Volunteers help make Duns Bloomin’ Marvellous

The Duns Bloomin Marvellous team of volunteers busy in Duns Public Park.
The Duns Bloomin Marvellous team of volunteers busy in Duns Public Park.

A Duns project that started as a solution to a small problem has blossomed into a valuable town asset helping to make the town ‘Bloomin’ Marvellous’.

People of all ages, physical abilities and walks of life are taking part in an active gardening programme started by Candy Philip in 2014.

Candy noticed that a flower bed by the war memorials in the Duns Public Park was uncared for and full of weeds. Further investigation revealed that Scottish Border Council was no longer able to tend this bed and other public flower beds around the town were likely to suffer a similar fate as the local authority got to grips with spending cuts.

This prompted a group of volunteers to get together to plant and tend three flower beds in the town with the support of SBC and in association with A Heart for Duns, the community-based charity that manages the Voluntary Hall in Duns.

With the support and help of local businesses, financial awards from the Blackhill Windfarm and Action Earth, and a fund-raising plant sale in 2016, Candy and her fellow volunteers were able to purchase plants and produce a colourful show for people to enjoy.

The gardening project has grown like Topsy and more Duns residents, local charities and organisations like the Brownies, Guides,etc want to be involved.

The projects latest success was £7,150 from The National Lottery Awards for All Funding to enable A Heart for Duns to erect a poly-tunnel in the grounds around the Volunteer Hall for volunteers to grow their own plants.

Lead volunteer Candy, said: “More local involvement is needed to help create attractive flower beds for the local people and for visitors to enjoy in Duns. Driving along Newtown Street, one of the main arterial roads through Duns, it is noticeable that the ‘plant’ areas need a wee bit of TLC, so it is our hope that some local groups or businesses might take on one of these areas as their own ‘project’.

“We have approached a few of these groups and have had favourable feedback, but we need them to commit, or for more volunteers to assist, just four or five people could look after one small bed easily throughout the year!”

If you are interested, contact Candy Philip at admin@aheartforduns.org

“On Saturday, April 8, noon to 2pm, we are holding our second plant sale in the Volunteer Hall and look forward to many of you donating plants to boost our funds,” added Candy.

“This is early in the year, so we are looking for primarily herbaceous and perennial plants for the sale. You can take any of your plants along to the hall before the sale or come along on the day. Anything and everything plant-wise would be extremely well received!”