Staff at the Royal United Hospital in Bath have said they are really grateful for their fantastic group of green-fingered volunteers, who help to keep the estate looking a gardeners’ delight.
The Friends of the RUH charity gardening team work all year round, digging, weeding, planting and potting to make sure the grounds and gardens are always a picture during the changing seasons.
Gardening team leader and volunteer Jane Rymer said: “We do it because we just love gardening. Sometimes it’s hard work, but making the hospital a pleasure for patients, staff and visitors to enjoy and experience is all the reward we need.”
The team is made up of eight volunteers who look after some 20 courtyard gardens around the main hospital building, including the Jubilee Garden, the Four Seasons Garden and the two small gardens near the Atrium.
The team will also take on a number of gardens within the new RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre when it opens.
On top of all that the volunteers are responsible for planting up the containers near the main entrance of the RUH twice a year.
The Friends of the RUH fund the display of hanging baskets at the main entrance of the RUH and the Princess Anne Wing. Depending on the time of year, the team do between 15 and 25 hours per week.
The volunteers are supported by the Trust’s Estates Department. The main grass and hedge cutting maintenance is carried out by external contractors.
RUH Director of Estates Brian Johnson said: “We’re fortunate that the RUH sits in a lovely 52-acre estate with many natural spaces, gardens and courtyards that patients, staff and visitors can enjoy as a quiet place to sit or to lunch.
“The gardening team do a great job that enhances the hospital environment for everyone. At this time of year you can really see the results of all the time and effort they put in.”
Did you know…
- There are more than 1,300 trees on the RUH site – all covered by a tree preservation order.
- One is a Hippocrates tree, said to originate from the ancient Tree of Hippocrates on the Greek island of Kos. Legend has it that, under the shade of its branches, the father of medicine taught his students and created his famous oath, still relevant to the profession’s code of ethics, some 2,500 years ago.
- Other rarities include a Judas tree from southern Europe, an Indian bean tree from southern United States, and a Chinese paperbark maple.