Blooming lovely Lauder ready to go it alone

A colourful bed of flowers in Lauder
A colourful bed of flowers in Lauder

Volunteers with an award-winning floral group are doing it for themselves after losing confidence in Scottish Borders Council’s commitment to provide bedding plants.

Lauder in Bloom, last week awarded a Beautiful Scotland Gold award for the second year running, is set to cultivate its own plants for the town’s flowerbeds and hanging baskets.

That decision comes following the council’s sudden announcement back in April that it would no longer provide communities with bedding plants after this year.

The authority later backtracked in the face of a huge public backlash and promised to provide bedding plants for 2019 after all.

Lauder in Bloom says it can no longer rely on the council, though, and is planning to grow its own flowers in a newly-sourced greenhouse.

Speaking at last week’s meeting of Lauderdale Community Council, Lauder in Bloom chairman Alistair Smith said: “The council said they were going to stop providing bedding plants immediately, then they postponed that for a year and we are getting bedding plants from the council for spring.

“However, we had already made a decision that we are going to get on with it ourselves because there may be another change, by which time it will be too late.

“As a result, we have decided to grow our own plants.

“We have been given a greenhouse and we have a small team of volunteers who will look after that. We are now looking for funding for a heater and some plants.

“If anyone has got any flowers or plants that they are splitting in their gardens, let us know because we are looking for some perennials.”

Mr Smith said there may be some changes to the town’s floral displays as the group implements the new regime, but he insisted all the beds would continue to be looked after.

“If you do see beds looking empty during the winter, it’s just that we are working on things,” he said.

“The idea is to have more perennials rather than bedding plants, but the permanent beds near the town hall will be bright and beautiful.

“The hanging baskets for next year will be the same as this year, and we will be doing festive greenery.”