Grow Skye Project: Grower Stories

A lasting legacy

Pat, Broadford

As I harvest the produce from my raised beds and watch the tomatoes ripen in my lean-to greenhouse I am fondly reminded of my maternal grandfather, his allotment, greenhouse and flower garden, filled each summer with the heady scent of sweet peas –a riot of colour, his favourite flower. A survivor of WW1 mentioned in dispatches, he was to suffer from being gassed at the Somme for the rest of his life.

Now when I reflect on how much pleasure and satisfaction my own garden brings me and the enjoyment and nourishment I gain from eating home grown vegetables and fruit, I realise something of which, as small child, I would have been blissfully unaware.  

I realise that for my Grandad the tending of his garden and allotment must have been a balm for his troubled soul- a place to lose himself and find a deep sense of inner peace.  Though gratefully spared the horrors of wartime I know these effects are the same nowadays for all who tend a garden and grow their own produce … a pastime good for body and soul and hopefully able to be made available to all going forward.

And one final recollection of my mum (herself a keen gardener & grower) on one of her last visits to Skye prior to her passing, when surveying my garden and greenhouse she remarked “Your Grandad would have been so proud!”

So, as I settle on the garden bench to have a coffee, I once again breath in the scent of sweet peas growing nearby, courtesy of a friend who brings them on each year from seed and  shares them with me.  An enduring reminder of sun soaked summer days and the legacy left me by dear ones.