Horatio’s Garden South West opened in 2012 at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre in Salisbury District Hospital. The spinal centre serves patients from across the whole of the south of England, from the Isles of Scilly to Hastings and all the way up to the M4 corridor.
The garden was brought to life by celebrated garden designed Cleve West, who has won a remarkable total of six RHS Gold Medals for his gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show. Martin Gomm of Wycliffe Landscapes was the contractor for the project and in 2014 went on to win two BALI awards; one in the Community and Schools Development category and another in the Outstanding Charitable Contribution category.
“Thank you so much for providing us with this beautiful garden to enjoy – our little bit of heaven during a traumatic time for us all.”
Our wonderful Head Gardener, Stephen Hackett, is now responsible for the care and maintenance of the garden, whilst he also runs horticultural therapy sessions in collaboration with the spinal centre’s Occupational Therapists. He is supported by part-time Garden Administrator, Annabel Turner, along with a team of incredible volunteers, who in 2019 received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Together they nurture the garden and ensure there’s always a warm and welcoming environment awaiting everyone who visits the sanctuary.
“To me, it’s just as important as all the physio and stuff that goes on in the hospital. To me, it’s very calming and relaxing. It lets me forget what’s going on inside and then when you go back in, you go back in with a much clearer mind. You’re in a better place to concentrate on what you have to do.”
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 South West 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01722 326 834.
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.
Cleve West has been designing award-winning gardens since 1990 and is a six-time RHS Chelsea Gold Medal winner. He created Horatio’s Garden South West, with his designs going on to win three Society of Garden Designers awards in 2015. His contribution was recognised with the Public or Commercial Outdoor Space Award, the People’s Choice Award and the most prestigious accolade, the Judge’s Award.
Of Horatio’s Garden South West 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.”
Since bringing the stunning sanctuary to life, Cleve has regularly revisited Horatio’s Garden and continues to work with Head Gardener Stephen to develop all aspects of the haven, ensuring this special place will remain forever beautiful.
Cleve’s design brilliantly incorporates the form of a 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.
The sanctuary features a garden room, glasshouse and outdoor horticultural therapy area, where patients can enjoy spending time in the garden appreciating nature whatever the weather. Whilst the garden room is a social space, where cake, company and creative workshops are in plentiful supply, the glasshouse and therapy area are places where patients can calmly gather for gardening groups or 1:1 sessions with Head Gardener Stephen. All this helps to support patients’ physical rehabilitation and psychological wellbeing.
An apple archway leads to a summerhouse, where people can quietly spend time reflecting alone or speak privately with a few of their loved ones. Running the length of the archway is a long rill, so the comforting sound of flowing water is never far away.
Plants have been chosen for their aesthetic and multi-sensory qualities; grasses to catch the wind, herbs to smell and taste, along with 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 Best in Show. 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.
Stephen Hackett grew up in Lancashire, before studying at Oxford and Nottingham. He spent several years teaching Cultural Studies in Southampton before joining the Arts Council in 2000. Subsequently he worked in in adult education, and was Principal of a residential adult college in Oxfordshire.
Always a keen gardener, Stephen trained in Horticulture at Sparsholt College in 2010 and established a gardening business in the Salisbury area. Stephen joined Horatio’s Garden South West in 2016 as Head Gardener. He lives in Salisbury with his family, and has written gardening columns for magazines including Wiltshire Life and The English Garden.
“I trained as a gardener in 2010 and never imagined that I’d be entrusted with a garden like Horatio’s Garden South West. 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.”
Click below to hear more from our Head Gardeners about how to get the best out of your gardens all year round!
Patients and volunteers really enjoyed our recent hand therapy session, which was led by the garden's horticultural therapist, Susie Atterbury.
The kokedamas were given a wonderful spring twist, featuring snowdrops and daffodils, and are now brightening up the greenhouse and garden room nicely!
Artist in residence, Katy McIntyre-Brown, recently enjoyed spending a bright day in the garden room painting and sketching these beautiful seed heads alongside patients.
The group experimented with different versions of the still life and Katy settled for using a monochrome technique to create a soft, subtle result.
Both patients and volunteers became natural artists when Zac visited Horatio's Garden to hold this fun and creative workshop.
Everyone created their mosaics using a range of locally-sourced wood, meaning every little piece of each artwork was entirely unique.
Zac is currently putting the final touches to each creation and will be returning to the garden soon to give all those who took part their final pieces.
