Our Next Horatio’s Project Is In Sheffield, And Designers Harris Bugg Studio Debuted The Garden To Wide Acclaim At RHS Chelsea

We are really excited about getting going on the next project for Horatio’s Garden. The charity is embarking on it’s 8th garden with Hugo Bugg and Charlotte Harris of Harris Bugg studio, and where better place to debut the design than at RHS Chelsea Flower Show?

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 was a brilliant experience, as ever. In an inspired move, when earning the support of Project Giving to help the Horatio’s Garden produce a show garden for the 2023 show, designers Hugo Bugg and Charlotte Harris were drafted in.

The duo, conjoined as the Harris Bugg Studio, are also the designers for the next Horatio’s Garden that will be built in the Spinal Injuries Unit in Sheffield. So rather than create ‘just another show garden’, they decided to create a scaled portion of what will become Horatio’s Garden Sheffield & East, and that will be located at the Princess Royal Spinal Injuries Centre in Sheffield.

The garden has been built for people in wheelchairs and hospital beds, who are the primary users for which the garden is being designed.  The garden will also provide a sanctuary for the loved ones of patients who will also come to spend time in this garden, creating a truly accessible multi-use space.

The duo have spared no lack of attention to detail in this process so far. From the placement of windows at hospital bed height in the outdoor ‘bothies’ that will feature in the garden, to the water feature that is set optimally at wheelchair height and that also thematically doffs a cap to the steel industry that is a living memory part of Sheffield city’s cultural heritage, it’s a marvellous creation.

It is the first wheelchair friendly show garden at RHS Chelsea, and is notable for that alone. However, Charlotte and Hugo invited wheelchair users onto the garden and invited them to give feedback on what they thought of its accessibility as well.  Ultimately, testing out what will become a garden at least eight times the size of the Chelsea garden when it is fully realised in Sheffield, they have been keen to get every detail right.

The paths have been designed to offer low friction resistance for people in wheelchairs, and is a SUDS-compliant innovation by Harris Bug Studio who have developed the material using aggregates, creating a porous surface with a smooth finish that removes the ‘industrial’ visual qualities normally associated with surfaces produced for medical settings.

The bothies will serve as a sanctuary that can be used year round, helping patients shelter from the rain whilst still enjoying being in an outdoor environment. Decorating the interior of the bothies are hundreds of ceramic disks that represent the thumbprints of the army of people who have been involved in bringing Horatio’s Sheffield to life so far.  It’s a touching detail that gives thanks to the supporters of this charity.

Coupled with an intimately enveloping dense planting design that leads the garden user through the garden’s rooms and spaces, this is going to be a joy for the users of the space in Sheffield.

Our own contribution to the garden is in the planning stages as yet, where we will be producing a wheelchair and hospital bed friendly glasshouse for patients and the gardening team to raise plants for the garden, and for therapeutic sessions. Once the breakdown of Chelsea is behind us, we will be onto this project next!

Horatio’s Garden is now fundraising for Horatio’s Sheffield, and you can find out more about how to donate, and the story behind the garden, right here: https://www.horatiosgarden.org.uk/the-gardens/horatios-garden-sheffield-east/

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Posted by David in Design