Wexham Park Hospital’s own gardens of Eden are getting a makeover – and the public can give their support.
Two courtyards adjacent to the hospital’s Eden haematology ward are being transformed by a local landscaping firm which is donating its expertise free of charge.
A third, smaller garden is being tidied and decorated with colourful flowers and shrubs.
And volunteers are being sought to help maintain a fourth.
Eden Ward complementary therapist Michele Martin, who is helping to lead the project along with matron Siobhan Whittaker, said: “The new-look gardens will be quiet, attractive places for patients and their families to spend away from hospital beds and treatment areas.
“Treatments such as chemotherapy can be very difficult for patients, but evidence shows that attractive surroundings can help to boost mental health and wellbeing, which in turn can support their recovery.”
Staff from Berkshire-based landscaping company Ryan Alexander & Associates transformed the first garden – a small Japanese-style courtyard near the reception area of the Eden Day Unit – earlier this year. They completed the majority of work in just two days.
Tables and chairs will be installed to create what Michele describes as “a quiet place of contemplation”.
Now the company is planning to return to revamp a second, larger courtyard.
Tired wooden decking would be removed and replaced with paving, and bright new planting areas would be created together with easier access from the ward.
Siobhan said: “It would mean patients could be taken to the courtyard in their beds, helping them to leave the ward for a short time and get out in the fresh air.”
Members of the public can help the landscapers with the cost of building materials for the first two projects by donating via its JustGiving page. Visit justgiving.com and search for ‘Ryan Alexander Associates’.
Ryan Alexander staff even raised funds by taking on a sponsored Tough Mudder obstacle race earlier this year.
People can also contribute to the project through a ‘plant bank’ set up at Pinewood Nurseries in Wexham Street, Stoke Poges, close to the hospital. Supporters can donate the cost of a plant and the money will be used to buy trees, shrubs and flowers for the Eden gardens.
A fourth Eden garden has been looked after by former haematology nurse Gill Gburek and a band of volunteers for 10 years. Anyone wishing to help them can contact Gill at firstname.lastname@example.org.