Scotland’s Floral Gateway Competition

In the spring of 2010 the Community Council decided to enter the village into the Scottish Borders Council’s Scotland’s Floral Gateway competition. This was Ayton’s first go at the competition and we were pleased to come in 5th= in the small village section.

In early 2011 Ayton Enhancement Group was formed with the aim making the village more attractive. As a result of the work done by this group, along with many co-operative residents, Ayton moved up to 2nd place behind Greenlaw. In 2012 and 2013 we came 2nd again, eventually winning in 2014. In 2015 we received a Highly Commended in the Champion of Champions section.

What is the Floral Gateway competition all about? These are the guidelines for competitors

Section A: Floral Presentation Maximum 50 Points

In tackling this section, competitors should take into account the total landscape of the areas, as points will be awarded between annual bedding displays (max. 25 points) and permanent plantings (max. 25 points). Plantings should be appropriate to the area concerned and judges will expect to see: well-designed annual bedding displays with top-quality plants in well-prepared beds and containers; permanent plantings providing form and colour over a longer period of the year with emphasis on quality throughout and a high standard of maintenance; trees, shrubs or bulbs used to provide effective spring and autumn colour, with evidence of year-round achievements (e.g. a few photos). Note: if annual bedding displays are not being seen at their best due to a “late season”, judges will recognise the potential of the displays at the time of judging. Grass areas: there should be evidence of regular maintenance but it is likely that there will be minor variations in standards of grass cutting throughout each area. Frequency of cuts is also likely to vary depending on council policy, e.g. roadside verges often cut less frequently than other areas. Judges will look to satisfy themselves with the overall standard of maintenance while allowing for these differences. Thought for disabled (e.g. access, scented plants, etc.) should be included in competitors’ activities. Areas for judging include parks, open spaces, public gardens, private gardens (front and back), allotments, churchyards/cemeteries, war memorials, schools, industrial areas and business premises.

Section B: Cleanliness Maximum 30 Points

Judges will make their assessment on the general quality and standard of cleanliness that anyone would get when visiting the town or village concerned. Points will be deducted when factors are present that detract from a good environment, such as weedy streets and pavements, unsightly gap sites, fly-tipping, dog fouling, graffiti and fly posters, chewing gum and litter generally. There should be a good impression of tidiness throughout the community area. Maintenance of litter bins, street furniture, bus shelters and telephone kiosks will be included. Areas for judging include streets and open spaces.

Section C: Community Involvement Maximum 20 Points

This section covers the efforts of individuals, organisations and schoolchildren in permanent and seasonal planting schemes or projects, as well as community clean-up projects resulting in some visual impact for judges. Full assessment, however, will be made from appropriate evidence that should be presented to judges (e.g. a few photos).Involvement may come from individuals’, groups’, etc. own projects, or from actively supporting the local council’s or private sector’s efforts.