DIY SOS to assist with rooftop garden at Great Ormond Street Hospital

DIY SOS & volunteers roll up their sleeves to build a garden in Great Ormond Street Hospital

This week it was announced that the BBC One series, DIY SOS will help to build and plant a new garden at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The Morgan Stanley Garden for Great Ormond Street Hospital, designed by garden designer Chris Beardshaw, was publically revealed at RHS Chelsea Flower Show on Monday 23rd May. It will shortly be moved and adapted to the hospital permanently, with the help of the BBC DIY SOS team.

The garden is being built on a disused, second floor rooftop, surrounded by ten storey buildings. It will provide a green, reflective space for parents and families of the children undergoing care at the hospital.  A key challenge for the rebuild is that the only way to bring in all the building and landscape materials to the central London site is via crane and it is important that the work is carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible, so as not to impact on the day-to-day life-saving work of the hospital.

Being lifted by crane into the hospital garden will be over 30 mature trees, topiary and hedging, around 1000 plants, over 30 tonnes of soil and it will take over 70 crane lifts.

Given the complex nature of many of the conditions treated at GOSH, parents can often spend months on end at the hospital, whilst their children are in-patients. There is currently no green space for them to use and it can be difficult for families to find a quiet space when they need to make difficult decisions or need time to reflect.

The garden is being built on a rooftop surrounded by buildings and plants have been selected to suit its urban environment. A copse of trees, topiary, hedging and herbaceous plants will create a quiet retreat that thrives year-round in subdued sunlight, with multiple symbolic references throughout the garden to the relationships between children, parents and clinicians.

Morgan Stanley, a long standing supporter of Great Ormond Street Hospital, commissioned Chris Beardshaw to design a garden that would work for the hospital as their contribution to this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. When Chris’s long standing friend and DIY SOS Presenter Nick Knowles heard about the plan and the tricky task of transferring the garden from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to the hospital without impacting its life-saving work, he immediately wanted to get involved with his team to help Chris take on the challenge.

DIY SOS Presenter Nick Knowles heard of the plan and tricky task of transferring the garden from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to the hospital without impact its life-saving work, and decided to get involved with the DIY SOS team to help Chris take on the challenge in assisting adapting and building the garden.

“The Morgan Stanley Garden will be an amazing addition to the hospital, providing a much needed green garden space for families, in the heart of the hospital. Moving the garden here is quite an undertaking so we’re extremely grateful and excited to have this beautifully designed garden by Chris and the BBC’s DIY SOS team helping out too.” – Tim Johnson, Chief Executive at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity