The first Horatio’s Garden opened in 2012 at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre at Salisbury District Hospital. The Centre serves patients from the whole of the south of England, from the Scilly Isles to Hastings and all the way up to the M4 corridor.
The garden was brought to life by celebrated garden designer Cleve West, who has won a remarkable total of six RHS gold medals for his gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show. The contractor for the garden was Martin Gomm from Wycliffe Landscapes. In 2014, Martin won two BALI awards for the garden in the Community and Schools Development category and also a new category of Outstanding Charitable Contribution.
Our wonderful Head Gardener, Stephen Hackett, is responsible for the care and maintenance of the garden and Susie Atterbury delivers the garden therapy programme in collaboration with the spinal centre’s occupational therapists.
“We couldn’t be more grateful to have a beautiful place which is peaceful and private to relax in. It has been incredibly beneficial to my father’s rehabilitation.” – Daughter of a patient at Salisbury.
“At Horatio’s Garden you can get together with other patients, talk about your injuries and encourage each other. I have a lovely time with the OT group. However, you can also find a quiet corner if you want to sit, close your eyes and listen to the birds.” – Gillian, a patient in Salisbury.
Visit the Salisbury Garden gallery page HERE.
Cleve West created the garden and won three Society of Garden Designers awards in 2015 for the design. The Public or Commercial Outdoor Space Award, the People’s Choice Award and the most prestigious award, the Judges’ Choice, was also awarded to Cleve for Horatio’s Garden.
The Judges said: “This is what healing gardens should be like; if only they all had a similar design. It has beautiful planting that works with the scale of the building and helps to reconnect people to nature.”
Cleve’s design brilliantly incorporates the form of the spine in a series of low limestone walls, which double as seating for families. These walls draw the eye to the gentle hills beyond and curve through mixed planting towards a large gathering space.
An apple archway leads to a summerhouse and there’s the calming sound of water flowing into a long rill. Everywhere the benefits of nature can be felt.
Plants have been chosen for their aesthetic and multi-sensory qualities: grasses to catch the wind, herbs to smell and taste, and shrubs and trees for texture and winter structure. Mature beech hedging was donated from Cleve West’s 2012 RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden, which was awarded the title of Best in Show. Native hedging is planted around the perimeter fence.
There are 23 trees planted in the garden, including Betula nigra and Amelanchier lamarckii, the berries of which attract birds to the garden. Shaggy box balls and rosemary punctuate a looser herbaceous palette, and perennials such as echinacea, foeniculum, aster and the aptly named Aruncus ‘Horatio’ bring texture, colour and scent.
“When I sat under the arbour, hearing the birds and the running water and seeing the garden around me made me feel as if I was back home in my garden again.” – A patient in Salisbury.
“I trained as a gardener in 2010 and never imagined that I’d be entrusted with a garden like Horatio’s Garden Salisbury. If the ideal job is doing something you love, which you are (seemingly) good at, and which has value for other people, then it ticks all the boxes. Gardening has always been an important part of my life, but professional horticulture can sometimes be a solitary occupation. Not so here, where the enthusiasm and commitment of the amazing volunteer team enlivens even the coldest, wettest days.
The garden is wonderful, and so too is the opportunity to indulge my inner plantsman by growing new plants in our greenhouse and polytunnel. To know that all the effort is of such enormous value to the patients and their families is such a reward. I’ve worked in some lovely gardens elsewhere, but never one which was so tangibly appreciated and loved by those who use it.”
Another beautiful day in the garden on the May Day Bank Holiday with patients and their families.
We loved seeing so many of you in the garden enjoying some delicious
food from Salisbury Hog Roast and live music from Jim Chorley, and thank you so much to all our volunteers for making the day a huge success.
We are also incredibly grateful to our lovely sponsors, Bolt Burdon Kemp, who are a constant source of support to Horatio's Garden.
We hope you all enjoyed the afternoon as much as we did!
Patients, their families, friends and staff gathered in the garden on 22nd April for a seasonal tea party and Easter Egg Hunt.
