Harefield Healing Garden

A garden at Harefield Hospital for patients, their visitors, and staff. More needed than ever in this current COVID 19 climate.

We have raised over £150,000 to date and we are thrilled to be to starting the garden build this October!

We are now raising £50,000 for plants and trees for the garden.

Can you help?

Harefield Healing Garden

A garden at Harefield Hospital for patients, their visitors, and staff. More needed than ever in this current COVID 19 climate.

We have raised over £150,000 to date and we are thrilled to be to starting the garden build this October!

We are now raising £50,000 for plants and trees for the garden.

Can you help?

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“Somewhere to sit, to listen and to get some fresh air would be wonderful.  The ward is far from peaceful.”
A Harefield patient

Why does Harefield Hospital need a garden?

As a specialist heart and lung centre, many of Harefield’s patients have life-threatening conditions, needing a transplant or other surgery, and many spend months at Harefield. Some suffer post-traumatic stress from their experience.

Although Harefield has green spaces, most areas near the hospital are used for parking. But there is one area on the right as you enter the hospital, which historically was a garden for the hospital, and which is accessible for patients. There are some benches on this space, which overlook the road and the brick walls of the hospital. It is unloved and therefore little used.

Our goal is to transform this area into a healing garden to benefit patients, their visitors, and staff; a calm and therapeutic environment that promotes physical and mental wellbeing.

Patients with access to nature:

√ Suffered fewer complications after surgery

√ Used less pain medication

√ Experienced more positive feelings and fewer negative emotions

Patients with a garden view were discharged sooner than those who looked out on an inanimate brick wall

Roger Ulrich “Effects of Gardens on Health Outcomes”

The evidence

It is well known that nature aids recovery and can improve our mental and physical states. Gardens have been used in the healing process some ancient Greece, with the first medical practice at the temple and gardens at Epidaurus. Yet it was only in 1984 that psychologist Roger Ulrich first documented the evidence for the healing effect of gardens in the journal “Science.” Since that time there has been an overwhelming weight of diverse and holistic evidence that shows how important gardens are for our health and wellbeing. In 2016 The Kings Fund published their comprehensive report on Gardens in Health, noting: “Gardens are the elephant outside the room, providing multiple pathways to health gain, recovery and solace, through achievement, activity and social context”. 

The garden will offer vital breathing space away from the constant sensory bombardment of the hospital environment. It has the potential to benefit so many patients, families and staff. We have asked some of them what a garden would mean to them. They unreservedly welcome the garden and have given myriad reasons as to how they would feel the benefit. Here are some of our patients’ responses to our questionnaire: 


“Somewhere to escape away from the wards”

“It would give me the motivation to go outside”

“Seeing the seasons change makes you feel a part of the world”

“A place of quietness. A quiet, calm space, nature to view and remember that all life changes”


“My husband would have loved this garden. It would have given him somewhere away from the wards to enjoy being with his grandchildren” 
Natalie Waterman, wife of a former patient

Our physiotherapists welcome the garden as: “somewhere for patients to get back on their feet” – “an important first step to gaining confidence and feeling part of the world again.”

Helen Doyle, Matron of Rowan Ward says: “We’ve noticed that patients are happier and more positive when they are outside, away from the hospital environment. It lifts their mood and is a nicer place to socialise with their family”

But what patients say they want most of all is a garden they can enjoy being in, with their family or other visitors, or alone – in the words of a Harefield Transplant Fellow: “a place where you can just sit and lose the concept of time.”

“A place of quietness. A quiet, calm space, nature to view and remember that all life changes”
A Harefield patient

Rosie Pope

My son Will received a new heart in 2013 when he was 20. He spent many weeks at Harefield when first diagnosed, at 16 years old, with dilated cardiomyopathy, and more than 6 months there aged 20. He had a VAD (Ventricular Assist Device) implanted in 2009 but was back at Harefield on the urgent transplant list four years later.

We saw Harefield all year round. In Spring, Summer and Autumn, when possible, Will would sit on a bench overlooking the road. In winter the nurses pushed him from ITU to the front doors of the hospital to see and feel the snow.

