IT was a bloomin’ great achievement for Scotland’s gardeners who came trumps in a contest for community green spaces.
Projects from north of the border have won more Britain in Bloom awards than in any other part of the UK.
The awards, run by the Royal Horticultural Society, mark the best efforts by communities all over the UK to improve their environment through gardening.
Scotland’s community gardeners took home four top prizes and five gold medals at the RHS’s annual Britain in Bloom awards ceremony in Belfast on Friday.
This year 76 groups applied across 12 categories – with Scots securing first place in five.
Aberdeen secured the top spot in the city category for its parks, the roof garden at the Royal Infirmary and wildlife areas, and was also recognised with a community award for its work with local and school groups.
Its parks were labelled the city’s “jewel in the crown” while its hospital roof garden was said to be “beautiful and poignant.”
Linlithgow came first in the town category, while Perth and East Haven also received top place in their categories of Large Town, and Coastal Area. Falkirk received a gold medal for its efforts in the Business Improvement District section.
Judges described this year as one of the most difficult due in part to our extreme climate.
Darren Share, chairman of the RHS Britain in Bloom judges, said: “This year’s finalists faced the most challenging conditions the competition has ever seen with much of the country under snow and ice at the start of spring followed by the joint-hottest summer on record. That so many groups have walked away with top medals is remarkable and a reflection of communities’ hard work, ingenuity and horticultural know-how.”
Derek Robertson, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “We’re delighted that five groups from Scotland – Aberdeen, East Haven, Falkirk, Linlithgow and Perth – are Britain in Bloom finalists this year.
“It’s great to see such commitment to improving the environmental quality of the places they live in and care for – especially during such a hot summer.
“Keep Scotland Beautiful, in partnership with the RHS, has supported the work of these community groups, and the many others like them, for decades.
“Their hard work – raising horticultural standards, focusing on sustainability and reaching out to their communities – has had a positive impact on all who live in and visit these locations.”