Group rewarded for flower power again

12-09-2017 Lanark in Bllom volunteers with their certificates and trophies. Picture Sarah Peters.
12-09-2017 Lanark in Bllom volunteers with their certificates and trophies. Picture Sarah Peters.

Lanark in Bloom took a silver medal again in this year’s Beautiful Scotland competition.

The volunteer group had hoped for a higher award than that this time, but that disappointment was tempered by the announcement that it had taken an extra prize.

The awards ceremony, hosted by Fife Council last Thursday, rewarded the work undertaken in communities throughout Scotland to help deliver environmental improvements.

Lanark in Bloom was recognised for its hard work designing and maintaining community gardens and green spaces throughout the town.

As well as the silver medal certificate, the group was presented with a community involvement award in partnership with Lanark Development Trust for the Castlebank Park horticultural unit.

“We were delighted to be in partnership with them this year,” said Sylvia Russell, chairwoman of the trust, which has been working with South Lanarkshire Council and Lanark in Bloom on transforming the formerly near-derelict Castlebank Park.

“Our trust Castlebank volunteers did a huge amount of work in partnership with Lanark in Bloom, and it is very nice to be recognised.”

Sylvia was proud of the sustainability of the work, pointing out that many of the plants had been grown from cuttings from the previous year and that Castlebank made its own compost, while the water used to keep the tubs and baskets throughout the town fresh was rainwater collected from the park’s polytunnels.

During their visit in the summer, the judges had appeared to be impressed with the park, with the little corner gardens of flowers throughout the town and with the council’s wildflower display at Lanark Loch.

After a decade, the group hoped for more success.

“We were disappointed,” said Ernest Romer, chairman of Lanark in Bloom. “We were hoping for a bit more than a silver. I thought we would have gone up to a silver gilt with all the effort the volunteers have put in this year.”

Ironically, one of the criticisms was that there was too much colour in some displays and too many plants in some of the pots.

Parks and verges in the town, not the responsibility of the volunteers, also cost points.

Undaunted, Lanark in Bloom is already looking to next year, when it will have a special display at Morrisons.

Clydesdale’s other entrant, Flourishing Forth, again won a silver gilt award.