No, the Jocks haven’t merged with the Irish though we have before under Edward Bruce, but we do keep Scotland’s green flag flying high.
The old joke goes, and it’s interchangeable for Scotland, Ireland and Wales, that God was handing out the countries.
He showed the Scots a land rich in nature with inventive and artistic people.
To which the Scot naturally thanks the Almighty but asks why he has been so giving to them.
At which point he reminds them of who their neighbours are.
Now this might just get you through the mania of England’s Lionesses football team’s European Championships run.
Thistle do nicely
My wee country has been rewarding those communities (and my green-fingered friend among them) with cherished green flags.
And there are a few among them I’ve passed a pleasant hour or dozen.
And even worked, to the absolute amazement of our tiller and plougher, The Scary One.
The Northern Delights
Aberdeen: Aberdeen I know, I know its soil, it’s under my nails from working its links.
And it’s from here, in Hazlehead Park, that Keep Scotland Beautiful announced 85 of our green spaces achieved the international Green Flag Award.
Now green spaces for university students meant naturally drinking on the lawns.
And while Alex Ferguson’s gloried Giants of Gothenburg went through their paces in Seaton Park under the Hillhead Halls.
We went through the tinnies… and binned them afterwards and went on to glory in the Granite City.
The Garden of Edin
Edinburgh: It’s not always the showpiece gardens then that need honouring.
And while locals and visitors alike wonder at the Floral Clock and backdrop of the Castle from Princes Street Gardens Greater Edinburgh’s a green place too.
And when it came to naming houses for the Son and Heir’s first primary school in St David’s in beachside Portobello…
They opted for the district’s parks, Figgate chief among them.
The Law’s a grass
Dundee: For reasons best known to only us we call our big hills laws from our Gaelic tongue.
There’s one here in my new temporary home of North Berwick, east of Edinburgh.
But it’s the Dundee version which I’m flagging up here, and the organisers are too.
And it’s here that I would ascend daily on a busman’s holiday to the Tay city.
And stare in wonder from the Law at the architectural majesty of the Tay Bridges joining Dundee to the Kingdom of Fife.
My Dear Green Place
Glasgow: The West End of Glasgow has oft been known as aspirational where the city’s merchants decamped.
With its seat of learning, its university, art gallery, and grand houses the West End is in direct contrast to the impoverished East End.
Its arterial road is the boulevard, the Great Western Road, off which the Victorian Botanic Gardens is the meeting place for West Enders.
Nae taps aff here.
Yon greeny banks
Helensburgh, Loch Lomond: And It’s water, water everywhere in the famous freshwater lake.
But, of course, Loch Lomond is framed by lush lakelands.
And after a childhood of days out to the coast and Helensburgh I saw first hand the pride its citizens had in their parks.
Take a bow the gardeners of the 100-year-old urban park, Hermitage Park.
And all our gardeners and 85 honoured gardens, particularly Mrs M and hers which should be on the list.