20th May 2021

Vitax donation transforms hospital’s Secret Garden

The Secret Garden project at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester has been transformed following a donation from Vitax to remove an avenue of conifers that has inhibited the garden’s restoration.

Approximately 50 conifers between eight and ten metres tall have been felled due to poor health and will bring much needed light to the garden and make way for a new sensory garden.

Originally planted too close together as they were intended to be moved to different areas of the estate when just a few years old, the removal will enable the existing oak trees room to grow and the garden to flourish.

Vitax donation transforms hospital’s Secret GardenThis is the second time Vitax has supported the project. In October last year, the Secret Garden received a generous donation of 6x Natural Plant Feed to help recreate and nourish the organic garden as part of a wider restoration project to rebuild the historic walled kitchen garden set within the hospital’s grounds.

“Over the past year, the Secret Garden project has become a safe haven for volunteers, staff and patients of the hospital, bringing much needed calm and tranquility,” says Paul Gooding, Vitax’s chairman.

“To enable the garden to grow and improve the sensory garden, the avenue of conifers needed to be sustainably removed and we are thrilled to be able to make that happen.

“The removal of the conifers will enable this important project to continue to progress and bring much needed respite for all those who use it.”

Providing a therapeutic environment for patients, visitors and staff, the garden is being brought back to life with the support of a group of enthusiastic volunteers, whose fundamental purpose is to create a space to enhance mental health and wellbeing.

“Although we try to nurture all the plants and trees within the garden, the conifers over-shadowed most of the garden, but more importantly needed to be felled due to poor health,” says Karen James, Secret Garden Project lead.

“It took two days to remove the avenue and the wood which will be recycled in a variety of ways for use around the garden. Lengths of wood will be cut to size for future use such as in the construction of raised beds, pathway edgings, plant supports, wildlife habitats and for use in craft workshops.

“Smaller cuts will be shredded to be used as a soil conditioner, mulch and infill for different areas of the garden. In the future, a new natural barrier will be planted to replace the conifers between the garden and growing area.

“Vitax’s support has been invaluable and without the additional resources we would not have been able to complete this part of the project in the immediate future. It has literally breathed new life into the garden.”

To find out more about The Secret Garden project, or to volunteer, please contact:


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