. Sarah also recommended geranium psilostemon ‘Catherine Deneuve’, which has striking deep purple flowers and will act as the perfect ground cover in front of borders.

It was so lovely to welcome Sarah back to Horatio’s Garden Wales! We are sure that the garden will look even more beautiful next year, thanks to all of her fabulous horticultural advice.

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