Cardiff

Horatio’s Garden Wales opened in 2022 at The Welsh Spinal Cord Injury and Neuro Rehabilitation Centre in University Hospital Llandough, Cardiff. The spinal centre is one of 11 designated spinal centres in the UK, with patients admitted from across south and mid-Wales. 

The award-winning, two-time RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner, Sarah Price, designed the garden, collaborating closely with current and former patients, their loved ones and NHS staff to bring this beautiful, therapeutic, accessible garden to life. Working with 6a architects, a garden pavilion and room were included in Sarah’s designs, sensitively providing people with a place to feel the benefits of nature come wind, rain or shine. 

“It’s mind blowing. A haven in a place that’s quite crazy.” 

Created in collaboration with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, with the cost of the ground and enabling works generously covered by the Cardiff & Vale Health Charity, the garden is designed to be a home away from home for people facing long stays in hospital. 

The garden is carefully cared for by a Head Gardener, Owen Griffiths, whose passion for forest gardening frequently inspires patients to join him for both group and 1:1 horticultural therapy workshops. These workshops complement the clinical care of the spinal centre, gently supporting patients’ physical and psychological rehabilitation. A Garden Administrator and a fantastic team of volunteers assist Owen, whilst they also run countless creative workshops, including watercolour painting. 

“The flowers make me feel bright and cheery and I love seeing birds in the garden.” 

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 Wales 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.  

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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. 

 

Sarah Price

Sarah Price is an award-winning Welsh garden designer who has had a prestigious career. She is renowned for her artistic, naturalistic planting style in such projects as the Olympic Park and a garden at Manchester’s Whitworth Gallery.

Sarah has created a beautiful garden sanctuary for patients and has collaborated with 6a architects to create the garden pavilion. From the outset, Sarah was passionate about incorporating as many elements of the winsome Welsh landscape into her designs as possible, despite the space being the smallest of our gardens to date.

She has thus devoted different spaces to different sources of horticultural inspiration, meaning that Horatio’s Garden Wales is home to a scented garden, meadow garden, vegetable garden and a flower garden.

Meanwhile, the pavilion is homely, with a kitchen area and plenty of seating both inside and on the terrace.

The Design

The garden is easily accessible from the spinal injury centre through automatic doors so that patients in hospital beds and wheelchairs can use the space with their friends and family or as a place of quiet sanctuary. 

Cloud hedging creates a green threshold that signals an immediate transition of environment from the ward. Fully wheelchair accessible, flat paths meander through a gently undulating landscape of diaphanous planting and clear-stemmed shrubs and trees.  

Green oak seating offers intimate and beautiful places of repose to everyone visiting the garden. Warmth, shelter and opportunities for socialising are provided by a garden pavilion enabling the garden to be used all year roundThe internal space feels like home and is designed for comfort, flexibility and accessibility with a kitchen area and propagation table both designed for ease of use.  

The pavilion, along with the gorgeous Griffin Greenhouse, is the hub of growing in the garden and a place for horticultural therapy to take place. The planting provides year-round interest and biodiversity. Bird feeders and nesting boxes encourage wild birds to the garden. The roof terrace garden is very close to the ward, ensuring high dependency patients can use the garden in their hospital beds.  

The charity has taken a lease with the NHS Trust for the land and now that the garden is open, Horatio’s Garden are committed to funding the team required to care for the garden and organise events and activities to offer the gentle side of rehabilitation for patients who spend months in hospital.

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Owen Griffiths

Owen became the Head Gardener of Horatio’s Garden Wales having worked most recently as a Horticultural Therapist at the Rural Activities Garden Centre, Hillingdon. He has a wealth of varied experience in the Social and Therapeutic Horticulture sector, as well as in teaching and music, whilst he has also been pursuing specialist horticultural training at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew from 2018 to 2021.

With the help of our brilliant volunteer team, Owen takes care of the garden, supporting the physical and mental rehabilitation of patients and their loved ones, as well as warmly welcoming everyone who comes to spend time in our sixth stunning sanctuary.

As Owen is passionate about forest gardening and believes it to be an effective strategy for adapting to and mitigating climate change, this is likely to be something featuring in the garden’s vibrant programme of workshops and activities. It’s also something that will ensure patients are constantly sowing, growing and enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables; as Owen says, “the most incredible plants are those than can be enjoyed both visually as well as on the dinner plate!”

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

Horatio's Garden Wales
The Welsh Spinal Cord Injury and Neuro Rehabilitation Centre
University Hospital Llandough
Penarth
Cardiff
CF64 2XX

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