With easing of the lockdown measures to allow outside activities Rotarians are jubilant that they can return to the Our Hospital Garden project.

Since March the Western Isles Hospital’s Memory garden, unperturbed by the ongoing corona induced turmoil, has quietly and unrelentingly continued to grow. During the lockdown the daffodils, snowdrops, crocuses and bluebells flowered, seeded, withered and are now dormant until next spring.

The heather garden became overgrown with shallow rooted weeds and grasses, but the alpines and perennials flourished; the cat mint has taken, and the lupins look glorious.

So with a set of Covid-19 rules fixed to both tied open gates the weeding and planting has restarted and all is becoming clearer and more organised. Some potted potentillas, ornamental grasses and heathers came just before lockdown and waited patiently to be planted; most survived but some suffered from the sunny dry spell in April and May. It won’t be long before they find their new earthy homes. Annuals from a Rotarian’s garden are adding colour to the borders. There is much to see.

Now back on track the Our Hospital Garden project will take up where it left off and after getting the Memory garden back in shape attention will focus on developing the woodland walkway to complete the pedestrian path from Macaulay Road to the hospital entrance.

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson, busy leading the unprecedented and exceptional work the Health Board is doing to keep us all safe, never fails to recognise the importance of the garden:

“As we journey through our experience of the coronavirus pandemic, it is so important to have somewhere like Our Hospital Garden. It offers anyone the opportunity for quiet reflection in such natural and beautiful surroundings.”