Everyone enjoyed a variety of Easter treats, including plenty of volunteer-made cake and some brilliant live music by local musician George, whilst relaxing in the spring sunshine.
We hope you all had a wonderfully bright and cheerful afternoon!
The 2018 Lantern Parade happened on the 18th December in the garden between 4-6pm. Ukulele Group 'The Salisbury Pluckets' played some warming music and carols and homemade soup was available once the parade finished. All patients, friends, family and staff were welcome, and we hope all those who attended enjoyed the afternoon.
Kathy Hinde will be showing her work in Horatio’s Garden Salisbury. The work will be exhibited in the apple archway in Horatio’s Garden. It’s called ‘Luminous Birds’ and features origami birds made of waxed paper that combine lighting and sound to give them a sense of movement. The exhibition will be open to all patients in the spinal centre, family, friends, SDH staff and patients from across the hospital too.
The work will stay until the end of March 2019. Thank you to Woolley & Wallis Salisbury Salerooms for sponsoring art in Horatio’s Garden Salisbury.
A beautiful Christmas card made by a patient during Art Therapy in the garden in the run-up to the festive holiday.
Sarah Hough visited Salisbury for her artist's residency in September. Patients welcomed Sarah to the garden and we're able to get involved by painting scenes alongside her. Many were also captivated by simply watching her work, and Sarah enjoyed chatting with a variety of visitors over numerous cups of tea!
To find out more about Sarah, please visit https://sarahhough.com/about.
Patients used pressed flowers cut from the garden to decorate their wonderful painted canvases in their Art Therapy session on Wednesday 29th August. Please contact volunteer Sheelagh if you would like to participate in some of her individually tailored sessions.
On Bank Holiday Monday there was a BBQ lunch for patients, friends and family in Horatio’s Garden. With live music, locally produced gourmet burgers and vegetarian options the afternoon was a great success and was generously sponsored by Bolt Burdon Kemp.
A gorgeous fresh flower collage made by patients at Horatio's Garden Salisbury during a hand therapy session on 2nd August 2018.
On the 31st May 2018 a group of opera singers came to delight patients and visitors with an incredible, yet light-hearted performance in the garden.
'A Surprising Performance of the Best Bits of Opera!' was written by popular playwright, Rachel Barnett, and directed by the award-winning Helen Eastman. It features internationally renowned singers.
Horatio’s Garden Salisbury invited patients, their families and friends, as well as Spinal Treatment Centre staff to the annual Bank Holiday Hog Roast. The day was enjoyed by all with live music and fabulous food!
Sculptures by Ben Barrell were being exhibited in Horatio’s Garden Salisbury until October 2018.
Ben studied sculpture at Bristol Polytechnic in the early nineties and has been creating sculpture ever since. He is a renowned sculptor and the artist behind the Barrell Pebble Seats.
When Ben starts to work on a new piece, his inspiration invariably comes from nature. A lot of his work stems from the shapes thrown by the Atlantic Ocean, sea creatures and yachts sailing across the horizon. His visual memories and sketches of these dynamic shapes translated into the physical forms he has created and continues to make now.
Ben’s work has been commissioned for sculpture projects all over the world and includes monumental sculptures for public places, bespoke work for private gardens, and exquisite bronzes for interior spaces.
The exhibition was generously sponsored by Woolley & Wallis Salisbury Salerooms.
On Sunday 29th April Horatio’s Garden Salisbury opened for the National Garden Scheme, a charity which supports a variety of beneficiaries, including Horatio's Garden. The National Garden Scheme are passionate about the physical and mental health benefits of both gardens and gardening. It was wonderful to see so many visitors interested in the garden, and we hope that next year's event is just as successful!
On 2nd April 2018, patients, family and friends thoroughly enjoyed the Easter Tea and Treasure Hunt at Horatio’s Garden Salisbury, and particularly loved the tasty treats on offer thanks to our volunteers! We are so grateful to everyone who attended and to all those who gave up their time to help the day run smoothly.
