A COMMUNITY gardening group in Glasgow is flourishing thanks to a commemorative flower bed marking the First World War.

Green fingered Barrie Linning, who started the Garrowhill Garden Estate Community Group six years ago, said the bed - one of six the group tends around Garrowhill - was proving popular with passers-by.

He said: "Because of the Commonwealth Games, I felt that the First World War commemorations were getting put in the background a wee bit.

"So I suggested we did a First World War theme and the group thought it was a good idea. We planted 100 poppies in the bed outside the Co-op, on Baillieston Road, and then 20 bright red begonias."

Barrie, 68, said the bed had been admired by many people, and even attracted visitors who got off the bus at the stop right next to it to have a look, before boarding the next bus.

He added: "They seem to like it. I copied three First World War posters onto an A3 sheet - including the one encouraging people to sign up - and put that up."

Barrie, an Evening Times Community Champion, started the volunteer gardening group after being inspired by our Streets Ahead campaign in 2008.

He and five others, including his sister Jean Blair, 66, look after six flower beds, all planted with seedling he grows in his three greenhouses.

He said: "It keeps our costs down - we're reliant on donations."

The group's most recent cash injection came from local solicitors and estate agents, Wallace Quinn, who donated £150.

The group have planted several themed beds over the years, including one for the Queen's Golden Jubilee, an Olympic bed and a Glasgow City of Culture one.

The grandfather-of-four, from Garrowhill Drive, added: "I spend as much time on them as my own garden!

"It's a community effort though. We get the children from Barrachnie Nursery involved quite often."

The project has harvested several awards from the Royal Horticultural Society, Clean Glasgow and was one of the first Evening Times community champions.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: "Through initiatives like Clean Glasgow, we back communities that are proud of their streets and that work together to help make the places they live, work and play the best they can be.

"Residents in Garrowhill - and, in particular, Barrie Linning - are a fine example of how taking pride in our own neighbourhood can make it a cleaner, safer and better place."

victoria.brenan@ eveningtimes.co.uk