An NHS garden of relaxation for staff at the recently built NHS Nightingale Hospital London has been created by a landscaping consortium. A place for doctors and nurses to relax, the garden oasis is surrounded by 2.4m high living walls of plants.
The plants, vertical planters, plant pots, trees, astroturf and outdoor furniture were all donated by UK horticultural and outdoor landscaping companies and designed and project managed by Biotecture Managing Director, Richard Sabin www.biotecture.uk.com with SAGE advice from RHS Chelsea Award winning designer, Patrick Collins.
1,600 NHS staff were expected to be working here. So far, only a fraction of that number have be enjoying this beautiful NHS garden when taking a break from their lifesaving work.
The living wall garden was built alongside the portacabins which house the doctors and nurses’ clothing and equipment, showers and changing rooms. It was conceived and completed in less than three days, and finished by the afternoon of April 9th, two days after the hospital opened.
Overall there were more than 2,500 plants donated for the Nurses Garden by Newey Ltd and other wholesale ornamental plant growers. These companies have had their usual route to market – via retailers such as garden centres, florists and DIY stores – closed down due to Coronavirus. In response Plants2People.com has been set up to try to get all these sale-ready plants to the public as soon as possible.
Director of Newey Ltd Alex Newey says: “We will explore every avenue possible to distribute our plants and help to make the country a brighter more cheerful place during these difficult times. What better way to start than support our front line doctors and nurses?”
The consortium is in talks to provide similar gardens at other NHS Nightingale hospitals nationwide.
Says Alex Newey, “We are on the hunt for further great projects to add tranquility to communities in need of a little oasis of living plants.”
The plants chosen were a mixture of Geraniums, Fuchsia, Dianthus and Senetti, and were planted in 550 recycled plastic vertical garden stackable PlantBox units donated by Growing Revolution www.growingrevolution.com to help to build the garden Matt Lindsay, General Manager of Growing Revolution, says “We are so proud to be able to support an initiative like this”
Alex Newey continues: “The beauty of fresh plants and flowers is well known to lighten our moods and restore our sense of wellbeing. We hope that our small gesture goes some way to brightening up the living areas for our NHS staff who are working so hard to save lives, and show how much they are valued.”
Richard Sabin of biotecture.co.uk says,“For us this has been one of the most rewarding weeks’ work ever – from a standing start to a beautiful garden in three days! The NHS staff all said how grateful they were to us for brightening up their challenging work environment. It is, of course, we who are eternally grateful to them. We were humbled by their reactions and gave our massive thanks in return.”
NHS Nightingale Hospital London is the first temporary hospital to be set up by NHS England. NHS Nightingale Birmingham is now operational, with others planned across the country to open to Covid-19 patients if needed.