Scotland - The Second Horatio's Garden

Horatio’s Garden opened in August 2016 at the Scottish National Spinal Injuries Unit at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow. This is the spinal unit for the whole of Scotland.
Patients spend a long time in hospital following a spinal cord injury, around five months on average in Scotland. This can be a very difficult time for patients and their family and friends.

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 on to. 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 need your help to support this amazing project with the ongoing maintenance costs. Could you become a friend, donate or fundraise?

“Horatio’s Garden has made a huge difference to my stay in the Spinal Unit. It has been a place to take my visitors and show them the plants in the woodland garden. I have watched this beautiful garden being created. I will be going home with wonderful memories of this garden and the people who work in it.” Jenny, a patient in 2016.

JAMES ALEXANDER-SINCLAIR

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 seen on television.

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

James said: “Horatio’s Garden in Glasgow is the most meaningful garden I have ever designed.”

The Design

The garden is divided into six distinct spaces, each with a different purpose and designed to stimulate different senses – sight, smell, touch and all providing a sense of well-being.

A stunning courtyard garden has become the heart of the spinal unit giving 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 courtyard is at the heart of the unit and is accessible to everyone to enjoy. The wards look out over the woodland garden with trees and plants generously donated from the Hartley Botanic Chelsea Flower Show Garden in 2016 designed by Catherine MacDonald. 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, offering wonderful new facilities to patients and their families.

Courtesy of Hartley Botanic, there is a magnificent greenhouse which is the volunteer HQ and is surrounded by raised beds and areas for horticultural therapy sessions. The scented garden is planted with carefully chosen shrubs growing around a stunning ‘Coccolith’ sculpture, donated by Brewin Dolphin which formed part of its award winning 2016 Chelsea Flower Show garden, designed by Rosy Hardy, winner of 21 gold medals.

A very generous grant from Paterson Quarries Ltd, has supported the scheme and provided a public garden which offers a beautiful space for a moment of quiet reflection for people visiting the main hospital.

SALLIE SILLARS

“I began my working life as a textile designer and after just over ten years of working in a struggling trade I went back to college to study Horticulture in 2001 and later Horticultural Therapy. I have worked in a variety of horticultural roles from starting as a Gardener, Nursery Garden Assistant (Cally Gardens), Community Garden Manager (Heal the Earth Ayrshire), Horticultural Therapy Manager for veteran’s charity (Gardening Leave) and finally, to be a verifier for the RCHS ( The Caley) Grow & Learn awards for clients with learning difficulties.

I have been surrounded by lovely gardens from a young age which has instilled in me a passion about gardening. I have witnessed first-hand the positive effects that greenspace has on people who experience being in beautiful garden spaces, but also how on a more prescribed level, the use of tailored gardening activities can achieve positive health changes if used as a therapeutic medium.
I have been at Horatio’s Garden Scotland since 2016 and have watched it develop into a beautiful and functional space for patients, relatives, staff and volunteers. It’s positive effect on everyone that experiences it is a joy to watch and as a ‘caretaker’ of the garden spaces I try practice what I preach, take five and experience its magical effect.

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!”. 

Sallie is the head gardener and garden therapist in Glasgow. Sallie has had many years of experience working in therapeutic gardening projects. Sallie can be contacted on sallie@horatiosgarden.org.uk to arrange a visit to the garden.

Scotland's Head Gardener's Tips

Patient activities

Potpourri and raspberries

Potpourri and raspberries

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

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Strawberry Jam!

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

Art activities

Miranda Creswell, is running art activities as part of her 'Looking out Project' and luckily ...

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Weekly garden therapy

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

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

Artist in residence

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

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Easter Saturday

Easter Saturday

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

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Spring garden therapy

Spring garden therapy

19th April 2018. Daffodils were harvested in garden therapy today, arranged in vases by the ...

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Craft and card activities

Craft and card activities

Volunteer Ploy runs hand therapy craft activities, from making clay shapes to keyrings for presents ...

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FIND US IN GLASGOW

The address of Horatio’s Garden Scotland is

The Scottish National Spinal Unit
Queen Elizabeth University Hospital
1345 Govan Rd
Glasgow
G51 4TF

To arrange a visit to Horatio’s Garden please contact Head Gardener Sallie Sillars: 07391 664326 or sallie@horatiosgarden.org.uk

Parking is limited so please use public transport where possible.

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