A Garden of Contemplation at Threave Estate
NTSUSA is proud to support the creation of a Garden of Contemplation at Threave Garden & Estate in Dumfries and Galloway. The garden will be installed in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the terrorist bombing of Pan American Flight 103– a living testament to the extraordinary humanitarian efforts of thousands of Scottish citizens following the tragic air disaster that killed all 259 on board and an additional eleven preparing to celebrate Christmas in the quintessential Scottish village of Lockerbie.
A Gift Borne of Gratitude
NTSUSA Trustee M. Victoria Cummock lost her husband, John B. Cummock, in the bombing on December 21, 1988. She shares:
“The immediate and compassionate response of the people of Scotland reinforced for me that what unites people of different nationalities, faiths, and beliefs is their unwavering commitment to the fundamental value of human life. The herculean efforts of strangers in the face of massive destruction served as a beacon of hope and ultimately paved the way for healing and rebuilding.
“This important cross-Atlantic collaboration will result in a living tribute to the shared fortitude and resilience of the Scots and victims’ families from 20 nations in the face of unimaginable tragedy and destruction. The garden will be a place of remembrance, comfort, reflection, and serenity, and will serve as an expression of gratitude in celebration of our unique and unbreakable bond, forged over the past three decades.
“Then and now, this spirit represents the ultimate show of strength, survival, and defiance of evil. I am inspired by how, when faced with life’s formidable challenges, our Scottish friends so generously responded with what the world needs most: profound compassion, kindness, grace, and decency.”
Incredibly, John Cummock died and is laid to rest just miles from the Cumnock, Scotland, his ancestral home.
About the Garden
Located not far from Lockerbie, Threave Garden & Estate features a Scottish Baronial-style house, miles of hiking trails, pristine woodlands, and a nature reserve on the River Dee. The garden itself is a beautiful designed landscape created and maintained by students from the National Trust for Scotland’s School of Heritage Gardening. It comprises several distinct sections, including a rose garden, rockery, and family-friendly Discovery Garden. With the assistance of garden designer Brian Young, the Trust plans to add a quiet, reflective Garden of Contemplation at the end of its Secret Garden.
A celestial armillary marking the seasonal solstices will be at the garden’s center. It was on the Winter Solstice, which celestially marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, that the plane was bombed, plunging family and friends of Pan American Flight 103 into their darkest time. Conversely, the Summer Solstice represents the lengthening of the days, with the promise of renewal and hope.
The garden’s design is highlighted by undulating curves and a traditional Celtic knot design will highlight the natural landscape. Dwarf evergreens will contrast with drifts of perennials for color. Scented plants will add a multi-sensory experience, and several species of American origin will underscore the connections between Scotland and America.
We hope that you will join Victoria and NTSUSA in making a gift in memory of those we lost, in honor of those who survived, and in gratitude to those nameless Scots whose selfless acts will be celebrated in the Garden of Contemplation. No gift is too small.