The Magic of Garden Therapy in Hospice Care

In our most recent partnership video, Thames Hospice patient, Stephen, with Volunteer and Ambassador, Graham, discuss how the hospice’s stunning gardens and diverse wildlife have an immense therapeutic effect on their day-to-day lives.

"Being cared for next to this level of beauty and of nature is everything to me. It’s what I was before I was diagnosed, but it allows an overlap between the two.”

[click the image to play the video]

How the National Garden Scheme works

Every year, the National Garden Scheme (NGS) welcomes thousands of visitors to their open gardens across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.

The gardens, which each charge a small entry fee, pass the money to the National Garden Scheme who donate the annual income to a small group of beneficiaries, of which we are one. Since 1996, the National Garden Scheme has donated over £7 million to Hospice UK. Thank you to everyone at the National Garden Scheme for everything you do to support hospice care.

Last year's partnership video, filmed at Royal Trinity Hospice London, highlights how a hospice’s garden is an invaluable place of peace, respite and tranquillity for staff, patients and visitors.

How they support hospice care

National Garden Scheme donations have funded vital projects such as the Commission into the Future of Hospice Care, the outcomes of which are helping hospices prepare to meet the needs, challenges and opportunities facing the sector over the next 10 to 15 years.

Through our grants programme the scheme has also offered professional development bursaries to hospice staff members, focussed on courses and conferences that will have a direct benefit to patient care. We are delighted that the National Garden Scheme will be funding a new round of bursaries which will enabling a hospice nurse, healthcare assistant, doctor, allied health profession or social worker, to attend university accredited palliative care courses including degree, masters and PhD level programmes and modules.

They are also funding a new Hospice Clinical Workforce survey. Workforce challenges are a major priority across health and care system and the results of this survey will help to build our understanding and support workforce planning for both hospices and across the wider health and care systems.

Gardens and Health

The National Garden Scheme’s annual Gardens and Health campaign raises awareness of the physical and mental health benefits of gardens and gardening for everyone.

Celebrated in May each year with a dedicated Gardens and Health Week they work to promote gardens and health throughout the year, linking service users from their beneficiaries with free garden visits and funding garden and health projects.

Find out more
Garden at Chilworth Manor in Surrey, photo credit ©Julie Skelton

Virtual Garden Visits

Did you know that National Garden Scheme has a library of over 190 virtual garden tours? Created in the lockdowns of 2020/2021 and being continually added to, these virtual garden tours can be enjoyed by anyone, from anywhere.

Perhaps they will inspire new ideas for your own garden, maybe you’ll enjoy walking in the footsteps of Jane Austen or visiting the childhood home of Anne Boleyn? Or perhaps you would just like a sneak peek behind the wall of a country garden estate!

From designer, cottage and suburban gardens to historic and country gardens, there is plenty to explore in this collection.

Photo: credit ©Julie Skelton