Patients of the Spinal Centre at Salisbury Hospital were treated to a wonderful day out with a huge picnic and cream teas aboard the Rivertime boat in Windsor.
Rivertime is a 42 foot boat and has been purpose-built to enable people with access restrictions to be able to go out on the River Thames. Patients boarded the Rivertime accompanied by Recreational Assistant Sonya Wade.
Rivertime has a large saloon with a sliding roof for sunny days, and the boat can take twelve passengers (including carers). It always sets sail with a fully qualified skipper and experienced crew member.
A huge thank you to all the crew and to Sonya Wade for making this such a great day out for the patients.
Thanks to the talented Tatum Street Musicians who played on Sunday the 6th of August at the Patient and Family Lunch in Horatio’s Garden Salisbury.
The day was truly marvellous, helped along by the great weather and it was brilliant to see over thirty people in attendance.
A Summer Ploughman’s with ham, cheese and assorted chutneys was served along with cheesecakes and fruit salad for dessert - delicious!
Horatio’s Garden Salisbury hosted a reception for the Salisbury International Arts Festival on April 20th, and was privileged enough to be gifted with a live performance in the garden on June 4th. Thank you to everyone who joined us, and we hope that this will be the beginning of a year of festivities and live performances!
The Salisbury International Arts Festival officially commenced on 26 May until 10 June 2017.
The Easter Monday Tea Party in Horatio’s Garden gave patients and their families the chance to enjoy some delicious sandwiches, cakes and Easter biscuits. There was also an egg hunt for little ones, giving them the chance to express some of their joyful, boundless energy!
Patients and their families and staff enjoyed a warm April day and tasty lunch of lasagne and green salad, which was followed by some very special volunteer-made rhubarb crumble and brownies!
Live music by Horatio’s brother, singer/songwriter Magnus Chapple, was fantastic.
A delicious mild curry and live music by the very talented Tom Clements was appreciated by all who attended this month's lunch in the garden. All staff were welcome too, so there were plenty of enthusiastic lunch-goers around the table!
All patients, friends, family and staff were very welcome at the Valentine's Tea Party in Horatio’s Garden - we hope that love was in the air!
Welcome to the Looking Out Project. The Looking Out Project is a collaborative, interactive, art project run by Horatio’s Garden artist in residence Miranda Creswell. This is in conjunction with EnglaID, a landscape archaeological research group at the University of Oxford. The project has created five pictures which will be placed in the wards of the spinal centre. Each picture is like a mini curiosity cabinet, featuring an ordnance survey map of the view from the patient’s room and the many features that make up the view from the windows.
Patients, families, volunteers, staff and supporters can send in photographs, artwork, poems, music or audio clips to be added to the project web site by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The pictures: Using a specialist mapping technique called LIDAR.
Chris Green has made detailed maps which highlight what can be seen in the view and also what cannot be seen.
Miranda Creswell, in parallel, has drawn and painted parts of the view which can and cannot not be seen, for example details of historical buildings and clouds, birds and butterflies.
Volunteer art teacher, Sheila, has worked with patients to produce pressed flower art taken directly from Horatio’s Garden. These represent different times of the year, and have been set into real silver leaf and form part of the pictures. Richard Lawrence, a Letter Press printer who works and teaches printing at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, has manually printed all the titles and short explanations for the pictures. Each subject below is further explained by leading experts in their field, from the University of Oxford to the RSPB.
Art can either take place in-situ in the garden
At the table
Or in the garden room.
If you would like a sketch book of your own to capture your own art, please do ask volunteer Sheila and she will be more than happy to help you.
Horatio's Garden, The Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre, Salisbury District Hospital, Odstock Road, Salisbury SP2 8BJ
Enter the hospital site using Entrance B and drive past the green. Go over three zebra crossings and follow the road around the left bend. As the road goes down the hill, the entrance to Horatio's Garden is to the left of the next zebra crossing.
Car parking is available in car park 10 (pay and display) or car park 8 (ticket and pay on exit)