The Yorkshire Brain Research Centre garden was designed to raise public awareness about the brain and its functions and to raise the profile of the brain research charity appeal based at LTHT. The garden was the idea of consultant neurologists Melissa Maguire and Helen Ford and was designed with the help of hospital head gardener Ben Williams and staff from the Yorkshire Brain Research Centre Appeal’s Fundraising Team.
The garden celebrates brain health and vitality, with areas representing four key areas of brain function. The design and planting was linked to memory, vision, sensation and movement. A central water feature and the colourful planting leads the eye to the central backdrop of a brain logo vertical garden feature.
The garden was called ‘The wonders of the Brain’ and we were delighted when we won a Silver Gilt award at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show. This was in competition with all of the other show gardens.
The team worked initially on the design of the garden using the planting to illustrate the function of particular areas of the brain, for example, brightly coloured planting for the visual area at the back of the brain. Then the next stage was buying the plants and bringing them on to ensure they were all at peak flowering condition in time for the show. The team worked hard on the construction, digging, planting and watering to get the garden looking its very best for the judging.
The garden got a big boost when BBC Breakfast TV weatherman Matt Taylor broadcast to the nation using it as a backdrop. We had excellent feedback from the visitors to the show with many commenting on how inspiring they found it and prompting conversations about brain health and research. Members of the Neurology Research Team including the Consultant Neurologists and Research Nurses worked in partnership with the Yorkshire Brain Research Centre Appeal’s Fundraising Team to engage with the public on all four days of the show.
It’s fantastic that the garden has now been recreated at St James’s University Hospital in front of the new Research and Innovation facility close to the Gledhow Wing. We couldn’t have hoped for a better location in the Trust. At the launch event everyone commented on how beautiful the garden looked and how perfectly it fitted in to the site. We hope it will help provide a small oasis of peace and inspiration for patients and staff for many years to come.