Gardeners from three Borders communities received high praise at the annual Beautiful Scotland Awards last week.

The ceremony held on September 12th brought gardening groups from across Scotland together in Dumfries for the 53rd annual ceremony.

Organised by the environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful, the event highlights the efforts made by volunteers, councils dedicating their time to making green spaces for the community.

Three Borders locations came home with heads held high and smiles all around. Lauder in Bloom won Gold for the Garden for Life Biodiversity Award, Melrose in Bloom took Gold for the Large Village Award and Eyemouth Community Council won Silver Gilt for the Medium Town Award.

But the awards don't just take into account a community's activities during the summer, judging takes place all year round so groups have to be on top of their game if they want to make a big impact at the awards.

Although the overall winner of the year was North Berwick in Bloom, receiving the Beautiful Scotland Rosebowl Award, Lauder was highly praised for their efforts in the Life Biodiversity round.

Lauder in Bloom members were thrilled with the results and told us: "We are delighted to be this year's winner of the 'Garden for Life Biodiversity Award' for transforming the previously unloved areas at our local park into thriving 'pollinator patches."

The group took patches of unused space and turned them into pollinator-friendly gardens to bring in plenty of insects. They then made signs explaining why certain plants and colours were chosen for the gardens and, in collaboration with Butterfly Conservation Scotland, they created signs for each patch showing what butterflies can be found locally.

Lindsay Montgomery, Chairman of Keep Scotland Beautiful, told us: “I would like to congratulate the winners from the Scottish Borders. It is thanks to their efforts that local places continue to be maintained to a high standard for everyone to enjoy.

“All across the country outstanding volunteers, local authority staff and businesses help to protect and maintain the outdoor spaces that are precious to us, and bring a wide range of benefits to local communities. Beautiful Scotland celebrates their achievements and provides the recognition that they deserve."

Five of the winning entries in Scotland from 2018 will be competing in the UK Britain in Bloom finals next month.

Lauder in Bloom explained to us that all they do is for their community: "Grateful thanks to everyone who helps, supports and appreciates our work - we really couldn't do it without them. These awards belong to the amazing community which we are very lucky to have here in Lauder!

"We always welcome an extra pair of hands, gardening experience and being able to regularly help is not necessary."