“This garden will make a huge difference to the lives of countless patients and their tireless support systems”
Rhianna Colyer, ITU nurse

The Garden design and build

This project has had a relatively long gestation period to enable us to conduct thorough research, to listen to the views of patients and staff and to revisit what is important, and of course, to raise funds.

We asked leading landscape and garden designers Bowles & Wyer to take a fresh look at the design concept in the light of input from patients, their relatives, doctors, nurses, psychologists, and other hospital staff, and responses to the questionnaire drawn up with help from Occupational Therapy.  They have brought their experience in creating hospital gardens to the table, taken time to listen, and adapted the original Nicki Jackson plan, whilst keeping in key elements,  and coming up with this super exciting design – we hope you like it!

We aim to build the garden in stages with the hard landscaping going in this summer/autumn. So far, thanks to the generosity of many friends, patients, and their relatives, the RB&HH charity’s appeal, has raised over £145,000! We aim to build the garden in stages and hope to get the hard landscaping done this Summer/Autumn.  To see how the money raised will be spent, click here.

“To have this wonderful garden for patients to access will be fabulous for wellbeing and health”
Katharine Scott, Trust lead for Older People and Physical Disability

Bowles & Wyer Design Statement

The healing garden occupies an important location within the hospital grounds and has potential to breathe new life and vigour into this part of the site. We have designed the new communal garden with a free-flowing organic design, with long sweeping footpaths meandering through generous beds of planting and bulbs in long grass. At the heart of the garden lies an elliptical shaped meeting place where staff, patients and visitors can mingle freely. Within this space is a raised flowerbed, designed by Streetlife, with built in seating and space for wheelchairs to be sat adjacent to it, enabling scented flowers to be within easy reach.  Curved bench seating will be installed for groups to sit in comfort and socialise, or simply relax peacefully in the surroundings.

For those wanting privacy, small pockets of seating have been provided off the main pathways, nestled in amongst the planting. These spaces will provide a mix of fixed seating and space for wheelchair users to pull into. The intention is for the garden to act as a transition area for patients on the road to recovery, whether using wheelchairs or accessing by foot. The paths are however wide enough to cater for hospital beds if the need arises.

Hospital wards can often feel like restrictive and controlling environments and we wanted to break away from this feeling in the garden by creating a distinct contrast. The healing garden embraces informal, free flowing and curvaceous geometry with beds of planting hugging seating areas, providing opportunity for close interaction with nature.

The garden will have strong links to biophilic design, creating a healthy and productive habitat for humans. Incorporating elements of nature into the built environment have been demonstrated to reduce stress, blood pressure levels and heart rates, whilst increasing productivity, creativity and self-reported rates of well-being. By exposing patients to nature on a regular basis, the aim is to improve post-operative recovery times.

There are a number of existing trees in the healing garden and the majority are proposed for retention, giving maturity to the garden. The free-flowing footpaths, edged in hornbeam hedging, work well in this scenario as they are flexible when weaving around existing rooting areas. No-dig construction principles will be followed where required to avoid any damage to existing tree roots with porous resin bound gravel and brick pavers proposed as the hard landscape materials.

An element of play is to be introduced for young visitors, and also to help rehabilitation of patients. Subtle stepping stone features will run through lawn areas and planting, with modern swing seats scattered in different areas of the garden. Positions for modern sculpture are earmarked for future donations, adding another dimension and interest to the garden.

External power points will be integrated into seating areas to allow hospital machinery to be plugged in or for visitors to charge phones etc. There will be subtle lighting to bring the spaces to life at night, with a mix of way finding lighting and uplighters to tree canopies or focal points.

Excess excavated material from the construction work will be re-distributed around the garden with subtle mounds and bunds creating interesting landform to be planted or turfed over.

For the planting palette, sensory plants will be important, the key aim is however to incorporate movement into the planting with large swathes of mixed ornamental grasses and flowering perennials. It is hoped that the maintenance will be kept to a minimum with most species only needing to be cut back in early Spring. Seed heads and spent flowerheads will also be to be left over winter, providing a skeletal structure that can look stunning when the frost settles.

