Tomorrow will be many things to many people, but here in my little patch of the world tomorrow is judging day.
Last year, having been placed second the previous year, the village where I stay won the Wee Village section of the Floral Gateway competition.
The annual competition is promoted to encourage communities in the Scottish Borders to take pride in their surroundings and become involved with the environmental maintenance of their town or village, improving its appearance, discouraging litter and graffiti — not a problem in this sliver of Scotland.
The competition comprises five classes based on population — Wee Village, Small Village, Large Village, Town and Champion of Champions (the class winners of the previous year judged against each other). So our wee village, with a population of around 100, is competing against places much larger. And these larger places receive help from local businesses, so with a greater pot of money to tap, and attract help from agricultural/horticultural college departments.
Judging takes into account floral presentation, cleanliness and community involvement. So after months of hard work, weeding, preparing ground, sewing seeds, begging cuttings, raising money for tubs, compost and plants, and filling and siting them, an unusually hot spell sent everyone into a flurry. Watering cans were of little use against far flung beds and pots of baking earth and drying compost. So the vehicle of a volunteer was pressed into service with a large plastic tank full of water secured in the back. An army of waterers could then draw on this as the procession slowly kangaroo jumped from tub to flowerbed to tub around the village. A bit like a dog showing interest in every lamp-post!
To win is a big ask for our wee village, against such competition, but that has not daunted our stalwarts who can be seen today tweaking and planting, tidying and brushing, and no doubt, like last year, they will be out tomorrow before the judges’ arrival at eight in the morning, to ensure the village looks as trim as possible.
So wish us luck, folks. The weather looks as if it will be cloudy, possibly showery with a temperature at that time of the morning of around twelve degrees — so not quite the bright sunny morning we might have hoped for and which those judged later in the day might benefit from.
So we’re keeping fingers crossed and hopes high, and know, whatever the result, that all the effort has made the village look great.