Opened in 2012, the beautiful area of tranquility was designed by top garden designer Cleve West and named in memory of Horatio Chapple.
At the age of 17, during an expedition to Svalbard, Horatio was killed by a polar bear. He was planning to study medicine and enjoyed volunteering at Salisbury spinal centre in his school holidays. His patient research established the need for a beautiful garden to be created. His father David is a spinal surgeon at the hospital and the pair set about making the garden happen. Tragically, Horatio did not live to see it garden grow.
Cleve West was the perfect choice to design the garden. Not only did he have top horticultural credentials with a Best in Show at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, he also had a deep understanding of the problems associated with spinal injuries when his friend was admitted to the hospital for a year. The beech hedge from his 2012 Best in Show garden is now in place at the Garden.
Featuring a memorial stone to Horatio, the planting is selected to create sensory stimulation with grasses, herbs and soothing colours. Water creates a relaxing sound.
The structure of the garden is created by three low and curved Cotswold stone walls representing the spinal column. Two of the walls are cut into two sections by a pathway. The third is entire, symbolising the work of the unit.
Horatio’s Garden is a sanctuary – a place to get out in the fresh air and away from the ward.