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Critical care garden at Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust

Lavigne Lonsdale were thrilled to be successful in securing the commission to design a vitally important external garden space for critical care patients, staff and family members at Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske. This initiative was identified by staff and patients who we met and designed the garden through a series of workshops and stakeholder events.


It includes immersive sensory planting, raised beds, artwork, and calm space for patients, staff and visitors to use for rehabilitation and treatment following critical care.



Throughout the centuries, plants have held a central place with clinical treatments. As time passed, however, natural spaces disappeared from medical establishments as there was little understanding or knowledge about the relationship between nature and healing. For the past few decades, scientific research has evidenced the positive effect of nature for patients, families and staff at the hospitals. What the research has undoubtedly shown is that humans are evolutionarily wired to respond favourably in natural spaces.


The research has shown that:

  • Showing images of nature to people, lowered their blood pressure, respiration rate and production of stress hormones within minutes

  • More than 90% of humans experience a positive mood change after spending time in nature

  • Studies reveal that patients in hospitals with beautiful garden views sleep better, needed less pain medication, report lower stress levels, and were able to leave hospital sooner than patients who had a brick wall as a view

  • Hospitals with community spaces and gardens have a positive effect on immune functions and emotional well-being for patients, families and staff.



For patients and their families, spending hours in a hospital room within four walls can be very difficult and have a negative effect on one’s mental health. We are so pleased to be able to help create this beautiful, peaceful garden and hope it aids recovery and rehabilitation. Within the last few year’s staff members of Treliske have been stretched to their capacity in these unprecedented times. We hope this garden can also play a positive and restorative role in their own wellbeing.


Treliske will be fundraising to raise funds for this garden, if you think you can help, please do get in touch.