Lanark awaits verdict of Beautiful Scotland judges

Beautiful Scotland Judges with Lanark in Bloom's Ernest Romer (centre) in the new Wallace Garden at Castlebank (Picture Sarah Peters)
Beautiful Scotland Judges with Lanark in Bloom's Ernest Romer (centre) in the new Wallace Garden at Castlebank (Picture Sarah Peters)

Those who spend every bit of their spare time nurturing seedlings and planting out the flowerbeds and baskets around the town are holding their breath now until they find out what the Beautiful Scotland judges made of the town this year.

The judges from the national contest, who have awarded Lanark silver in the past and a silver gilt last year, were taken on a lengthy tour on Wednesday, ending at the brand new Wallace Memorial Rose Garden for what Lanark in Bloom organiser Ernest Romer hoped would prove to be the wow factor.

Lanark in Bloom has already won a special trophy for sustainability for the horticulture centre it runs with Lanark Community Development Trust in Castlebank Park, and the volunteer group is hoping that the new Wallace garden, with its statue of William Wallace and flowers in full bloom, was a fitting finale to the tour.

Ernest was not too confident afterwards. “They seemed to be quite happy, but we will see what the comments come back on,” he said.

The tour took in the areas planted at Lanark Loch, the roundabout with the hanging baskets at Braidfute Retail Park, Morrisons supermarket, the site of Lanark Castle, and all the new tubs the volunteers work on, before arriving at Castlebank Park.

There the judges saw the new memorial garden, with the hundreds of roses donated by Border Biscuits, then were taken through the bog garden, the site of a former pond now filling up with young trees and plants, and through the Fairy Dell, with its chainsaw carvings of a fairy and the little animals in the tree trunk seating, finishing off with a coffee in a polytunnel at the horticultural centre.

“The gardens were looking fine,” Ernest said modestly.

It will be the middle of September before the results of the judges’ inspection are announceed.