Keeping Galashiels blooming beautiful

Galashiels Community Council and Gala in Bloom held their annual award presentations in Old Gala House on Saturday. Pictured are all the winners of the various categories.
Galashiels Community Council and Gala in Bloom held their annual award presentations in Old Gala House on Saturday. Pictured are all the winners of the various categories.

The people responsible for keeping Galashiels blooming lovely were in their element on Saturday – in the gorgeous grounds of Old Gala House.

Those who keep their own wee corner of the town in prime floral condition were rewarded by the town’s community council and its sub-group, Gala in Bloom, with community council chairperson Judith Cleghorn presenting the trophies.

Neil Miller of Craigpark Gardens receives the prize for best private garden floral display from chairperson of Galashiels Community Council.

Neil Miller of Craigpark Gardens receives the prize for best private garden floral display from chairperson of Galashiels Community Council.

One of the judges, Johnny Gray, told us: “The standard this year was very high indeed, and for a couple of the categories we had to put in a highly commended place as well as the winners.

“We do a tour of the town for the judging and the quality was incredible.”

Winning the trophy for best private garden floral display for the sixth time were Neil and Angela Miller of Craigpark Gardens.

Neil told us: “I’m pleased to get it back again, as I put in a lot of extra effort this year and it was looking as good as I have had it.

Sheena Reid and her son Keifer of Watson's Lodge B&B, with the award for best commercial frontage floral display.

Sheena Reid and her son Keifer of Watson's Lodge B&B, with the award for best commercial frontage floral display.

“I don’t really plan it, as it’s all in my head, but I have been trying to make it bee-friendly.

“That did mean I sort of lost a bit of colour this time around, but pollenators are very important.”

Winning the highly-commended title was Ian and Veronica Shanks of Melrose Road.

Bill and Carol Elliot won the best commersial premises floral display prize for the 10th year running, for the stunning gardens at Binniemyre.

Judith Cleghorn (centre) presents the award for best commercial premises floral display to Carol and Bill Elliot.

Judith Cleghorn (centre) presents the award for best commercial premises floral display to Carol and Bill Elliot.

Carol said: “We’ve been here for nearly 30 years, and we try to develop a new wee corner every year, just to keep it fresh.

“You learn all the time, but I did learn a lot from my papa, Frank Webster, who won a lot of flower shows in his day.”

James Martin of Watson’s Lodge in Bridge Street said it had been a challenging year for entrants.

The bed and breakfast establishment has also won its category – best commercial frontage floral display – six times.

James – whose partner Sheena Reid picked up the prize with her son Keefer – said: “I just try to get it as good as I possibly can, although the weather was against us this year, with both June and July being problematic.

“Nothing was growing.”

Other winners were as follows: Best private gardens floral display (hard landscape): Tommy Yeomans, Melrose Gate. Highly commended: Neil Hay, Forest Hill.

John Windram Memorial Trophy for the best allotments: George Cowan (Wood St allotments).

Best floral display in residential complex for the elderly (George Knox Shield): Galahill House.

Best rose display: Sheena Crosbie, Woodstock Avenue.