Salisbury - The First Horatio's Garden

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

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.”

The Design of the Horatio's garden Salisbury

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.

Stephen Hackett

“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.”

Patient Activities

Annual May Day Hog Roast 2019

Another beautiful day in the garden on the May Day Bank Holiday with patients and their families. ...

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Easter Monday Tea Party and Egg Hunt 2019

Patients, their families, friends and staff gathered in the garden on 22nd April for a seasonal tea ...

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Lantern Parade 2018

The 2018 Lantern Parade happened on the 18th December in the garden between 4-6pm. Ukulele Group ...

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Kathy Hinde Art Installation

Kathy Hinde will be showing her work in Horatio’s Garden Salisbury. The work will be exhibited in ...

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Art Therapy

A beautiful Christmas card made by a patient during Art Therapy in the garden in the run-up to the ...

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Sarah Hough

Sarah Hough visited Salisbury for her artist's residency in September. Patients welcomed Sarah to ...

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Pressed Flowers and Painting

Patients used pressed flowers cut from the garden to decorate their wonderful painted canvases in ...

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Bank Holiday Monday BBQ 2018

On Bank Holiday Monday there was a BBQ lunch for patients, friends and family in Horatio’s ...

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Fresh Flower Collage

A gorgeous fresh flower collage made by patients at Horatio's Garden Salisbury during a hand ...

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The Audition: A Juke-Box Opera on your Doorstep

On the 31st May 2018 a group of opera singers came to delight patients and visitors with an ...

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Bank Holiday Annual Hog Roast and Live Music 2018

Horatio’s Garden Salisbury invited patients, their families and friends, as well as Spinal ...

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Ben Barrell Sculpture Exhibition

Sculptures by Ben Barrell were being exhibited in Horatio’s Garden Salisbury until October ...

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National Garden Scheme Open Day 2018

On Sunday 29th April Horatio’s Garden Salisbury opened for the National Garden Scheme, a charity ...

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Easter Monday Tea and Treasure Hunt 2018

On 2nd April 2018, patients, family and friends thoroughly enjoyed the Easter Tea and Treasure Hunt ...

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Windsor Boat Ride for Patients at Salisbury Spinal Injury Unit

Patients of the Spinal Centre at Salisbury Hospital were treated to a wonderful day out with a huge ...

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Tatum Street Musicians Play the Patient and Family Lunch 2017

Thanks to the talented Tatum Street Musicians who played on Sunday the 6th of August at the Patient ...

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Salisbury International Arts Festival 2017

Horatio’s Garden Salisbury hosted a reception for the Salisbury International Arts Festival on ...

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Easter Tea Party and Egg Hunt 2017

The Easter Monday Tea Party in Horatio’s Garden gave patients and their families the chance to ...

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April Lunch with Live Music 2017

Patients and their families and staff enjoyed a warm April day and tasty lunch of lasagne and green ...

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March Lunch in the Garden 2017

A delicious mild curry and live music by the very talented Tom Clements was appreciated by all who ...

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Valentine's Tea Party 2017

All patients, friends, family and staff were very welcome at the Valentine's Tea Party in ...

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Art in the Garden

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 info@horatiosgarden.org.uk.

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.

Looking Out Project

Art can either take place in-situ in the garden

Looking Out Project

At the table

Looking Out Project

Or in the garden room.

Looking Out Project

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.

Looking Out Project

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Looking Out Project

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Looking Out Project

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Looking Out Project

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Find Us

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)

Click here for events in Salisbury

Events