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26th September 2019

Reading in Bloom award marks hospital garden’s one-year anniversary

A hospital garden, created for patients, families and staff in memory of Sir William Benyon, has won a top horticultural award a year after opening.

The courtyard garden at Reading’s Royal Berkshire Hospital has been awarded silver in Reading in Bloom’s Staff Wellbeing Garden category 2019.

The Englefield Charitable Trust funded the creation of the peaceful haven in partnership with the Royal Berks Charity in July last year. Named The Englefield Garden, the project marked the Trust’s 50th anniversary and decades of support for a range of good causes across Berkshire in honour of Sir William Benyon who founded the Trust in 1968.

Close family members were inspired to create the courtyard garden while visiting Sir William at the hospital before his death in May 2014.

The sanctuary was designed by Sir William’s daughter-in-law Jennifer Benyon who thoughtfully selected its plants, including wild strawberries, aromatic evergreens and perennials, many with medicinal uses, to ensure year-round vibrancy. Jennifer’s vision was brought to life by a team of Englefield Estate gardeners, led by head gardener Sue Broughton.

The garden, which features raised flowerbeds, many quiet places to sit, and a striking sculpted water fountain, has provided a much-needed therapeutic space for patients, their families and staff.

Catherine Haig, chair of the Englefield Charitable Trust, said: “We wanted to create a peaceful space where people could step away from the hospital environment and take some time out.

“We’re so pleased to see the garden recognised in Reading in Bloom just one year after it was established. We hope that it continues to provide space for people to reflect, relax and enjoy for many years to come.”