Patients, families, friends and NHS staff at the National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) have come together in Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville to cast their thumbprint for an artwork to be displayed in the charity’s show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May.
Part of a nationwide project, the thumbprints in Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville are being collected by local ceramicist Sophie Smith. They will join a thousand others to form the final artwork appearing in a woodland room within Horatio’s Garden Chelsea, designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg from Harris Bugg Studio in collaboration with architects Mcmullan Studio on the prestigious Main Avenue of the world leading flower show.
Imprints were cast by patients, NHS staff, volunteers and the charity’s staff alike, including Lead Nurse for the NSIC, Zoey Pullar, and Head Gardener of Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville, Amy Moffett. They follow the casting of the first thumbprint in Horatio’s Garden London & South East earlier this year by the charity’s patron, HRH Princess Eugenie of York.
All the thumbprints will now be fired and glazed, so that they are ready to feature alongside those collected across the UK from the broad community of Horatio’s Garden, including patients, staff and volunteers within its gardens in spinal injury centres, as well as those involved in bringing the show garden to life.
Amy Moffett, Head Gardener of Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville said: ‘It’s wonderful to have a creative project that everyone can be involved in – patients, visitors, staff and volunteers – all together! Everyone is getting very excited about having their unique thumbprint displayed as part of the first ever Horatio’s Garden show garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show on Main Avenue. This is such a thoughtful and inclusive way of making everyone feel part of this inspiring event and it’s getting everyone talking, spreading the word about Horatio’s Garden and what a positive difference these gardens make for so many people.’
Dr Olivia Chapple, Founder and Chair of Trustees of Horatio’s Garden said: ‘This is a wonderful initiative by designers Harris Bugg Studio in collaboration with architect Andrew Mcmullan that will tell the powerful story of the many hands involved in caring for beneficiaries of Horatio’s Garden.’
Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg, designers of Horatio’s Garden at Chelsea Flower Show, said: ‘We have been so fortunate in the last year to meet with many people supported by the Horatio’s Garden charity – we have listened to their stories and come to understand the vital role the charity plays within their lives. In approaching the design for the garden we were determined to visually represent the collective power of the whole Horatio’s Garden family – the many inspiring individuals that make up this transformative community of hope and support. And since this garden will be permanently located in Sheffield, the home of highly skilled metalworking, the idea of a personal way of hallmarking this space resonated yet further.’
Horatio’s Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2023 will be a place of sanctuary and hope, reflecting the special qualities of the charity’s gardens that nurture the wellbeing of people after spinal injury. Designed by Charlotte Harris and Hugo Bugg of Harris Bugg Studio, it will be an immersive, restorative haven – the antithesis of a busy, clinical hospital environment – that puts the requirements of people with mobility needs at its heart. The garden is generously funded by Project Giving Back.
Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville first opened in September 2018. Created by multiple RHS Chelsea Gold Medal winner and beloved presenter of BBC Gardeners’ World Joe Swift, the garden forms part of the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Pictured: Zoey Pullar, Lead Nurse for the NSIC, Natalie Eggleton, NHS Staff member, and Amy Moffett, Head Gardener of Horatio’s Garden Stoke Mandeville, casting their thumbprints in the charity’s garden for Horatio’s Garden Chelsea