ONE of Scotland’s leading horticulturists has today backed The Herald’s campaign to create a garden in remembrance of those who have died from coronavirus.

David Knott, who is the Curator of the Living Collection, at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, said believes the creation of a garden would a fitting tribute to the people who have lost their lives across Scotland.

We revealed yesterday that Glasgow City Council had offered to make a site at Pollok Country Park available for a memorial garden.

The Herald’s vision is to create a memorial cairn and a place where families can go to to remember their loved ones lost to the global pandemic. Every Scottish victim of coronavirus will be remembered.

Read more: Herald campaign: Memorial garden for Scots coronavirus victims takes step forward with offer of site at city park

Mr Knott, who was previously Curator of Dawyck Botanic Garden, near Peebles, and Garden Supervisor at Logan Botanic Garden, said: "I can't imagine what it's like for families who have lost someone not being able to have a full funeral service or memorial and if a garden in some way can help contribute to that healing process then I think the garden of remembrance campaign is a fantastic idea.

"Gardens are a great asset and I think they might mean a great deal more to individuals who have lost someone. Having an area where they can sit or benches in an area where people can contemplate is important. Simple, soothing plants or Scottish native plants might want to be considered. I think you would be looking at a sympathetic design that can be constructed easily which can be easily maintained so as not to distract from the whole peaceful idea behind the garden.

"The one stark reminder in the current situation, I think is that there is a greater appreciation for plants, gardens, and greenspaces because we have not been able to go anywhere. I think people have enjoyed what is on their own doorstep and have had more time to watch, understand, and contemplate in their home environment. Whether it is an individual plant or how plants interact with wildlife in your garden, I think everyone, myself included have taken great solace in their surroundings in what has been quite a dark period."

Read more: Herald campaign: Creating a place to remember Scotland's coronavirus victims

Mr Knott, who is currently President of the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, thinks there is now a greater awareness of how gardens can help people's wellbeing.

"As gardeners who are passionate and enthusiastic in what we do, I think we are aware, directly or indirectly, how important greenspaces are for our health and wellbeing," he added.

The Herald's idea stemmed from a cairn which was created by Glasgow minister Reverend Neil Galbraith for bereaved families. And a memorial now has a lasting place in Cathcart Old Parish Church.

Garden chain Dobbies said they were in support of The Herald's campaign.

Graeme Jenkins, CEO of Dobbies, said: “When we saw the announcement about the proposed memorial garden, we didn’t hesitate in offering our support.

“Spending time in a garden, and gardening, can have a positive impact on our mental wellbeing and we support the idea of there being a garden that people can visit to reflect and pay tribute.

“We will do all that we can to offer advice, and donate plants and gardening products, to collectively bring the garden to fruition and we look forward to hearing ideas from everyone else supporting the project. By working together and listening to each other, there’s an opportunity to create a garden that is both fitting and inspiring.”

The Herald's memorial garden campaign hopes to be able to create a cairn with a stone representing the life everyone in Scotland who has died from the virus.

As well as looking for expertise on designing the garden, we are seeking views and inspiration from people who may be able to help with the design of the cairn.

In jut a few short days the campaign has received significant support including backing from Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as well as cross party support.

Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken and Lord Provost Phil Braat said in a joint statement they were delighted to be able to work with The Herald to find space for a memorial garden at Pollok Country Park.

Can you help create our garden of remembrance? Send us an email to