THE annual plant sale and flower show in Musselburgh has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Eve Dickinson, president of Musselburgh Horticultural Society, said the decision was “disappointing” but added: “The committee felt that many members and exhibitors would feel uncertain about attending what is a very social and popular event.

“Our staging the flower show requires months of planning, preparation and a considerable early commitment to financial outlays. A decision had to be made.

“We had concerns regarding people returning from holidays abroad, children returning to the classroom 10 days before the flower show and the possibility of Covid-19 mutations. Our flower show depends on the safety and willingness of our committee and volunteers.”

She said the organisers hoped the show would go ahead in 2022.

The event is usually held at The Brunton and, in recent years, has taken place alongside the Scottish Gladiolus Society’s show.

Mrs Dickinson added: “Our flower show in August 2022 will be a little bit different.

“Our aim is to encourage more amateur gardeners and children to take part.”

She appealed to members of the public to support their local garden centres and use this summer to hone their gardening skills ready for next year’s show.

“Now is the time to start thinking about growing tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, other fruit, vegetables and flowers,” she said.

Society members expect to be able to resume evening talks later in the year and also hope to organise the annual plant sale and outing in 2022, as well as guided walks.

The group is happy to give advice where needed and can be contacted via its website or on Facebook. New members are always welcome, with Mrs Dickinson saying: “Please join us and help preserve our society for future generations.”

The society, which dates back to at least the 1840s, originally provided the means of competition for gardeners of the large houses in the Musselburgh area which belonged to the Hopes, Elphinstones, Wauchopes and Dalrymples.

Competitors from housing developments increasingly emerged at the turn of the century and by 1909 there were amateur gardeners on the committee.

With the Second World War, the society was suspended until 1947 and in Festival of Britain Year 1951, a garden competition was introduced.

The Brunton Hall became the flower show venue in the 1970s.

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