Royal Hospital's Hidden Show Garden

23rd September 2021

This year a new garden was successfully installed in Salisbury Court, the private courtyard within the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary.

Originally conceived by the Royal Army Medical Corps as a show garden for the cancelled RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2020 it was designed by award winning designer, Matt Keightley, and installed by landscapers, Rosebank. Despite not being installed as a show garden the RAMC nevertheless generously donated the garden to The Royal Hospital for the benefit of the Pensioners residing in the MTI.

As part of the garden redesign the original fountain, previously donated by the Wates family, which had not run for some years, was retained and refurbished and is now running as it should with a calming and cooling flow of water.

The recent of the fountain in the infirmary's Salisbury Court Garden has created one extra task for the RHC Grounds Team. ⁠Not believing a Manager should send anyone to do a job he was not prepared to do himself, Grounds Manager Ric personally conducted this initial clean of the fountain. ⁠

Like any horticultural task the weather is a determining factor so it was no coincidence I waited for hot weather to jump in the water. Refreshing.

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Brompton Cemetery Seed Sowing
Sowing wildflowers in memory of past Chelsea Pensioners

On 6 May, Chelsea Pensioners and members of the Royal Hospital’s grounds team joined representatives from the Royal Parks, the Royal Parks Guild and the Friends of Brompton Cemetery to sow a patch of wildflower seeds in Brompton Cemetery as part of the Battlefields and Butterflies initiative.

Chelsea Pensioner Centenarians
100 years old and still going strong

Recent research backs up the anecdote that Chelsea Pensioners not only live considerably longer than their peers outside (by over five years, on average), but that their lifetimes once they come to the Royal Hospital are extending, year on year. This strongly suggests that the care and community here contribute to greater longevity – as well as improving quality of life. 


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