Horatio's garden blossoms at Shropshire hospital
Patients with spine injuries are now able to get out into the fresh air at Shropshire's Orthopaedic Hospital.
Horatio's Garden at the Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries will be officially opened next month. But already those at the centre and their families are getting the benefit of the new, outdoor space.
Fundraising began for the garden two years ago and a team of contractors and volunteers have been working throughout this year to get it ready for the opening on September 22.
One of those getting a sneak peak has been North Shropshire MP, Owen Paterson.
The MP spent four weeks in the spinal injuries unit last year after injuring his back when his horse fell.
"To have to spent hour after hour lying on your back inside a hospital ward is dreadful. The garden is incredible and I know the patients will appreciate the chance to have their beds or wheelchairs outside in the fresh air. It is also providing much needed space for families to have time together."
Head gardener, Imogen Jackson, said: "The architectural elements of the garden are coming along nicely, with the most important new arrival being the gorgeous Griffin Glasshouse. Iit will soon become the growing hub of the garden and we can’t wait to see all the plants that grow here."
" The shed has been lined and the serpentine path which winds the length of the garden will be a beautiful feature of the garden. We also saw the final piece of children’s play equipment being put in place at the end of July; a cosy wooden playhouse, complete with window boxes so children have their very own space to be up-close-and-personal with nature."
"We’re thrilled to see that there’s already an abundance of wildlife in the garden, with evidence of leafcutter bees making the most of the garden and birds nesting too. Numerous goldfinches, blackbirds, house sparrows and pigeons have all been spotted making themselves at home, whilst red admiral and tortoiseshell butterflies have become frequent flyers in the garden.
"It’s been great to see that our new volunteers are getting into the Horatio’s Garden spirit. Many have also taken part in wheelchair training sessions to ensure any and all patients can appreciate the garden whenever they’d like."
Horatio's gardens are being built at spinal injury units around the UK in memory of Horatio Chapple, a teenager mauled to death by a polar bear whilst on an expedition in Svalbard in 2011. The 17-year-old had already been fundraising for a garden at the Salisbury hospital where had had been on work experience.