Melrose was looking its blooming best last Thursday when two Keep Scotland Beautiful judges cast their eyes over the latest horticultural efforts of a band of dedicated volunteers.
Terry Stott and Sandra MacLennan were met by two of the oldest and several of the youngest Melrose In Bloom (MIB) members at the beginning of their judging visit at the Market Cross.
Terry and Sandra were escorted around town by Owen Rowlands and Kate Hunter, chair and secretary of MIB respectively.
MIB invited local traders who were on the judges’ walking route to dress their windows in a floral theme, to tie in with the competitions (the town was also entered in Scottish Borders Council’s Floral Gateway contest), welcome the judges and make Melrose look even more beautiful. Winner of the competition for best-dressed window was The Gallery, Market Square, with Sarah Thomson, High Street, in runner-up spot. Both were given complimentary tickets to MIB’s annual garden party which is being held this Sunday.
During their walk the judges saw the planters by the old fire station which the children planted, watered and, in the case of the herbs, harvested themselves.
Kate said: “More than 50 volunteers contribute over 2,000 hours annually to keeping Melrose looking as beautiful as it does.”
Over a 14-day period, which started on Monday, July 29, pairs of highly-experienced volunteer judges visited communities which had entered the 2019 Beautiful Scotland competition. During the tour, three themes were examined – horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility.
The winners will be presented with awards at a ceremony, hosted by Dumfries & Galloway Council, on Thursday, September 12. The overall victor receives the Rosebowl Trophy, while a number of discretionary awards are handed out for outstanding performance in areas such as biodiversity, tourism and community involvement. Some of the winners from Beautiful Scotland 2019 will go on to represent Scotland in the RHS Britain in Bloom final next year.