Mill of Behnom visitor centre paid tribute to one of their own last Thursday when a memorial garden was opened to commemorate trainee gardener Alyson Reid. Alyson, who was just 45, passed away in January this year after contracting the swine flu virus H1N1.
Since her death, her fellow trainee gardeners have worked together to create a special garden in her memory.
Jeanette Duncan, gardening superviser at Mill of Benholm explained, “Alyson was a ray of sunshine here at Benholm, she is sadly missed and the trainees have created this garden as somewhere to remember her and to hear her laughter amongst the flowers she loved.”
“It was just a piece of wasteland and I thought developing it for Alyson would help the other trainees with their grief.”
The piece of land was developed by the visitor centre’s group of Thursday trainees as this was the group Alyson worked with.
Work began in febuary this year and the design was a group effort with trainees, staff, volunteers and members all coming together to design the garden.
The Alyson Reid memorial garden officially opened on Thursday the 14th July and Jeanette Duncan described the opening as, “a lovely day,” which had a high attendance level, “the car park was full,”she explained.
The garden opened by Alyson’s mum and other members of Alyson’s family attended the event making it, as Jeanette described, “an emotional day.”
The design of the garden illustrates the high regard the others at the centre had for her with a bench which was designed especially for the garden and has Alyson’s name carved in the back, Jeanette described the bench as, “reflecting Alyson’s personality.”
Next to the bench sits a pair of Alyson’s workboots which have been turned into flower pots holding her favourite flower, ladeila.
The mill of Benholm visitor centre is run as a charitable organisation which is based at the historic mill of Banholm near Johnsaven, the centre seeks to maintain the working water-powered meal mill.