In the late 1970s and early 1980s a significant re-building programme was undertaken to improve the patient care environment at Trinity. It was acknowledged at this time that the gardens needed extensive work to accommodate patient access.

Renowned American landscape architect Lanning Roper accompanied former Patron, the late Lady Lisa Sainsbury on one of her visits to the hospice. He offered to draw up plans for the garden and waived his usual fee. The initial restoration began in 1981 with the planting of a copper beach tree, by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, on the lawn behind No. 29. As the building work was still in progress further development of the garden plans were put on hold until a later date.

 Trinity birch tree

Sadly Lanning died in 1983 before his ideas for Trinity had been resolved. Lady Sainsbury, Lord Palumbo and Lord Normanby launched an appeal to build the ‘Lanning Roper Memorial Garden at Trinity Hospice’ and John Medhurst was commissioned to design the garden with the assistance of David Foreman. His revised design included some of Lanning’s favourite ideas. These were reflected in the generous curving brick paths which reveal secrets such as the sitting circle and the undulating lawns, along with the soft blue, grey, white and pink shades of the planting schemes favoured by Lanning. The strength of this original garden is the variety of existing mature tress which today include mulberry, horse chestnut, cedar, plane, robinia, swamp cypress and copper beech.

Fallen tree and Trinity

 

In 1984, a water feature was commissioned for the pond at the end of what was then known as the Long Garden.  Entitled “Four Open Squares Horizontal Tapered” the feature was by the well-known American kinetic sculptor, George Rickey. In the 1990s, further work was undertaken to expand outpatient services in Mulberry Place and a second water feature was commissioned from William Pye to provide a visual and physical link between a high terrace and the garden below.  

Royal Trinity Hospice pond

In 2009 with the building of the new inpatient unit, the need to remodel the garden became apparent. The new design incorporates sunny terraces for spring and winter access along with cool areas for summer shade and although the levels of the garden vary, wheelchair access has been maintained almost entirely across the site. The soft colours of the original planting scheme are interspersed with warm and hot colours for year round interest.

 Trinity in snow

As in a much larger park, not all of the garden can be seen at one glance. Much of Lanning Roper's original vision has been maintained with pathways that take one on a journey around the garden. A very beautiful circular seat made of American Oak and copper was commissioned in 2009 and surrounds the plane tree. This is a particularly peaceful part of the garden and has lovely views of both the modern inpatient unit and the historic old Georgian buildings.