HEALTH: Art and well-being multi-partner approach brings garden concept to life

Grand opening sees QEUH Gro-Garden blend greenspace, art and well-being multi-partner approach brings garden concept to life

By Lucy Ashton

A wonderful new garden has been officially opened at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital  in Glasgow this week.

The Gro-Garden has greenspace, art and wellbeing at its heart and provides a welcome respite spot for staff and patients to enjoy.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) non-executive director Michelle Wailes was on hand on Friday for the official ribbon cutting to mark the occasion and recognise the contribution of all of the partners involved to bring the idea from conception to life.

A number of environmental arts workshops, and biodiversity events took place to help staff learn about the different ways art and the environment play into healthcare.

Chair of NHSGGC, John Brown, said the garden brought the links between the environment  and health and wellbeing to life in a manner for all to see.

He said: “The Gro-Garden not only stands tall in the wider QEUH greenspace as a representation of the NHS Board’s commitment to sustainability and biodiversity but it also recognises the huge impact the environment has on our health and wellbeing.

“We are proud to officially open the garden today and grateful to all the partners who have helped bring this idea to fruition.”

The all-weather Gro-Garden structure, constructed from recycled timber, boasts sheltered seating areas and growing planters, making it an ideal spot for relaxation and mindfulness. As well as serving as a spot for people to unwind, the Gro-Garden has also been incorporated into wildlife walks and wellness activities which will help people learn about different species of trees and plants and practice mindfulness.

A number of partners were involved in the project design and build including ERZ Landscape Architect which managed the design and the project for the whole site. Glasgow Wood Recycling worked with ERZ on the Gro-Garden structure – supplying and installing the wooden frames while the Conservation Volunteers did all the planting in the structure, and will maintain all plants until August 2023.

ERZ Landscape Director, Rolf Roscher, said: “The project brings a vacant area of ground in the QEUH campus into use and creates new habitat for wildlife. The works include new wildflower meadows, paths, tree planting and flexible grass space for events. The heart of the project is the ‘Gro-Garden’ space – intended to become a new break out space for all users of the QEUH campus, to meet, sit quietly among plants and flowers, eat lunch or take part in organised activities.”

Within the wider greenspace, there is also a brand new set of art murals along the sides of the garden area hoarding. Coordinated by Ali Smith of Art Pistol, the works represent sustainability and the wider healing power of nature. The artists commissioned were Christian Kerr, Eleanor Carlingford, Coll Hamilton, Eve McGlynn and Isaac Aldridge.

MW Groundworks had the contract for landscaping the site, removing rubble and flattening soil, path building, laying the wildflower turf, and sowing wildflower seeds.

The Gro-Garden will be open to visitors from 8am – 6pm, Monday – Sunday and anyone who wishes to take part in any Gro-Garden walks or activities can visit the NHSGGC website here for more information. More activity dates will be added in due course.

The all-weather Gro-Garden structure, constructed from recycled timber, boasts sheltered seating areas and growing planters.

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