Horatio's Garden Stoke Mandeville

Please click here to watch ITV Meridian’s film about the opening of Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville

Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville opened in 2018 at the National Spinal Injuries Centre in Stoke Mandeville Hospital. The spinal centre is one of the largest and oldest in the UK, with an inpatient capacity for 106 adult patients and 9 additional adolescent and paediatric beds. Consequently, it serves people from across the British Isles and Ireland, primarily taking referrals from the south and Home Counties. 

Celebrated garden designer and RHS Chelsea Gold Medal winner, Joe Swift, created the gardenThanks to his careful, thoughtful designs, the space beyond the spinal centre became a place of natural beauty and repose, giving patients and their loved ones a fully accessible oasis to retreat to. The project was expertly managed throughout by Owen Hemmings of the Robert Lombardelli Partnership, enabling Joe’s designs to become an exquisite reality. 

“The garden has transformed Alfie’s admissions for him and for us all as a family. He loves to be outside and to escape the confines of the ward is a wonderful thing for him.” 

Head Gardener, Amy Moffett, nurtures the garden and holds regular horticultural therapy sessions, with patients often joining her in groups and on a 1:1 basis. Seed sowing and potting on are popular pursuits, particularly in the spring. She is supported by a part time Garden Administrator, Debs Grigg, and a fantastic volunteer team, who often run creative activities for patients, including the relaxed, ever entertaining Poetry & Patisseries group. 

“Spending time in the garden and the garden room daily soothed my pain. It helped me with my recovery, allowed me to focus on the positives.” 

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 Stoke Mandeville 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. 


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.


Joe Swift is an RHS Chelsea Gold Medal Winner and has been presenting BBC Gardeners’ World since 1998. Having studied garden design at The English Gardening School, based at the Chelsea Physic Garden, in 1990, he has created many gorgeous gardens throughout his career. 
Despite his impressive contribution to the world of landscape architecture, it is Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville that he regards as “the most important garden I’ve ever designed.” Whilst every one of his creations brings joy, the knowledge that this garden would “affect hundreds of patients and their families and friends” made bringing it to life “a real honour”.  

He continues to reappear regularly in the haven, developing the established planting in collaboration with the team and alike to his fellow Horatio’s Garden designers lends support to the charity however he can.

The Design

Joe’s design features numerous secluded areas for patients to enjoy either on their own, or with their visitors. Here people can be surrounded by nature, with grasses creating structure and gently providing a space for people to both reflect and quietly catch up with loved ones. 

The highly perennial, sensory planting is wildlife friendly and ensures the garden is a swathe of colour all year round, whilst evergreens lend constant form throughout the changing seasons. 

Architect Andrew Wells designed the garden room, which provides a place for patients to appreciate Horatio’s Garden even when the weather is poor. It is a light, airy sanctuary, where people can make a cup of tea, share lunch with their family and friends, as well as participate the activities offered by the charity. Beyond is a communal space for gatherings, where patients can get to know each other and everyone can enjoy seasonal events organised by the Horatio’s Garden team. 

An accessible greenhouse has been specially equipped for patients to grow their own plants, whilst the raised beds are also perfect for garden therapy sessions. The planters are often full of herbs, salad leaves and fruits, which patients are welcome to pick. Meanwhile, apple trees are amongst the many to have been planted, not only for their edibles, but for their elegant blossom. 

Please click here if you would like to read the full Design & Access Statement

Stoke Mandeville Meadow


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.”

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

'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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