Horatio’s Garden is a wonderful charity close to our hearts at Gaze Burvill. Named after Horatio Chapple – a schoolboy who wanted to be a doctor and volunteered at the spinal centre in Salisbury. He had an idea to create a garden to help patients and their families, providing them with spaces which would offer both tranquillity and community.
Horatio’s life was cut short at 17 when his camp was attacked by a polar bear while on expedition in Svalbard in 2011. However, his legacy continues and the first Horatio’s Garden opened in 2012 at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment at Salisbury Hospital, designed by award-winning landscape designer, Cleve West. The charity now has five gardens at spinal injury units across the country and a team of volunteers who care for the gardens, and support the activities organised by the charity in collaboration with the spinal centres’ therapy team for patients, their families and friends. Everything in the garden is designed to improve wellbeing and in particular the psychological outcomes of patients and their families as they adjust to life changing injuries
Pictured left: Dr Olivia Chapple, Co-founder and Chair of Trustees, Horatio’s Garden.
FIFTH GARDEN NOW OPEN
The newest garden opened in September 2020 at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore. Despite the groundworks starting at the beginning of the year, just before the country was thrown into lockdown, the garden opened right on schedule which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the teams involved in the transformation.
The 1898m² space was thoughtfully designed by eight time Chelsea gold medal winner Tom Stuart-Smith, who declared that the project had “the capacity to transform the lives of patients with spinal injuries when they are most in need”.
Horatio’s Garden London & South East is fully accessible to people in both beds and wheelchairs and features a garden room and uniquely designed ‘garden pods’, ensuring that patients and their loved ones can spend precious time together beyond the hospital wards all year round. Among the some 10,000 plants and 336 trees that have been planted, the inspired design includes generous open spaces, as well as intimate places together with Gaze Burvill Seats that allow for moments of reflection. As patient Ruth commented, “It is a really difficult thing to go through, a spinal cord injury, not just because of the physical side of things, the mental stuff is actually harder. Having a Horatio’s Garden here at Stanmore will make everything a little bit easier”.
PROUD TO BE INVOLVED
Gaze Burvill are extremely proud to have once again worked with Horatio’s Garden along with Tom Stuart-Smith on this very special project. The garden features five Court Seats along with a Broadwalk Bench and three curved Broadwalk Seats, all placed to give patients, family, friends and the wonderful NHS staff a place to sit and enjoy their beautiful and peaceful surroundings.
Although this time all of the furniture we provided were classic Gaze Burvill seats, it has not always been the case. Having worked with Horatio’s Garden on their first two projects, Gaze Burvill were approached by RHS Gold medal winning Joe swift, the appointed designer for the third Horatio’s Garden at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, to design and build a bespoke oak bench which would be nothing like we had ever undertaken before. This bench was to be 10 metres long and curved to follow the contours of the elliptical open area of the garden, linking the water feature and the stone carved memorial for Horatio Chapple. It was quite the challenge for our designers and craftsmen, with over 250 individual slats and 7 discreetly interlinked sections, all following a different curve. As a team, we couldn’t be prouder to have created such a special piece for this inspiring garden. Read our previous post to find out more and to see the bench in construction (taking over our workshop!) .
To find out more about Horatio’s Garden or to make a donation please click here.
Photo credits: Lucy Shergold