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At the start of the pandemic crisis and lockdown many people found themselves with time to look at their homes and gardens.

With some good weather at the start of the summer, houses were being painted and gardens revitalised. Many more people were now out walking for their daily exercise and it was obvious, the effort that many in Stornoway were putting into improving their gardens which was a delight for all those out walking.

The Rotary Club of Stornoway felt it was worth showing some recognition and encouragement to everyone who had made a special effort to improve the appearance of the town during the pandemic crisis.

It was decided to limit our project to the town of Stornoway but even that involved checking all of the 119 streets in the town.

Only front gardens visible to the public walking were considered and the judging was not based on any horticultural skills, but just on the appearance and care that some people had taken over their front garden.

The diversity was amazing from the old traditional houses in town with mature gardens that had taken decades to develop to the open plan of a street like Nicol Crescent where all the gardens seemed to be awash with colour.

It was lovely to see the planters on Seaforth Road being well maintained and pots of colourful flowering plants in some front gardens supplementing rows of similar houses. There were front spaces decorated with colourful objects rather than plants which all added to the interesting walks around the town.

The categories that we looked at during mid August while the gardens were at their best were -

  • Large mature garden – good planning, layout, well trimmed bushes/shrubs, mixture of plants
  • Small garden- good use of limited space
  • Colourful garden – big selection of colouring blossoms
  • Decorative garden- use of objects/shapes/colour to add to bright/cheerful/interesting garden
  • Pot and window box gardens- flats/houses onto street where ground planting not possible