A decade of devotion to making Coldstream one of the floral jewels of the Borders was recognised when Dave and Trish Blackman officially retired this month.
However, the town will not be left bereft of Trish and Dave’s advice and green fingers and they will continue to support the town’s Gateway Trust, who look after the town’s display of flowers all year round.
After Dave and Trish were presented with a bay tree, which will take pride of place in their garden, trust chairman, Will Murray, said: “This work was very demanding and took up a lot of Dave, Trish and their enthusiastic team of volunteers’ times.
“Catalogues were pored over and hundreds of plug plants were ordered. The plugs were then planted out in a large greenhouse on the Hirsel Estate.
“As the plants grew they had to be watered daily over a six-week period. Once they were large enough, the growing flowers were then planted out in the hanging baskets, the boats and the three-tiered planters as well as the tubs and boxes at the war memorial. A watering rota was initiated and the flowers were watered on a daily basis from June through to September.
“In 2009 Dave managed to negotiate the purchase of a lottery-funded buggy which carried a large water tank to be used for watering purposes and any other remedial work that was required. This replaced the small tractor and trailer which had been used previously.
“The results of all this work are seen each summer and in 2013, Coldstream won yet another accolade when they were awarded first prize in The Scotland in Bloom ‘Borders Large Village’ category.
“Although they have officially retired, Dave and Trish assured us that they will continue to advise and help out in any way they can and their green fingers will still be much appreciated.
Every year the dedicated Gateway team have filled 140 hanging baskets, tubs and doffers with over 4,500 summer plants - a display that has seen the town feature regularly in the Scotland in Bloom competition finals since 2000.
In 2005 Dave Blackman came up with the idea of taking 20 of the hanging baskets to the primary school to get the children involved, saying: “If you can get them interested young we just might have a team still going strong in ten years time.”
Fortunately as Dave and Trish step down, they do leave a dedicated team determined to carry on their good work.