Wednesday 14th was a very special day as 2016 celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the Beautiful Scotland campaign to Keep Scotland Beautiful. An evening of celebration when North Berwick in Bloom’s success was much in evidence.
The North Berwick in Bloom group were described as being at the very top of their game, judges noted an exceptionally wide variety of plants especially in the Lodge with its series of gardens within a garden and labelling similar to that seen in a botanical garden. North Berwick had previously won the coastal category eight times and this year added a ninth along with a gold medal in a section with 10 entrants. This category also carries the Dave Kerr trophy which commemorates a former North Berwick in Bloom volunteer and East Lothian Council gardener. More success was to come at the climax to the evening when the town was awarded the rose bowl for the highest score in the whole competition – the third time North Berwick in Bloom has won the top award.
The two teams of judges who visited East Lothian back in August were unanimous in praising East Lothian Council for the way it has managed to maintain standards at a time of severe spending restrictions and this led to the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society award for local authority horticulture. The judges noted many well maintained green spaces, good and very imaginative bedding displays and particularly effective herbaceous planting, which seems to be a challenge for most councils. Council staff are in regular contact with local bloom groups and often work jointly on projects. Crucially East Lothian Council still has a nursery which provides plants – standard fuchsias , cannas, bananas etc-that many bigger councils do not have. The bloom success is seen as economically helpful by traders as well as improving the quality of life of local people.
This must surely be an example to other local authorities and communities. Well done.