Our Gardening Volunteers Continue to Keep The Garden Looking Rosy

February 2021

Our incredible gardening volunteers led by Stephanie Bullman have continued their incredible work during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Our gardening volunteers have worked unwaveringly to keep our hospice gardens and terraced areas looking amazing, providing a calm, beautiful and safe space for our patients, family members and carers during these troubling times.

 

 

Stephanie who heads up our gardening volunteers said:

Last summer and autumn a small but merry group of gardening volunteers continued to work in the hospice garden throughout lockdown. There are always jobs to do to keep the garden looking well. One Saturday morning, during the autumn, we all worked together to prune and tidy up the area outside the staff room, removing brambles and reducing the height of the hedge to allow more light into the Hospice windows. This produced a large amount of waste material which all had to be chopped up, bagged and taken to the skip.


Most Saturdays we run through a list of regular jobs which need to be completed, such as keeping the path around the pond clear of leaves and clearing general debris. The pond area is an enchanting place to sit during the year as the varied wildlife is amazing.


In the autumn, one of our last tasks of the year was to plant bulbs by the front door together with winter flowering pansies. The former should be appearing any day now. As I write, sweeps of snowdrops and aconites should be showing their faces in the winter sunshine. In April, the flower bed by the entrance will be a mass of daffodils, primroses and hellebores, followed by geranium ‘Rosanne’ and digitalis.


When we return, in the not too distant future, the first thing we will do is head to the pond to see if there is any sign of frogspawn in the shallows! The fish are unable to reach them amongst the stones. We will then begin a general tidying up of the garden. The Cutting Garden, beside the car park, is at the top of the list. (We deliberately leave the tidying up of this area until early spring to ensure the hibernating ladybirds etc. are not disturbed.) We will be thinning out some of the annuals, including hollyhocks and will be spreading new bark on the paths and tying in self-sown sweet pea ‘Matucana’ to the handmade hazel wigwams. This sweet pea is heavenly scented and flowers for many weeks, especially if regularly picked. In this area of the garden, we grow many nectar plants which are enjoyed by the bees and butterflies as well as flowering for many months.


Our Rose Garden, at the bottom of the ramp, is slowly filling up as the shrub roses expand and various other plants fill in the space. We grow rosemary, thyme, hardy geraniums, lupins, alliums, to name but a few. The last, some of which were donated to the hospice, is one of the first plants to flower. We leave the flower heads on for all-year structure. We also have scented Regale lilies amongst the roses which always provide much pleasure later in the summer.

Stephanie went onto say about her team:


I am so proud of my team of ten volunteers as they are always cheerful and are willing to turn out in any weather and never complain however tough a job is needed to be done.

 

Thanks to the support from the National Lottery players and the TNL Community Fund the Salisbury Hospice Garden continues to be a peaceful space for reflection.

The gardens are an integral part of what the hospice can offer to patients and families and have marked benefits on general wellbeing and mental health. As we continue to develop our outdoor spaces we are introducing more horticultural therapy for our patients because we see the difference it makes.

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