Horatio's Garden Stoke Mandeville

Watch ITV Meridian’s film about Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville

The third Horatio’s Garden opened on the 9th September 2018. The build was expertly project managed by Owen Hemmings of the Robert Lombardelli Partnership. We have seen the most incredible transition; Joe Swift’s designs were brought to life and became the stunning garden we see before us today.

Without the generous support and funding from many wonderful individuals, donors, businesses and institutions we would not have been able to make this garden a reality. 

We are now looking for ongoing support to cover the costs of maintaining the gardens and all the events and activities which the charity offers in the garden for patients. These are the essence of Horatio’s Garden and make such a difference for people spending long periods of time in hospital.

The National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) is one of the oldest and largest spinal injuries centres, with an inpatient capacity for 106 adult patients and 9 adolescent and paediatric beds. With patients often being so far from their family and friends, it is vital for them to have a space where they can enjoy their time together and also have some privacy.

Please click on the following links if you feel inspired to volunteer, become a Friend, donate, or fundraise.

“Spending time in the garden and the garden room daily soothed my pain. It helped me with my recovery, allowed me to remember to focus on the positives.” – A patient at the National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville.


Joe Swift, an RHS Gold medal winner and presenter of BBC Gardeners’ World, created Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville.

He studied garden design at The English Gardening School based at the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1990 and started presenting Gardeners’ World in 1998. He now designs gardens, presents on TV and writes.

The brief was to transform the outside space to something that brings nature and beauty close to the spinal unit, giving patients and their relatives an accessible oasis of calm in the clinical environment.

Joe said “It is a real honour to be designing Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville, a garden which will affect hundreds of patients and their families and friends.”

Horatio’s Garden’s team of designers, Joe Swift, James Alexander-Sinclair and Cleve West, can be seen in their Three Men Went To Mow films.

The Design

The garden has secluded areas for patients to be on their own or with visitors, a rill and water feature. The highly perennial, sensory planting has created fabulous swathes of colour for all year round, whilst evergreens will give winter structure. The planting is bird and butterfly friendly.

A garden room, designed by architect Andrew Wells, provides a place for patients to enjoy the garden even when the weather is poor. It is a light, airy sanctuary where patients can make a cup of tea, share lunch with visitors and participate in the volunteer led activities which the charity offers.

Outside the garden room is a communal space for gatherings of patients, which includes outdoor lunch and live music events which the charity organises throughout the summer months.

An accessible greenhouse has been specially equipped for patients to help with the gardening and will be used to propagate plants for the garden. Patients can get involved with working with the Head Gardener and volunteers, or can just come to chat and watch. Regular garden therapy groups will use the greenhouse and the raised beds for therapeutic activities. Herbs, salad leaves and fruit will be grown for patients to pick and eat and apple trees are amongst the many which have been planted.

Download the design and access statement HERE

Stoke Mandeville Meadow
Children in Stoke Mandeville
Amy Moffett


We warmly welcomed Amy to the team in Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville in January 2021. She is a Kew-trained horticulturalist, with a passion for all things bright and beautiful. Her love of plants, trees, fungi and wildlife is no secret and as a maker of beautiful jewellery, Amy is a wonderful source of support, creativity and encouragement for everyone spending time in the National Spinal Injuries Centre.

“I am absolutely delighted to be a part of the team here at Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville. It’s a real privilege to be able to contribute to such a great cause while nurturing such a beautiful garden! Former Head Gardener, Jacqui Martin-Löf, clearly had such a positive impact during her time here and in taking the reins now I hope to continue to help facilitate positivity and hope for many more patients with spinal injuries into the future.”

Amy Moffett is Head Gardener at Horatio's Garden Stoke Mandeville and is responsible for the care and maintenance of the garden.

Head Gardeners' Tips

Patient Activities

'Poetry and Patisseries' Workshop

Following the success of our first 'Poetry and Patisseries' workshop, patients, visitors and ...


Quilting, Knitting and Nattering with Judy Hart

Lots of people joined us in the garden room for another fabulous knit and natter session, where ...


Poetry and Patisseries with Sue Yeoman

Many people joined us in the garden for the first 'Poetry and Patisseries' class and everyone who ...


New Artist in Residence Rebecca Rason Flor Ferreira

We will be welcoming new artist in residence, Rebecca Rason Flor Ferreira, to the garden every ...


Christmas Crafts

Many patients have enjoyed creating Christmassy crafts this November and December, including Alfie ...


Christmas Market

There was a truly lovely atmosphere in the garden as we celebrated the start of the festive season ...


Flowers on Tuesdays

Every Tuesday from 2:30pm we run a flower workshop in the garden room which is open to everyone. ...


Arts and Crafts

Join us in the garden from 2-4pm every Wednesday afternoon to create your own unique ...


Pumpkin Flowers for Halloween

Charlie wasn't the only one who was pleased with his pumpkin flowers! Fellow patient Brandon also ...


Artist Keith Jansz paints in Horatio's Garden

Keith Jansz, a world-renowned mouth painter, will be painting in the garden on Thursday 10th ...


Year 6 Pipers School Pupils Perform in the Garden

A group of Year 6 girls visited the garden on Tuesday 25th June 2019 for a very special performance ...

Caroline with Patients

Join Artist Caroline May in the Garden this Summer

Caroline May is our new Artist in Residence! She will begin working in the garden on Tuesday 6th ...

Painted Pebbles

Aliysha-Louise's 'Happy Pebbles'

Patient Aliysha-Louise recently gifted these beautiful, hand-painted pebbles to the garden to be ...

Anneka Rice

The Fabulous Summer Tea Party

On Tuesday 4th June we welcomed patients, loved ones, guests and the one and only Anneka Rice to ...


May Day Barbecue 2019

Patients, their family and their friends were welcomed to the garden on Monday 6th May for a Bank ...


Easter Egg Hunt and Afternoon Tea Party

On 19th April 2019 we welcomed patients, their loved ones and staff to the garden for a Treasure ...


Spring Gardening Group Activities

A huge amount has been happening in our recent gardening groups, from creating kokedamas to ...


Valentine's Day Card Workshop 2019

All patients and their loved ones were welcome to join us in the garden room on Wednesday 13th ...


'Flowers on Flowers' Art Therapy

Throughout the beginning of 2019, patients at Stoke Mandeville have been busy getting creative in ...


Christmas Activities 2018

Christmas crafts were underway throughout December 2018, with patients creating a variety of ...


Pipers Corner School Christmas Choir 2018

On 11th December the Pipers Corner School Christmas Choir delighted patients, families, friends, ...


Find Us

Horatio's Garden Stoke Mandeville
The National Spinal Injuries Centre
Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Mandeville Road
HP21 8AL

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