New garden takes shape at St George’s Hospital


Landscape firm has just three weeks to transform main entrance as part of project funded by Captain Sir Thomas Moore

A landscaping firm has been appointed to develop a site in front of the main entrance to St George’s Hospital in London.

A team from the award-winning Bowles & Wyer will lead renovation of the sloping site as part of a project led by the St George's Hospital Charity and funded in part by centernarian, Captain Sir Thomas Moore’s, recent money-spinning efforts.

While the hospital enjoys a large green area in front of the entrance, the space is under used and worn out.

The new design will transform the higher part of the landscape nearest to the hospital entrance into a formal seating area, surrounded by bright and cheerful planting.

The borders have been designed to complement the existing planting, while increasing biodiversity on the site.

They include a combination of soft grasses to add texture and movement, such as Calamagrostis x acutiflora and Nasella tenuissima; structural evergreens such as Pinus mugo; and perennials in hues of orange and yellow, such as Achillea 'Walther Funke' and Rudbekia fulgida.

The new space will provide a welcome and cheering refuge just outside the hospital doors.

Lower down the landscape, there will be more-secluded seating areas nestled among naturalistic woodland planting.

And an informal path will lead through a woodland area with lush green planting and a more-muted colour scheme, helping to instigate a feeling of calm as visitors move through the space.

The area will be planted with low grasses and multi-stem Acer griseum trees.

In addition, the scheme includes plants such as Liriope muscari, Astrantia major, Anemone 'Honorine Jobert' and Matteuccia struthiopteris. Work on the garden began this week and was funded in part by the efforts of Captain Sir Thomas Moore

Work on the garden began this week and was funded in part by the efforts of Captain Sir Thomas Moore

The team at Bowles & Wyer had just two weeks, and a tight budget, to create the scheme.

And, with the design now complete, construction begins this week, with the build needing to be completed within three weeks ready to be shown on national television.

John Wyer, chief executive at Bowles & Wyer, said: “It’s long been proven that green spaces can have a positive effect on healing, and we have already seen the results from our NHS 70 Garden at Addenbrooke's Hospital, where the tranquil and restorative space acts as a welcome retreat for hospital staff and visitors.

“Working closely with The St George's Charity, we took an early decision to carry out all the design and planning work on a pro-bono basis and the works themselves at a below-commercial margin.

“Suppliers have been very supportive in achieving that too.

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“We also intend to involve quite a few of our design and admin staff in the planting towards the end of the project - it should be great fun and a good team experience.”