The brand-new Maggie’s in Southampton, which opened in 2021, is the first Maggie’s in the South of England. With around 10,000 people sadly diagnosed with cancer in the central south coast area of England each year, there was a clear need in the region for Maggie’s invaluable free support for those living with cancer as well as their family and friends.
The centre is in the grounds of the University Hospital Southampton, which is one of only 12 regional cancer centres and amongst the largest of the university hospitals in the UK. Maggie’s work will complement the treatments received by people at the hospital and the centre is expected to receive more than 20,000 visits each year.
Maggie’s are created with the intention to feel more like a home than a hospital. Great architecture and beautifully landscaped surroundings are a vital part of this and fundamental to all Maggie’s. Having viewed design plans for the new Maggie’s in Southampton, Hillier saw how they could use their horticultural expertise to offer support through the supply of trees. Hillier has provided more than 100 British-grown trees from the company’s nurseries in Hampshire at no profit to the company, which are all now in place for visitors to enjoy.
The centre has been created in partnership with award-wining architects AL_A, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and Sarah Price, one of the country’s most sought-after landscape designers. Almost three-quarters of the 1,470m2 site has been given over to four distinct gardens, inspired by the ecology of the nearby New Forest. These form a tranquil oasis that looks as if it has always been there, providing seclusion from the outside world.
Naturalistic Tree Forms
In keeping with Sarah Price’s design ethos, trees at the new centre include species that create a natural, woodland look and feel, blend visually with the striking architectural design and provide year-round interest.
“Sarah is a very visual, creative designer,” comments Caroline Swann, Account Manager at Hillier Trees. “Due to Coronavirus restrictions, we conducted a number of video tours to select trees. This allowed us to give a 360° walk around each one to make sure it was perfect!”