Harefield Healing Garden

A garden at Harefield Hospital; a calm and therapeutic space, for patients, their visitors, and for staff. 

Thanks to the generosity of many wonderful individual supporters, Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, local business and institutions, we are thrilled to have completed and opened the garden in Spring 2021.

Keep up to date with Healing Garden news on Instagram

We are looking for volunteers to join our gardening club and for donations towards bulbs and ongoing maintenance for the garden.

Can you help?

Harefield Healing Garden

A garden at Harefield Hospital; a calm and therapeutic space, for patients, their visitors, and for staff. 

Thanks to the generosity of many wonderful individual supporters, Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, local business and institutions, we are thrilled to have completed and opened the garden in Spring 2021.

Keep up to date with Healing Garden news on Instagram

We are looking for volunteers to join our gardening club and for donations towards bulbs and ongoing maintenance for the garden.

Can you help?

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

Why Harefield Hospital needed 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.

We wanted to provide a garden which would be accessible to all; a sanctuary for patients, a place for visitors, including young children to spend time with their loved ones, and for staff to take a well needed break.

As relatives of former patients we know what a difference having this garden would have made, and it’s great to see the garden now being used as we had hoped it would be. 

Patients with access to nature:

√ Suffer fewer complications after surgery

√ Use less pain medication

√ Experience more positive feelings and fewer negative emotions

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

Roger Ulrich “Effects of Gardens on Health Outcomes”

Comments from Harefield’s patients and staff

“A garden will offer a vital breathing space, somewhere to escape away from the wards.” 

“It would give me the motivation to go outside”

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

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

“My husband would have loved this garden. It would have given him somewhere away from the wards to enjoy being with his grandchildren.”

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”

Our hope is that in the words of a Harefield Transplant Fellow, the garden will provide for all: “a place where you can just sit and lose the concept of time.”

Our personal reasons for building a garden

Rosie Pope OBE, Founder

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, Co-Founder

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

The Healing Garden is starting to take shape

The Healing Garden is starting to take shape

We have just completed week three of the garden build, with Bowles and Wyer preparing the ground for the pathways and planting areas. This coming week will see nineteen new trees, specifally chosen for their colour, scent and year-round interest. These be planted this...

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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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“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