The sun has finally started to shine after a long, cold and rather rainy May, perfectly coinciding with our plans to celebrate the Spring Bank Holiday! 

Despite ongoing restrictions in Stoke Mandeville and Scotland meaning the gardens’ plans to mark the weekend were a little more lowkey, this didn’t stop patients enjoying the long-awaited warmth. Lots of people ventured into the gardens, helping themselves to homemade cake and refreshing beverages, whiling away the hours getting to know each other and generally making the most of the unexpectedly balmy weather. 

Meanwhile, in Horatio’s Garden South West, Horatio’s Garden London & South East, and Horatio’s Garden Midlands, the golden glow provided a gorgeous backdrop for various performances and treats, all of which were much appreciated by everyone spending time in the gardens. 

Graeme Budd, also known as Dinner Jazz Sax, Steel Sounds, and Danny Jones all joined us in each garden respectively, playing brilliant sets in their own unique styles. Whilst Graeme’s smooth saxophone sound echoed across our South West garden, Abdul’s accomplished steelpan drumming encouraged patients, NHS staff and volunteers alike to groove along to the music in London and in Oswestry, patients were heard shouting for more of Danny’s artful acoustic renditions! 

All those nestled amongst the planting enjoyed each performance immensely, including the musicians themselves, with many people sharing that the tones and tunes had made them feel incredibly happy. 

The bright and beautiful day didn’t stop there either, with everyone who gathered in the gardens also enjoying some delicious dishes and delightful desserts as part of the occasion. With easing restrictions, we were able to see a return to serving a choice of lunches in Salisbury, whilst scrumptious cakes and cool drinks were the order of the day in Oswestry and London. 

It was certainly a weekend filled with mirth, melody and fun, a testament to the talents and hard work of Arts Programme Coordinator, Evie Redwood; as Garden Administrator for Horatio’s Garden Midlands, Gemma Christie, shared, “it was a really lovely way to spend a Bank Holiday”. 

We sincerely hope you made the most of the sunshine wherever you are too!