The grounds at Brentry are integral to the care and support that we give to patients and their families. Hospice gardener Sarah Townsend shares her memories.
"Fifteen years ago, the garden was quite dated. It had an old-fashioned layout and shrubs which had been planted when the Hospice was built. They'd become big blobs of green, blocking a lot of views from patients' bedrooms.
"With the help of our volunteers, we ripped them out and put in many herbaceous perennials for more colour and interest. The Hospice rebuild, which started in 2017 also gave us the opportunity for a more modern layout in the garden. I like the fluid shapes and the meandering paths through the beds, which allow you to be up close to the plants. Patients and visitors sometimes recognise a plant that they may have in their own garden and stop to chat with me or the volunteers as they wander through, and sometimes they test our memories to recall the name of plants. I love that we still have the parkland on one side with vistas through trees and an environment that encourages wildlife.
"Around the Memory Tree, we planted sections of Rosemary hedge. Rosemary is thought to be good for your memory, and people can break a bit off and smell it while they're there. The walled garden is a safe space outside some of our rooms, where patients who are experiencing memory challenges can enjoy the fresh air. It's designed with curved paths, which enable you to walk a circle around the garden and never meet a dead end.
"Some of the planting in here is a remnant of the old garden in 2017. The trees on the back wall and the birch tree were safeguarded from the builders and I've recently added some dwarf fruit trees, so that patients or visitors can pick an apple."Back to News