New garden at Rutland Memorial Hospital will help patients recover

Rutland Memorial Hospital garden opening EMN-150516-121844001
Rutland Memorial Hospital garden opening EMN-150516-121844001
Have your say

Patients, staff and dignitaries in the new garden at Rutland Memorial Hospital

The garden, which is overlooked by the hospital’s in-patient Rutland ward, was paid for from a charitable bequest by Uppingham resident Ted Toon.

The average time spent on Rutland ward is 21 days and the aim of the garden is to play a crucial role in aiding recovery and making both patients’ and visitors’ time there enjoyable.

Kathleen Tapley, 84, a patient at the hospital, is herself a keen gardener.

She said: “It is a very good job. It is a wonderful place now.”

Maria Ward, a ward manager at the hospital, said: “It is amazing. It is almost like a jewel. Patients have come out and enjoyed the garden, as have their visitors.

“This is a lovely place to come and breathe, and to take some time to 

Work started on the garden in the autumn. It has been designed by David Penny to appeal to a wide range of senses, and to have something of interest at all times of the year – with different colours, textures and smells.

Along the walls are a series of photos of Rutland landmarks at a height suitable for wheelchair users.

The garden also has a number of seating areas in a mix of shaded and open-air locations, with anti-slip paving so visitors can spend time in it in most 

There is also a plaque paying tribute to Mr Toon, who was a carpenter/joiner and undertaker, who had a keen sense of looking after others.

Before he died, he said: “I’m going to leave my money to those people who supported my business while I was 

“I want my money to go back to the community by way of saying thank-you.”

Gerald Badley used to work for the late Mr Toon, and is an executor for his will.

He said: “Ted loved gardens and flowers. He would have thought this was money well spent – it would have got his approval.”

Pat Morley, chairman of the hospital’s League of Friends, said the garden had transformed what had previously been a derelict courtyard.

She said the league had pressed for the area to be used for the benefit of patients, and would continue to help with maintaining it into the