Horatio's Garden Scotland - Glasgow

Horatio’s Garden opened in August 2016 at the Queen Elizabeth National Spinal Injuries Unit at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow. This is the spinal unit for the whole of Scotland.

Designed by acclaimed garden designer and RHS judge, James Alexander-Sinclair, Scotland’s Horatio’s Garden has transformed the view for patients from the wards and communal rooms to something which is life-affirming to look out onto. The planting encourages birds, butterflies and bees, adding a dimension of interest for patients who can be on bed rest for weeks.

There has been much evidence that gardens and gardening have a positive effect on a person’s physical, mental and emotional well being. Having an inspiring outdoor haven is particularly crucial for people impacted by spinal injuries.

We continually need support for this amazing space. We are always looking for volunteers, whether you’re a gardener or wish to support the patients. 

It takes £54,000 a year to run this garden and project. Please support us by becoming a friend, donating or fundraising

“Horatio’s Garden has been a blessing and has helped tremendously with my recovery at the spinal unit. The main courtyard has been an oasis of peace at times when enjoying the beauty and sounds of the garden.” – Lee-Ann, a patient in Scotland. 

To arrange a group tour please contact our Tour Coordinator Lucy Shergold by emailing lucyS@horatiosgarden.org.uk or call 07902 906178 for more information. For all other queries call 01722 326834.


James Alexander-Sinclair is a vastly experienced garden designer, journalist and broadcaster. He has designed stunning gardens from the Western Isles to the outskirts of Moscow.

James writes regularly in the Gardeners’ World magazine and is founder of intoGardens – the first iPad magazine app about gardens. He is often featured on television.

James is a member of the Council of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), where he is Chairman of the Gardens Committee, and is also an RHS gardens judge.


The Design

The garden is divided into six distinct spaces, each with a different purpose and designed to stimulate the different senses – sight, smell, and touch. This all contributes to supporting the patients’ sense of wellbeing.

A stunning courtyard garden has become the heart of the spinal unit offering an oasis of calm in the clinical environment. This is an uplifting space, brimming with colour and life. There are sheltered areas so patients and their visitors can use the garden during bad weather.  The wards look out over the woodland garden with trees and a wealth of plants. The planting is designed to encourage wildlife into the garden with plenty of bird feeders. In addition, there is a play garden for children who are visiting relatives in the unit and a physiotherapy garden which is functional as well as beautiful. 

“Prior to Horatio’s Garden, patients and their families struggled to find personal space and that meant few opportunities for private conversations. Now they have pods to use with their visitors. Patients also benefit from escapism – the garden is de-medicalised with no hospital equipment so it allows them to feel normal. Making a cup of tea themselves also gives patients free-will as they don’t have to ask nurses. Time out in Horatio’s Garden on a nice day has beneficial effects for patients’ emotional wellbeing. They can relax and feel a bit away from things.” – Dr Culley, Psychologist


“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 ...


The Butterfly Table Arrives

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


Pottery Workshop

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


Christmas Party

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


Christmas Lanterns

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


Let the Festivities Begin!

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


Halloween Pumpkins

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


Autumn Barbeque

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


Autumn Harvest

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

Patient with Strawberry

Strawberry Harvesting

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


The Fabulous Summer Tea Party

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


Flower Arranging in the Garden

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


Garden Therapy

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


HSE Corporate Volunteer Day

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


Easter Saturday Open Day 2019

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


Lantern Parade 2018

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


Storyteller Wendy Wolfson

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


Looking Out Project 2018

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


Outside Activites

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


Artist in Residence

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


Flower Cuttings

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


Potpourri and Raspberries

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


Strawberry Jam!

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


Art Activities

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


Weekly Garden Therapy

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


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! ...


Artist in Residence

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


Easter Saturday

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


Spring Garden Therapy

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


Craft and Card Activities

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


Find Us

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