Horatio's Garden London & South East

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Horatio’s Garden London & South East is located at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore home of the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre. The garden was created by celebrated garden designer Tom Stuart-Smith for patients, their loved ones and NHS staff to enjoy.

The London Spinal Cord Injury Centre is one of only 11 in the UK designated to receive and treat spinal cord injury patients. The Centre currently has forty beds for adults, children and young people. These include beds for acute care, first episode of rehabilitation and readmission.

The garden design includes garden rooms, designed by Stephen Marshall, which are places enabling patients to use the space whatever the weather. The garden is a fully accessible, beautiful space offering patients the chance to spend time outside surrounded by natural elements. The designs were developed in close collaboration with the spinal unit team, as well as current and former patients.

Our Capital Appeal patrons were Joanna Lumley, Frankie Dettori, Mel Giedroyc, Lord Bilimoria, Charlotte Heber-Percy, along with Lady Daunt and BBC correspondent Frank Gardner, who are both former patients of the LSCIC. Each patron generously supported the fundraising for the project, and the designs were launched in early 2018.

Following the launch, we spent over a year fundraising for our fifth project, reaching our appeal target in late 2019. This has meant that our plan to begin work in January 2020 was right on track, with ambassador Anneka Rice joining us for the official breaking ground ceremony that took place in the new year.

As the months progressed, the team from ARJ Construction worked incredibly hard against all odds to ensure that the garden would be open for patients, their loved ones and NHS staff to enjoy from September 2020. They rapidly progressed with the build and thanks to Crocus and our new volunteer team, planting was completed in August. Now that the garden is finished, it will be there to offer calm and comfort to everyone as they adjust to life-changing injuries.

“It’s a really difficult thing to go through, a spinal cord injury, not just because of all the physical side of things, but the mental stuff is actually harder. Having a Horatio’s Garden here will make everything a little bit easier” – Ruth, a patient at the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre. 

As each Horatio’s Garden requires constant funding, please consider donating via our website or becoming a Friend to support our London garden’s ongoing running costs. Alternatively you can also donate by post to the 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.

Thank you to all those who have supported our fifth Horatio’s Garden so far.

Tom Stuart-Smith in London

Tom Stuart-Smith

Tom is a landscape designer with an international reputation for making gardens that combine naturalism and modernity. Tom’s work ranges from large gardens and parks open to the public, to smaller private gardens. He has also designed a number of gardens for the Chelsea Flower Show. Eight of these have been awarded gold medals, and three have won ‘Best in Show’.

“We all know that gardening has this enormous impact on the quality of people’s lives. Here is something that offers hope, change and growth.”

The Design

Tom’s designs carefully reflect the needs of patients and their families. The garden is on one level, with smooth paths throughout ensuring that it is easily accessible to patients in beds and wheelchairs. The essential design features include a social space, private areas for patients to seek solitude or share with a family member or friend, the calming sound of flowing water, a garden room, a garden therapy area and a greenhouse. Throughout the garden the planting is designed to supply colour all year round, whilst wildlife has been encouraged with bird and butterfly boxes.

“It’s great for patients to be outside in the fresh air seeing plants. Great for them to have some private areas that they can spend time in by themselves or with their families” – Dr Angela Gall, Rehabilitation Consultant. 


Ashley Edwards

Having joined us from Strawberry Hill House & Garden, where he was responsible for a volunteer team and a community outreach programme, Ashley is the perfect fit for Horatio’s Garden London & South East.

With the support of a fantastic volunteer team, Ashley is responsible for nurturing our fifth garden and offers support to patients and their loved ones spending time in the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre.

Since graduating from Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in 2014, his profession has taken him to beautiful gardens across the world, including Longwood Gardens in the USA and the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School in Sicily.

Ashley’s experience in such unique gardens means he understands the importance of thoughtful (and indeed edible!) planting, which is vital as Horatio’s Garden London & South East provides people with natural colour, interest and beauty all year round.

Already Ashley has shown a great deal of enthusiasm and dedication to his new role, which will undoubtedly inspire everyone he meets in the garden.

“To be part of a garden of such excellent horticultural design that will support people with their mental and physical wellbeing is very special. Being here from day one has been a fantastic opportunity.”

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

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