HALO Gardens

Getting outside and active in nature is proven to aid health and well-being and support recovery from trauma or illness. Designed by erz. and built by Glasgow Wood, HALO Gardens are helping to speed the healing process in anything from hospitals to schools and public parks.

With 7 different HALO types available, these outdoor sanctuaries are currently located in 3 Glasgow hospitals and 1 in Burton-on-Trent. With more in the pipeline, we’re excited to see each of the gardens start to flourish.

See below for the full project.

The Aspen HALO

being installed at Royal Alexandra Hospital

The Rowan HALO at Royal Alexandra Hospital

Aspen & Rowan HALOs at Royal Alexandra Hospital

The Aspen and Rowan HALOs we’re chosen at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Named after different plant and tree varieties, each HALO has a different folklore tale and specific healing property.


Aspen (above) is one of the rarest and most enigmatic of Scotland’s native trees and our only native poplar. The rustling movement of the wind through the canopy and the sun dappling through the leaves can have a mesmerising effect, encourage a contemplative and meditative frame of mind. It has also been used traditionally for treating headaches, as well as arthritic and rheumatic pains due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Beloved by the druids, Rowan (below) is often found growing close to stone circles and ancient burial sites, where it is believed to protect against evil. Due to its white flowers it was considered a ‘faerie tree’, enhancing psychic powers and the appearance of visions. If a rowan tree took root next to a dwelling, it was considered great good fortune for all who lived there. It has also always been apart of traditional herbal medicine to treat sore throats, haemorrhoids and scurvy.

Designed and built in collaboration with staff, patients & families of patients of the Intensive Care Unit

The idea for the new HALO Gardens originated with staff from the ICU, who wanted to develop a space to honour organ donors and those affected by COVID-19 and provide users of the service with an accessible and welcoming outdoor area. The project has delivered a series of small, intimate garden spaces outside the Chaplaincy for the use of the ICU.

Yvonne Dolan, Lead Nurse of Critical Care at NHSGGC’s Clyde Sector, says:

“The value of having an accessible outdoor space for the use of patients, families and staff within the RAH has become increasingly important over recent years. The space is quite beautiful and will be of huge benefit to our ICU community. Outdoor visiting was invaluable to some of our patients during long stays within the Intensive Care Unit whilst COVID restrictions were in place.

It was also noticeable the benefits to staff in being able to get outside for a short time when their working conditions were so challenging. The design of the HALO gardens will provide these users a safe space for rest and reflection away from the clinical environment. I look forward to seeing the HALO gardens flourishing and thank all of those involved in their development.”

Below are three newly installed HALO gardens can be found in Yoker, Stobill and Burton-on-Trent.


In April 2023, for the Esk Street site in Yoker, the install was celebrated with a special Seed Bom event. With the typically wet and occasionally sunny Scottish weather, this wild flower meadow should now be flourishing nicely. TCV Scotland prepared the site, and we later came in to install the benches. It’s exciting to think about how these will look once the trees and plants begin to take over.

Rowan HALO installed at Stobhill Hospital

The in-progress HALO at Esk Street, Yoker

Rowan HALO at Queen's Hospital, Burton-on-Trent

With various configurations, the options with the HALO Gardens are endless

The HALO Gardens team, currently made up of Elle and Felicity, have been providing us with a huge variety of drawings of potential seating configurations. It’s an ongoing project, and we’re very much looking forward to seeing how the seating evolves according to the sites needs.


Elle Steele and Felicity Steers said:

“It is a pleasure to work with Glasgow Wood. Not only do their ethics and motivations align with our own, but they are unfalteringly professional, exceptionally creative and totally reliable. Their products are of excellent quality and we would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone.” 


You can learn more about the folklore stories & healing history of each of the HALO types on their website:

Be sure to check back here for future project progress.

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