There’s always something happening in Horatio’s Garden, but it’s been particularly busy in Salisbury and Stoke Mandeville this January as we’ve welcomed three brilliant artists to the charity. 

In Salisbury, Katy McIntryre-Brown is our winter artist in residence and she recently joined volunteer artist Sheila in the garden’s weekly art group. Katy got to know many of the patients and families visiting the garden room and a few people decided to join in with the afternoon’s creative activities. The session focussed on sketching and painting, with those taking part using lots of colour to suitably brighten the January day! There was plenty of tea and cake to be had by all and everyone enjoyed spending a gentle, therapeutic afternoon in the garden. 

The following week, the world of natural art was brought to the garden too by wooden mosaic creator and artist Zac Newham. With Zac on hand to guide the group, patients and volunteers got involved, working with a variety of wood to create their pieces. 

One patient shared that she’d joined in with the art group the week before and that she’d liked it so much that she was inspired to try her hand at this new art form too. Despite never really sketching before and thinking that it wasn’t something she’d necessarily enjoy, it reminded her of when she created and made 17th century clothes for historical reenactments and awakened a whole new creative side to her. She thought the mosaic workshop was particularly wonderful too, saying that she loved how people could see whatever pictures they liked in these works.  

Another said he’d always been meticulous, but that the workshop was encouraging him to embrace the unknown and to just give everything a go. This was a sentiment shared by one of his fellow patients, who pushed artistic boundaries by creating a three-dimensional piece – something that even Zac had never seen before! 

The final touches will be put to each piece by Zac in the near future and he will soon return to the garden to give the finished artwork to all the patients and volunteers who took part. We’re all looking forward to seeing them. 

Meanwhile in Stoke Mandeville, artist in residence Rebecca Rason Flor Ferreria has begun to draw inspiration from the garden too, particularly on the beautifully bright and frosty mornings we’ve recently been treated to. So far, she’s taken a particular liking to the winter flowering cherry and sweetly planted winter pots, so we’re excited to see what captures her interest next time she visits the garden. 

Whilst in residence, Rebecca will be ready to welcome everyone to the garden, whether they wish to create their own artwork, or whether they wish to simply join her for a drink and a chat. 

Aside from art, there’s plenty more going on across all the gardens too, particularly with the RSBP Big Garden Birdwatch taking place from Saturday 25th – Monday 27th January. To read more, please CLICK HERE.