Patients have enjoyed sheltering from the elements and getting creative with support from artist in residence, Katy McIntyre-Brown.
The session was fun, open to everyone and there was plenty of tea and homemade cake for sustenance!
Katy will be in the garden every Tuesday from Tuesday 4th February until the end of March, so there will be plenty of opportunities to join her in the garden over the coming months.
Despite the rain, spirits couldn't be dampened as patients, families, friends, NHS staff and volunteers gathered for this year's Christmas Lantern Parade. It was a lovely occasion, with carols and festive tunes from ukulele band The Salisbury Pluckers, as well as a delicious array of sweet treats - including an irresistible Christmas cake!
Our new artist in residence is Katy McIntyre Brown, who will be in the garden every Tuesday from Tuesday 4th February until the end of March.
Everyone is welcome to join Katy in the garden, whether you wish to pursue your own creative endeavours alongside her, or simply wish to have a cosy cup of tea and a chat.
The atmosphere was perfectly festive at this year's Christmas Fair, with patients and families as well as staff and members of the public all enjoying a whole host of winter treats. Our stallholders supported the event wonderfully, selling a range of crafts and tasty foodie products that will undoubtedly delight many people's friends and family come Christmas Day. We hope you all enjoyed the event as much as we did!
Patients created this beautiful mandala with Horticultural Therapist Susie Atterbury recently to celebrate the Autumn Equinox. It was all created using flowers and petals from the garden - a brilliantly bright and colourful gesture!
Volunteer and fine artist, Patricia Samanta, is returning to Horatio’s Garden Salisbury as our new artist in residence.
You’re welcome to join Patricia in the garden every Tuesday afternoon between 12-3pm from Tuesday 10th September until the end of October. She will be creating her own artwork inspired by the garden and will also be on-hand to offer gentle encouragement to anyone pursuing their own creative endeavours.
We’re thrilled to welcome Nell Nicholas to Horatio’s Garden, who will be one of our artists in residence in Salisbury this summer.
She will be in the garden from Friday 19th July - Friday 26th July from 12-5pm.
We look forward to seeing what Nell creates and hope that you'll be inspired to give some art a go too!
To find out more about Nell, please visit https://www.nellnicholas.com.
Martha Solloway is our new Artist in Residence! She is an incredibly talented young artist, who has previously donated work to our Chelsea Secret Art Sale in 2018 and designed last year’s incredibly popular Christmas card too.
Her residency will begin in the second week of July. Patients, visitors, and staff are welcome to join Martha in the garden between 12-5pm on the dates below, where she will be on-hand to help everyone create some beautiful artwork.
Tuesday 9th July
Wednesday 10th July
Tuesday 16th July
Wednesday 17th July
Tuesday 30th July
Wednesday 31st July
Tuesday 6th August
Wednesday 7th August
You can find out more about Martha by visiting www.marthasolloway.co.uk/.
Many patients and staff popped down to the garden to watch a brilliant performance by 2Faced Dance, which was organised by the wonderful team at ArtCare UK.
The story followed a young boy and his friendship with the moon, with the latter mystically transporting the young boy to both past times and fantastical worlds.
Afterwards everyone gathered in the garden room to warm up with a hot drink and a sweet treat, and the dancers spent time chatting with patients who were interested in finding out more about the company and their work. It was a truly unique experience which was immensely enjoyed by all.
On Sunday 9th June patients and their families joined local supporters in the garden for our first national fundraising event, The Fabulous Summer Tea Party.
There was even more tea and cake on offer than usual, and there was a wonderful atmosphere throughout the afternoon as guests relaxed together amongst the planting.
It was really lovely to see so many people gathered in the garden and we hope that you all enjoyed the afternoon as much as we did.
Alexander Macdonald-Buchanan has generously offered to exhibit his sculpture, 'Energy' in Horatio's Garden Salisbury for patients and their loved ones to enjoy throughout the summer.
The aptly named piece has previously been shown at both Chatsworth and in Canary Wharf. It is now safely nestled in its new home thanks to the generous support of Woolley & Wallis, complimenting the garden perfectly in this season of growth and beauty.
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.
Horatio's Garden South West - Salisbury
The Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre
Salisbury District Hospital
To arrange a group tour of Horatio’s Garden please contact Tour Coordinator Lucy Shergold by emailing email@example.com or calling 07902 906178. For any other query please ring 01722 326834.
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)