Horatio's Garden Scotland - Glasgow

Horatio’s Garden Scotland opened in 2016 at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit in Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow. The spinal centre serves patients from across the entirety of Scotland, from the country’s southern border to the Orkney and Shetland Islands. 

Created by acclaimed garden designer and RHS Judge, James Alexander-Sinclair, Horatio’s Garden Scotland has transformed the lives of patients, their loved ones and NHS staff affected by spinal cord injury. The view from the wards and communal rooms is now life-affirming, with clever planting ensuring those spending time in the spinal centre always have something uplifting to see. Watching wildlife thriving in the garden, or simply admiring the leaves swaying in the breeze helps people throughout their rehabilitation, particularly by providing a stunning scene for people who often spend many weeks on bed rest. 

“Horatio’s Garden has been a blessing and has helped tremendously with my recovery at the spinal unit.” 

Head Gardener & Horticultural Therapist, Sallie Sillars, does a fantastic job of taking care of the garden and runs both regular group and 1:1 horticultural therapy sessions, as well as often leading therapeutic art activities too. The autumn is one of the most exciting periods of the year in this particular haven, with patients and NHS staff alike harvesting edible treats and creating recipes with Head Gardener Sallie using produce sourced from the garden. Working together with part-time Garden Administrator, Yvonne Gleeson, a brilliant volunteer team and NHS staff in the spinal centre, Horatio’s Garden Scotland is vibrant, fun and comforting place to be. 

“It’s great talking to Sallie and doing activities in the garden. I love harvesting (and eating!) the fresh fruit and vegetables, particularly when we make up recipes with them and share what we’ve made with others.” 

As each Horatio’s Garden requires constant funding of £75,000 a year, please consider donating via our website or becoming a Friend to support our Scotland garden’s ongoing running costs. Alternatively, you can also donate by post to our registered office 2 Throope Down Office, Blandford Road, Coombe Bissett, Salisbury, SP5 4LN, or phone 01722 326 834 to donate by credit card. 

If you feel you could help with fundraising, or would like to volunteer, please contact us by emailing volunteer@horatiosgarden.org.uk or ring 01722 326 834. 

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Would you like to visit the garden? We’re hoping we will soon be able to once again welcome small groups to see Horatio’s Garden from 2022. Please contact Garden Tour Coordinator, Lucy Shergold, by emailing lucyS@horatiosgarden.org.uk or call 07902906178 for more information. 

JAMES ALEXANDER-SINCLAIR

James Alexander-Sinclair is one of the UK’s foremost garden designers. He brought Horatio’s Garden Scotland to life and despite having created countless stunning gardens from the Western Isles to the outskirts of Moscow, he maintains that this garden is his all-time favourite. He often visits the garden and admits “invariably and unashamedly, I cry every time I go there.” 

Additionally, James is an award-winning writer, a compelling speaker, frequent broadcaster and an elected member of the Council of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). He is Chairman of the RHS Gardens Committee and is also an RHS judge. 

He often appears on television and has featured as part of the BBC coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show since 2008. He also writes regularly for Gardeners’ World magazine, alongside a host of other publications and together with fellow garden designers Cleve West and Joe Swift established the somewhat legendary YouTube channel Three Men Went to Mow. 

 

The Design

James’ design is divided into six distinct spaces, each with a different purpose. The varied areas were thoughtfully created to stimulate the different senses, primarily focussing on sight, smell and touch. This all helps to support patients’ sense of wellbeing, with research demonstrating that any and all contact with nature helps to reduce stress, improve sleep and increase production of serotonin. 

The gorgeous courtyard garden has become the heart of the spinal centre, offering an oasis of calm in the midst of the clinical environment. There are numerous garden pods for patients to spend time in alone, with family or with fellow patients, which all look out onto flowerbeds brimming with colour and life. The slightly larger kitchen pod is particularly popular as this is where tea and cake can be found! 

As you move through the garden, a glasshouse and garden therapy area feature alongside each other, enabling patients to engage in all kinds of greenfingered activities both indoors and outdoors. In 2021, the sanctuary became home to a brand new garden room too, meaning seasonal events, creativity and friendship can all flourish come rain or shine. 

The wards look out over the woodland garden, which is framed by a collection of beautiful Betula pendula trees, whilst the flowerbeds are awash with colour thanks to flowers such as Echinacea Hot Summer, Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Fat Domino’. 

