Although this is the diary of a Scottish Gardener, I have to admit I have not been anywhere near my garden in the last week, other than taking the dog out. I did, however, spend an enjoyable hour with my friend and colleague, Hans, a Dutchman, from whom I buy many plants. The thing about Hans is he lives in Zundert, and you may know that Zundert hosts the world’s biggest flower parade every September, and it is absolutely spectacular.

This amazing parade has been held each year in the village since 1936 – the parade may well be in September, however, the efforts of the volunteer villagers are year-round.

The locals divide themselves into more than 20 teams, based on the areas they live in, and compete to build the best floral float each year. As you can imagine, bringing all the villagers together in this way creates a wonderful community spirit and pride.

Their creations, as you can see from the photos, are unbelievable. The teams do not just spend many months in the design and creation of these masterpieces, which are over 9 metres in size and length, they also grow all the flowers – all dahlias – that are used to create such works of art. Everyone has a place on the team, with the older community growing the flowers and the younger ones creating the floats.

I have been lucky enough to visit the village throughout the year to see just how hard everyone works and the amazing benefits it brings to the village. If you ever get the chance – go see for yourself. I wonder if we could ever do such a thing in Scotland?

Colin Barrie has been working in the gardening industry for over 30 years and owns seven Garden Centres across central Scotland and is passionate about Scottish plants.