PEEBLESSHIRE'S very own botanical gardens may soon been invaded by politicians.

Dawyck has been impressing visitors for decades with its rich collection of flora and fauna.

But the rural hillside retreat has now been praised in the Scottish Parliament.

Local MSP Christine Grahame gave her recommendation for a visit to Dawyck during a Members Debate at Holyrood regarding the 350th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Ms Grahame said: "It is a privilege to have a garden such as Dawyck in my constituency and I’d highly recommend a visit to anyone in the Borders who hasn’t yet been to the region's very own botanics.

“The gardens, as well as the science and research undertaken, offer a beautiful venue for a walk in nature.

"Whether it is spring, summer, autumn or winter, come rain, cloud or shine, any time someone is feeling down in the dumps or up to high doh - and we all sometimes do - they should take a walk along Dawyck’s meandering paths.

"Even in the rain, the trees are awesome. I can also advise that if they take detours and then have a bit of cake and coffee in the tea-room, it will do them a power of good.”

Dawyck already attracts around 37,000 visitors every year.

The gardens were gifted by the Balfour family to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in 1978.

Its famous arboretum, which contains one of the largest range of trees in Britain, is looked after by a dedicated team of gardeners, including 13 volunteers.

The Minister for Rural Affairs and Natural Environment, Mairi Gouegeon, has agreed to pay the gardens a visit.

She said: “I am sure she will not be disappointed.”