Planting and Design: The Therapies Garden, Northampton General Hospital.

“Putting Nature and Biodiversity at the heart of a Community”

4th Corner planted the garden to provide year-round interest and the opportunity for activity, including bird watching and simple gardening tasks. 4th Corner had previously visited the hosptial and made an assessment of ways to enhance biodiversity across the hospital site, and concluded that planting and maintaining gardens within the buildings such as the Therapies Garden would significantly improve patient experience and provide valuable space for patient therapy and engagement. Seeing plants grow and change throughout the seasons, and watching different species of insects and birds, connects patients to gardens bringing familiarity, interest and subsequent wellbeing.  

The garden is a sheltered area with steep banks that are partially in shade, with a flat paved area for seating and wheel chair users. Given the challenging conditions of the steep bank, we choose self-sufficient low maintenance plants to minimise the amount of nurturing required. A mix of evergreen, deciduous, flowering and berrying varieties to provide a healthy mix of autumnal colour, interest and attractive blossoms were be ideal for creating a garden which would show seasonal changes and provide habitats and food for wildlife.  On the lower edge of the garden, to attract bees and other insects, and for the interest of visitors and users of the garden, we planted a variety of herbs including Sweet Cecily, Fennel, Dill, Bergamot, Rosemary, Purple Sage, Chives, Marjoram, Oregano, Lemon Balm and Comfrey.  

The garden was officially opened by Northampton Town Mayor Counsellor Gareth Eales.