The site of Horatio’s Garden Wales has been a hive of activity throughout the past few weeks, with volunteers, staff and builders alike all pulling together to bring our sixth project to life.
As the construction team continued to work on various elements of the hard landscaping, a marvellous team of volunteers joined the garden’s designer, Sarah Price, alongside Head Gardener Owen Griffiths, for the latest planting effort.
Everything looks amazing already, with the artistry of Sarah’s design lying in her approach to planting. In each of her gardens, she places the plants, steps back, looks at the composition and then changes the placement should she feel she needs to. Her approach is similar to that of Cleve West, who designed Horatio’s Garden South West, hence there will be a stylistic synergy between our very first garden and this latest project.
All our volunteers have been absolutely fantastic, working many happy hours with Head Gardener Owen to get the garden looking lovely. Among them were a brilliant team from Hugh James Legal, who have been incredibly generous in their continued support of Horatio’s Garden Wales. As well as getting to know each other amongst the planting, everyone also had the chance to understand Sarah’s approach to landscape design, as well as Owen’s plans for how to thoughtfully maintain the sanctuary moving forward.
Our Head Gardener’s Leader, Jacqui Martin-Löf, was there to lend a helping hand too, tying in a huge wisteria along with plenty of other climbers that will soon cloak the fencing surrounding the garden in greenery. The wisteria looked particularly wonderful once in position and having been taken care of by Sarah since it was in one of her previous RHS Chelsea gardens, it was a moving moment for everyone to see it safely established in its new home.
With progress being made at an astonishing rate, there was a great deal of excitement from NHS staff and patients too, all of whom are very much looking forward to the garden being open.
This was something they shared with the Horatio’s Garden Office Team too, who decided to get stuck in and merrily make the most of the fresh air just a few days later.
Those who were able to come to Cardiff enjoyed every minute of their time in the garden and were thrilled to see the space so closely resembling Sarah’s stunning designs. The hours were full of chatter and laughter as everyone pottered about completing various tasks, from planting and painting, to sweeping and watering (as well as a great deal more)!
It was a pleasure to be able to talk to some of the NHS staff working in the hospital and to some of the patients currently spending time in the spinal and neurological centres too. In each warm encounter, there was a shared fondness for Horatio’s Garden Wales, one which suggests the garden will be a much loved, integrated part of the hospital.
Throughout both the past few weeks and the many months prior, Head Gardener Owen has been brilliant at ensuring everyone has felt appreciated and that when coming to the garden, everyone has had a job to do. It’s certainly safe to say that our Welsh project is in very capable hands and it will be a joy to see it thriving soon.
Now that Horatio’s Garden Wales will be opening imminently, an Afternoon Tea at Miskin Manor is planned to celebrate the eagerly anticipated occasion. The event will be held on Wednesday 18th May from 3pm – 5:30pm, so if you’d like to join us please click here to book your tickets and find out more.