The Florence Nightingale Garden: A Celebration of Modern-Day Nursing

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An imagined courtyard garden for a new hospital, celebrating Florence Nightingale in the 200th anniversary year of her birth, and the nursing profession in the 21st century.

The theme of the garden is ‘nurture through nature’ inspired by the idea that the shortest road to recovery leads through a garden.Designed as a restorative space, it is enclosed on three sides by a sculptural timber pergola, which provides a space from which to view the garden as well as to sit in and stroll through it.

The garden evokes key elements of Florence Nightingale’s life: pale concrete and timber represent the materials that she endorsed for hospital construction; a reflecting pool references her insights into drainage and cleanliness; and the plants in the garden include some found in her own pressed flower collection as well as plants with strong medicinal properties which were used in the 19th century and are still used in medicine today. In addition, her story is referenced in art seen throughout the garden.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.