From painting to planting for Rothesay brothers

Retired council gardener, Gordon Gillespie, on the left and his brother, Iain, on the right , carrying out some weeding at the rose beds on the putting greens in Rothesay
Retired council gardener, Gordon Gillespie, on the left and his brother, Iain, on the right , carrying out some weeding at the rose beds on the putting greens in Rothesay

The Gillespie brothers have come to the rescue again – this time saving the beloved rose beds on the putting greens in Rothesay, which the council had planned to turf over.

Iain (79) and Gordon (71) have been spending their retirements adding a fresh lick of paint on bus stops, railings and lamp posts. Now, through their involvement with Bute in Bloom, which represents the island in the Keep Scotland Beautiful competition, the pair have been busy tending to the eight rose beds to save them from the chop.

Bute in Bloom stepped in and, following a donation from the Development and Infrastructure Department of Argyle and Bute Council matched by a similar donation from local charity For Bute, it purchased new roses, and has planted them in eight of the original beds.

Iain explained how he got involved. He said: “They were going to get covered over. It’s one of the biggest selling points that Rothesay has in way of amenities. Visitors and locals always praise them.

“The council were going to turf over all the flower beds because of the cuts.

“So I got a petition signed and the council gave the beds a year’s stay of execution.

“They told us that because of a lack of manpower the rose beds would have to go.

“So Gordon, a retired council gardener, and I have committed ourselves to doing the maintenance on the beds.

“It’s Bute in Bloom as a whole. But it’s my brother and myself who have initially accepted this responsibility. We are now getting one or two volunteers to help us out.”