Lauder in Bloom
Lauder in Bloom began in 2014, in part at least to a comment that ‘Lauder is a long grey town and that nothing much could be done about it’. The group began by adopting the handful of neglected planters and existing Council beds in the centre of town. It expanded outwards, adopting various unloved areas, regularly working with other community groups as well as holding various community events and workdays throughout the year. Lauder in Bloom is a small core group of have-a-go-gardeners who work hard throughout the year to make their home town greener, cleaner and more floral!
In 2019 Lauder in Bloom won the Garden for Life Biodiversity Discretionary Award: Four years ago the group adopted three un-loved spaces next to the play park and football field and has gradually transformed them into ‘Pollinators Patches @ The Park’. These beds have been primarily filled with pollinator-friendly plants and have something beneficial in bloom over a long season, from snowdrops to buddleia. Stems of herbaceous perennials are left over winter to provide valuable teasel seeds for the goldfinches and shelter for small animals. Many locals were interested in the wildlife being attracted to these areas, in particular bees and butterflies, so the group acquired signs which highlight which types and colours of flowers are best for attracting different insects. It has also recently put up several other signs including a Friends of the Earth ‘Bee Spotter Guide’ encouraging locals to take part in the Great British Bee Count, so far run several times with the local Brownies, and has worked with Butterfly Conservation Scotland to create a butterfly ID sign showing the 12 most likely found species in the area and where locals can record their sightings. The local School Gardening Club helped the group to build a big bug hotel in the middle of one of the beds and it ran a workshop on basic pond-building highlighting that even small inexpensive ponds can be beneficial to wildlife along with a log pile. Within these beds the group has also created ‘Bee Towers’ for solitary bees, with varying sizes of holes to accommodate different species of bee. The towers have an accompanying sign so that locals know what they are for, how they are used and what to look out for if there are any resident bees.