A part of something beautiful – Horatio’s Garden RHS Chelsea 2023
Anyone who follows my social media will already be aware that myself and my colleagues at Bolt Burdon Kemp are huge supporters of Horatio’s Garden and, as a supporter and volunteer in the London and Stoke Mandeville Gardens, this week has been something of a whirlwind; and if I feel like that as someone on the ground watching, spare a thought for those in the charity who are at the centre of the maelstrom because this week has truly been phenomenal.
This year Horatio’s Garden was one of 15 gardens which received funding from Project Giving Back. As a result the charity were able to have a show garden in the Main Avenue at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. On Thursday night myself and my colleague Alex Dabek were privileged to be invited by Horatio’s Garden to attend an After Hours Reception in the Garden to see the garden first hand.
The garden, designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg, is absolutely stunning.
Like all the gardens created by Horatio’s Garden it has the needs of those with spinal cord injury at its heart. The plants are layered which means that whether you are walking, pushing in a wheelchair or lying in a hospital bed, you will always be able to see different colours and textures. The garden room is warm and welcoming with a skylight in the ceiling which means that even someone constricted to a hospital bed can see the sky and the trees.
taken from around the country adorn the walls reminding those patients who will eventually use this room as part of their rehabilitation that they are not alone. It’s details like this that make Horatio’s Garden so special.
As well as celebrating the creation of this beautiful garden we were also able to celebrate the HUGE achievement that was the garden winning both a gold medal AND Best in Show and the evening was a wonderful one.
Having seen the garden in the media earlier in the week it was amazing to be able to see the garden in all its glory. Listening to Dr Olivia Chapple speak about the charity is always a pleasure but nevermore so that night. Listening to Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg, the passion for this project just shone through. Even more remarkable is that this garden will be relocated to the Princess Royal Spinal Cord Injuries Centre in Sheffield in 2024. There it will be eight times the size of the Chelsea show garden and become the eighth and latest of the charity’s gardens at NHS spinal centres. Staff from the hospital attended the Reception and spoke of their wonder and, almost disbelief, that this oasis was going to become their garden.
As a volunteer at both the London garden and the Stoke Mandeville garden I see first hand the positive impact these gardens have. It is a real honour to be an albeit small part of something so beautiful. And I am beyond delighted that Sheffield and the people in the surrounding counties will soon benefit from this. In the meantime however I cannot end this blog without highlighting that whilst the charity has made great inroads into their fundraising target for the Sheffield garden, they do have a way to go so please do consider donating to the charity or maybe even purchasing some of their beautiful merchandise. I certainly couldn’t resist!