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Burgh Beautiful Linlithow

Newsletter - February 2017

 Feb 2017 1  Feb 2017 2

Greetings to all the amazing and hardworking Burgh Beautiful volunteers and welcome to this first occasional Newsletter. We hope this will keep you informed and updated about all the various Burgh Beautiful ventures around the town, upcoming events and activities.

Feb 2017 3
Extra Help Needed!

TOMORROW! Sunday 12th February, 9.30am, weather permitting, at the Canal Bank Flower bed, (opposite Learmonth gardens, see below) to shift the soil back up the slope and make firm. BB tools available, but bring your own if you can, and bags for weeds. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

March, date to be arranged, at the Low Port roundabout beds in front of Tesco. Joy Davis would appreciate one or two people to help with rather hefty pruning and lifting. More information on this bed below in "Looking Good This Month". Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Community Spring Clean/ Litter pick. An organiser is needed to take over from Chris Long. It would involve contacting existing participating Community and youth leaders to arrange a date, agree areas to be covered, and arrange publicity beforehand. On the day, distribute BB litter picking tools and bags, check on group progress and arrange the Council's final bag collection for a group photograph at the end.
The ropes are well oiled and ready and most of the organisation can be done at home. Could you take it on, perhaps with a partner or friend?
Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Planters / Borders needing volunteers:
Do you have friends that you might get interested in joining Burgh Beautiful, or have you got more spare time to offer for this summer? Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • new barrels at Edinburgh Road town entrance,
  • two planters in front of Taste,
  • sloping bed at the canal – possibly two people,
  • three more team members for the serpentine bed,
  • help required to join a team which looks after three beds.

Feb 2017 4



The Burgh Beautiful project to make the paths at Clarendon safer has been chosen to be one of three groups  seeking support from February 1st from the plastic bag charge.  Every shopper at a local Tesco is given a blue token at the checkout to be placed in  their chosen section in the display box by the checkouts. The project with the most blue tokens gets a donation towards their cause. So do try to  drop in to Tesco (with your re-usable shopping bag) to support the cause.  - even a little shopping counts.  Blue tokens can also be claimed for online deliveries by taking the receipt along to the shop. Our section has been doing pretty well so far in both Linlithgow and Bo'ness.

Feb 2017 5


Saturday 25th February, 10am -12.30 pm: Seed stall at LADAS Potato Day at the Masonic Hall, Linlithgow Cross

Saturday in March / April - date tbc: Community Litter Pick co-ordinated by Burgh Beautiful.

Thursday 9th March: Burgh Beautiful Volunteers' social evening. Pot luck supper at the house of chair Chris Gunstone and Margaret. Cook (or buy) something to share. Details to come. All very welcome. Come and meet your fellow volunteers.

First week in May - TBC: Summer hanging basket plant delivery at Clarendon

Saturday 6th May: Planting up hanging baskets at Clarendon

Saturday 3rd June: Plant Sale at the Cross

Further dates may be obtained from the website or downloaded from the attachment with the monthly Steering Group minutes


Taking on the West Lothian Council flower beds in 2016 was an enormous undertaking for Burgh Beautiful, but Ian and Linda Orr's successful "Goodbye" campaign notices in the flower beds recruited enough new volunteers to make it all possible.

There are now about 93 volunteers working on 89 wooden barrels and metal planters, which includes 27 extra taken on from the Council, 120 hanging baskets, and 35 flower beds, of which 14 consist of perennial or part perennial planting and 16 ex- Council beds. Last summer's annual plant order was for 18,456 plants including an extra 9,228 for ex-Council planting.

Feb 2017 6


Fundraising is an important part of Burgh Beautiful's activities.

A big thank you to all the helpers at the Advent Fayre at the end of December.  We raised a grand total of  £1,500.91 including £778.91 from the raffle between both stalls, £302 for dried flowers at the indoor stall, a £10 donation and £500 from Holly balls, . Earlier in the year Averil Stewart organised a very successful bag pack at Tesco's raising £668 and Tesco also ran a coffee morning raising £500 and Neil Barnes donated £228.77 from his Triple Peaks Challenge.  Jean Long ran another very successful Inviting Gardens Day, which raised £1,937.
Ron Smith has successfully arranged 101 generous business and private sponsors for 2017 for hanging baskets, beds and planters and the BIDS group has contributed £2,500 for last year and this year.
So many thanks to all the organisers and helpers who have contributed to keep Burgh Beautiful finances in a healthy position for the future and also raise the profile of the Group. It is always heartening at fund raising events to talk to people and  hear how they appreciate the look of the town's plantings.

On top of the annual cost of plants, many of the old wooden barrels need replacing, work to make the paths safe at the Clarendon base is needed, and we now pay for basic grass cutting and watering of the baskets, so continued fund raising is needed. The next event will be the seed stall in February at the Linlithgow Allotments Seed Potato sale at the Masonic Hall at the Cross, which raised £108  last year and the Plant Sale at the beginning of June which raised £744 last year. Your help at any of the events is much appreciated.

Working Party at Doomsdale, Sunday 22nd January

A group of 9 people cleared the path and removed rubbish, led by Averil Stewart, and made  a big difference to the area. If you take a walk up there sometime, enjoy the views and the birds and see how much has been achieved.  
More information and location details on

Feb 2017 7


Deadheading - yes, in winter too.

Not absolutely essential, but useful as the mild winter weather so far has encouraged all the winter planting to maintain flower power and the pansies in particular are looking fantastic.  However, a cold snap can damage flowerheads leaving a nasty soggy mess which can turn into mould and infect the plant later on, so best checked and removed when you can brave the weather again.

Also, we have to avoid the plants thinking that they have set seed for the future and finished  flowering for the year, particularly pansies in some winters. Bellis, like their relatives the lawn daisy, and also primulas, seem happy to keep flowering and setting seed, though primula seed heads can look untidy on their long stalks. Going out on a fine day and  deadheading  will fool  them into continuing copious flowering . In case you aren’t sure which are which, seedheads are small and round and a little bit hard, flower buds are more pointy and softer, see below.

Feb 2017 8  Feb 2017 9  
Pansy flower bud and seedhead.


The multi-stemmed  Silver Birch, Betula Jacquemontii is looking particularly good this month, lighting up the corner by Tesco.  With help from West Lothian Council, Burgh Beautiful obtained permission to make flower beds here in 2006. Previous to this, the view coming down the High St was very unappealing. The beds were designed by Joy Davis, a member who had recently completed a Horticultural course at Oatridge College. The beds are cleverly designed for year round interest combining perennial planting, bulbs and annuals. Hazel Duguid looked after these beds for a time and Joy is now  maintaining them again.
 For  details of the names of the plants, the story of these beds, and the  planting scheme please see