SALLIE SILLARS

“Working for Horatio’s Garden as the Head Gardener in Scotland has opened my eyes to the amazing optimism that patients with spinal injuries can muster in recovery, but also how much strength they gain from being in a garden environment. It’s a pleasure to help patients engage in their greenspace, to take part in interesting and meaningful activities, to take notice of seasonal changes and help them to reconnect to the ever-changing world around them. It is all about planting seeds of hope, quite literally!”

Click below to hear more from our Head Gardeners about how to get the best out of your gardens all year round!

Head Gardeners' Tips

Patient activities

Flower Arranging Workshop

Head Gardener and Horticultural Therapist Sallie recently held a fabulous flower arranging ...

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The Butterfly Table Arrives

Artist Miranda Creswell and carpenter Niall Wilson have been working on the so-called 'Butterfly ...

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Pottery Workshop

Patients were busy in the garden's recent art workshop creating and decorating these sweet ...

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Christmas Party

Patients and their loved ones joined us for the annual Christmas Party, which was full of festive ...

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Christmas Lanterns

Patients have made these beautiful lanterns, which will be casting their warm glow across the ...

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Let the Festivities Begin!

Patients have enjoyed lots of Christmas events so far this December, with many braving the cold to ...

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Halloween Pumpkins

WRAGS trainee Chelsea Lowe held a pumpkin carving workshop for Halloween this year, with volunteers ...

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Autumn Barbeque

The weather was uncommonly kind for our autumn barbeque, with patients, visitors and staff all ...

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Autumn Harvest

Patients have been using epicure potatoes, smashed tomatoes and herbs all collected from the garden ...

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Patient with Strawberry

Strawberry Harvesting

Summer is officially here! Patients taking part garden therapy have finally been able to harvest, ...

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The Fabulous Summer Tea Party

On Thursday 6th June we welcomed patients and families to the garden for a very special afternoon ...

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Flower Arranging in the Garden

A thoughtful patient recently collected flowers from the garden and spent the afternoon arranging ...

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Garden Therapy

Some fantastic flower petal and pressed flower creations have emerged from our recent May garden ...

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HSE Corporate Volunteer Day

A lovely day spent with Kate, Jane, Louise, Lorna, Alex, Lisa, Eve and Colin who created these ...

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Easter Saturday Open Day 2019

Patients, family and friends, as well as volunteers are invited to join us in the Glasgow garden on ...

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Lantern Parade 2018

Wednesday 13th December marked the occasion of the Horatio's Garden Glasgow lantern parade - a ...

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Storyteller Wendy Wolfson

On 23rd November, Wendy Wolfson visited Horatio's Garden Scotland. Wendy sprinkles songs, rhymes ...

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Looking Out Project 2018

Artist Miranda Creswell is pictured in the garden in September 2018, enjoying a spot of sketching ...

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Outside Activites

Many of the activities Horatio's Garden offers to patients can be done outside at this large table. ...

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Artist in Residence

Artist Martha Orbach began as the new Artist in residence on Thursday 24th August. She was ...

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Flower Cuttings

If you would like to take any of your own flower cuttings and do some flower arranging please talk ...

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Potpourri and Raspberries

During Garden Therapy patients collected petals to make pot pourri. The Gertrude Jekyll rose petals ...

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Strawberry Jam!

The garden has produced an amazing crop of strawberries this year! This is some strawberry jam made ...

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Art Activities

Miranda Creswell is running art activities as part of her 'Looking Out Project' in our Glasgow ...

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Weekly Garden Therapy

Head Gardener and Garden Therapist, Sallie Sillars, works in collaboration with the occupational ...

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Merrylea Choir perform at Horatio’s Garden

Thank you to the Merrylea Choir who came and performed in Horatio’s Garden again on the 2nd June! ...

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Artist in Residence

Caroline May had a six week residency in Horatio’s Garden Scotland. Below, she has written a ...

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Easter Saturday

On Saturday 31st March 2018, the Horatio’s Garden Scotland team held an Easter celebration for ...

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Spring Garden Therapy

The daffodils were harvested in garden therapy this April, arranged in vases by the patients and ...

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Craft and Card Activities

Volunteers offer hand therapy craft sessions for patients, varying from making clay shapes to ...

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Find Us

Horatio's Garden Scotland - Glasgow
The Scottish National Spinal Unit
Queen Elizabeth University Hospital
1345 Govan Rd
Glasgow
G51 4TF

To arrange a group tour of Horatio’s Garden please contact Tour Coordinator Lucy Shergold by emailing tours@horatiosgarden.org.uk or calling 07902 906178. For any other query please call 01722 326834.

Parking is limited so please use public transport where possible.

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