In a week when thousands usually flock to the Royal Hospital Chelsea for the world-renowned RHS Chelsea Flower Show, this year’s virtual show has seen thousands flocking to the RHS website and social media instead to celebrate gardens, gardening and all the joys they have to offer.
However, there is a hidden side to the Show. Whilst the RHS have masterfully adjusted to the ‘new normal’, sadly many of the charities and businesses who usually appear at the event are missing out on one of their biggest and most-anticipated weeks of the year.
Horatio’s Garden is one such charity. This would have been their sixth year at the Chelsea Flower Show and the team were incredibly excited to exhibit, not only in order to raise vital funds for the charity but because they could introduce hundreds of visitors to their new project, Horatio’s Garden Cardiff.
The charity create and nurture beautiful gardens in NHS spinal injury centres to support patients, their loved ones and NHS staff affected by spinal injury. To date the charity have opened a Horatio’s Garden in Salisbury, Scotland, Stoke Mandeville and Oswestry, whilst work continues on their fifth project in London. Horatio’s Garden offers calm and comfort to people who are adjusting to life-changing injuries, and each garden has been a real lifeline for patients and staff throughout the current Coronavirus crisis.
Thankfully, Horatio’s Garden will soon be offering support to patients with spinal injuries from across Wales, as they’ve been invited by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to create Horatio’s Garden Cardiff as part of the redevelopment project at University Hospital Llandough. It is being designed by two-time Chelsea gold medal winner, Sarah Price, in collaboration with 6a architects and will be fully accessible.
The garden has been inspired by various iconic elements of the Welsh landscape, with the internal pavilion space ensuring that the garden can be enjoyed in all winds and weathers. It will also lend itself to a range of activities and groups, as Horatio’s Garden run numerous therapeutic workshops in collaboration with the spinal centres to support patients’ rehabilitation.
However, the charity is still only halfway to its fundraising target for Horatio’s Garden Cardiff and in light of RHS Chelsea and all their other summer fundraising events being cancelled, they need your help more than ever.
Horatio’s Garden are totally reliant on public support and no idea or donation is too great or too small! Whilst gardeners may like to get involved in the charity’s new Grow to Give campaign, others may enjoy joining in with their Virtual Fabulous Summer Tea Party. Equally, you can help to bring Horatio’s Garden Cardiff to life by simply becoming a Friend of the charity, or by making a one-off donation. Anything you can give will make an enormous difference and will mean a lot to patients like Rhian, who spend many months in hospital far from home.
“I think Horatio’s Garden Cardiff will change lives. To have a bespoke garden with all of the small details considered to make it easily accessible for people with low mobility will be tremendous and you can’t put a price on being able to spend time with your family and friends outside. It’s such a worthwhile charity that helps people like me to adjust to their injuries. I can’t emphasise enough how important having a Horatio’s Garden is.”
To find out more about Horatio’s Garden, please visit www.horatiosgarden.org.uk or follow @horatiosgarden on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.