Will suffered from ITU syndrome and took many months to recover after his transplant. On a cold crisp day in February, as he was too weak to get into a car, I bumped him along the uneven pavement to the Old Orchard, in a borrowed wheelchair supported by pillows, pulling him backwards over the paving stones. For the first time in months he was outside, and part of the world again. He didn’t look back. That’s when the idea of a Healing Garden for Harefield began.

Since Will first became ill I have raised funds for the Brompton & Harefield Hospital working for their Charity in Special Events. I am now, as a volunteer, focusing on the garden.

Who are we?

Rosie Pope

My son Will received a new heart in 2013 when he was 20. He spent many weeks at Harefield when first diagnosed, at 16 years old, with dilated cardiomyopathy, and more than 6 months there aged 20. He had a VAD (Ventricular Assist Device) implanted in 2009 but was back at Harefield on the urgent transplant list four years later.

We saw Harefield all year round. In Spring, Summer and Autumn, when possible, Will would sit on a bench overlooking the road. In winter the nurses pushed him from ITU to the front doors of the hospital to see and feel the snow.

Will suffered from ITU syndrome and took many months to recover after his transplant. On a cold crisp day in February, as he was too weak to get into a car, I bumped him along the uneven pavement to the Old Orchard, in a borrowed wheelchair supported by pillows, pulling him backwards over the paving stones. For the first time in months he was outside, and part of the world again. He didn’t look back. That’s when the idea of a Healing Garden for Harefield began.

Since Will first became ill I have raised funds for the Brompton & Harefield Hospital working for their Charity in Special Events. I am now, as a volunteer, focusing on the garden.

Catherine Perry

My dad spent 12 days at Harefield following a sudden an unexpected heart attack on his regular morning run. He was airlifted to Harefield and spent most of those 12 days in an induced coma, before sadly passing away. My experience with Dad at Harefield, really opened my eyes to the incredible job health professionals do every day (and night!) so relentlessly, and it made me want to give something back.
My children would have loved to have visited their grandad, had he recovered; a garden would have provided a much nicer setting for this, away from the wards. Mum and I would have benefitted from having access to a garden to just sit and reflect; as would the staff, who were visibly affected by the loss of their patient.
These are my reasons for volunteering to create the Healing Garden; a garden that can help heal people, in many different ways, for decades and even generations to come.

Rosie has held the healing garden in her heart ever since her son Will was in hospital. I am honoured to be invited to come on board to help to bring her dream into fruition.

Catherine Perry

My dad spent 12 days at Harefield following a sudden an unexpected heart attack on his regular morning run. He was airlifted to Harefield and spent most of those 12 days in an induced coma, before sadly passing away.
 

My children would have loved to have visited their grandad while he was in hospital. A garden would have provided a much nicer setting for this, away from the wards; as well as a quiet place for mum and me to just sit and reflect.

Rosie has held the healing garden in her heart ever since her son Will was in hospital. I am honoured to be invited to come on board to help to bring her dream into fruition.

Recent Healing Garden developments

We are all set to break ground this October…

We are all set to break ground this October…

We are thrilled to be finally breaking ground this month. Hard hats, Hi-Vis jackets and Herras fencing will officially be ON SITE on Monday 26th October to commence the first phase of the garden build - the hard landscaping - and we can't wait! This first phase will...

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Plant Appeal

Plant Appeal

Please help us fill the Healing Garden with beautiful, sensory planting for all to enjoy.  We would love your help in filling the Healing Garden with beautiful, sensory plants and flowers for patients, visitors, and staff to enjoy! Every £10 donation buys a 2-litre...

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EXCITING NEWS!!

EXCITING NEWS!!

We are thrilled to announce that following  years of research, designing, planning and fundraising, we are now in a position to start the Healing Garden build. What better time to reward the patients, their visitors and the NHS staff, who have been working 'on the...

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“A garden will provide somewhere away from the ward to do physiotherapy”
Harefield physiotherapist

Contact us

All funds raised to go to the Harefield Healing Garden; a restricted appeal of the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, Registered Charity No. 1053584

 

All funds raised to go to the Harefield Healing Garden; a restricted appeal of the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, Registered Charity No. 1053584

 

Thank you to our generous supporters