To complement the planted borders, there will also be sweeping beds of bulbs in long grass, providing a cost effective and attractive way of softening the garden further. Species such Galanthus, Narcissus, Fritillaria and Camassia will be used to encourage naturalisation and repeat flowering year on year.

Key plants suggested by Bowles & Wyer  

Agapanthus ‘Windsor Grey’; Amsonia tabernaemontana; Anemone x hybrida ‘Kongin Charlotte’; Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ Astrantia Roma; Cirsium rivulare Echinacea pallida; Erigeron karvinskianus Eryngium bourgatii; Geranium Oxonianum Wargrave Pink; Geranium ‘Rozanne’ Knautia macedonica; Nepeta racemosa ‘Walkers Low’; Persicaria amplexicaulus ‘Firetail’; Salvia verticillata ‘Purple Rain’ Sanguisorba ‘Tanna’; Verbena bonariensis Viburnum bodtantense; Narcissus ‘Silver Chimes’ Casmassia leichtlinii subsp. Suksdorfii ‘Alba’ Fritillaria meleagris var. unicolor subvar . alba Galanthus nivalis Allium ‘Sphaerocephalon’ Allium ‘Purple Sensation’

Meet the landscaping team

James Smith, Design Director

James graduated with a first class honours degree and a postgraduate diploma in landscape architecture from the University of Gloucestershire in 2005 and joined Bowles & Wyer that year.  James’s work for the company has covered most areas of landscape and garden design. In 2010 he designed a private garden that won both the BALI Grand Award and the Design Build award – a first. He was also responsible for overseeing work on the prestigious Lancasters project on Bayswater Road which contributed to B&W winning the NHGA Landscape Architect of the Year award 2011 as well as the BALI design excellence award , NHGA best Communal garden award 2011 and more recently the Society of garden Designers  2015 Award for best Public or Commercial Space). He has particular expertise is running jobs in a multi-disciplinary environment and he is able to take in the big picture while keeping a keen eye for detail. 

James Smith,
Design Director

James graduated with a first class honours degree and a postgraduate diploma in landscape architecture from the University of Gloucestershire in 2005 and joined Bowles & Wyer that year.  James’s work for the company has covered most areas of landscape and garden design. In 2010 he designed a private garden that won both the BALI Grand Award and the Design Build award – a first. He was also responsible for overseeing work on the prestigious Lancasters project on Bayswater Road which contributed to B&W winning the NHGA Landscape Architect of the Year award 2011 as well as the BALI design excellence award , NHGA best Communal garden award 2011 and more recently the Society of garden Designers  2015 Award for best Public or Commercial Space). He has particular expertise is running jobs in a multi-disciplinary environment and he is able to take in the big picture while keeping a keen eye for detail. 

Jason Lock, Head of Design & Build

Jason has over 30 years’ experience in the garden design industry including time spent as chief executive and chair of the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) and on the council of the Society of Garden Designers (SGD). He has been on the judging panel of a number of national award schemes, including currently serving as a judge on the BALI Awards, and has won numerous awards himself including Gold and Silver-Gilt medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  Jason’s knowledge and expertise in design-led project management, and his talent for building and maintaining client relationships is key to the success of our full service delivery.

Jason Lock,
Head of Design
& Build

Jason has over 30 years’ experience in the garden design industry including time spent as chief executive and chair of the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) and on the council of the Society of Garden Designers (SGD). He has been on the judging panel of a number of national award schemes, including currently serving as a judge on the BALI Awards, and has won numerous awards himself including Gold and Silver-Gilt medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  Jason’s knowledge and expertise in design-led project management, and his talent for building and maintaining client relationships is key to the success of our full service delivery.

The cost

The garden is estimated to cost £246,200 inc vat. This is where the money will go:

%

Hard Landscaping & groundwork including paths, borders and raised beds £89,000

%

Soft Landscaping including hedges, trees and plants £83,700

%

Furniture including bespoke benches surrounding raised flower beds and garden lighting £48,500

%

Two year’s maintenance £25,000

These costings include two year’s maintenance and garden furniture, but exclude any garden ornaments or sculptures.

If you would like to make a donation for a specific item, for example, a tree, plants, a bench or accessory such as a garden ornament or sculpture please contact us via email or call 07966 094974.

Patients say it will help them
“feel part of the world” and provide “a place to come to terms with what has happened”

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