AS Peebles Beltane Festival is cancelled this year, last year’s Crowning Lady Mandi Bain is retaining the time-honoured title.

The festival stalwart has stitched together colourful costumes for Red Letter Day for 30 years – but this year they will sadly not be modelled by children on the steps on the Old Parish Church.

With coronavirus forcing the cancellation of Border festivals, there was no deserving lady appointed to pass the crown to.

Therefore, with no costumes to make and no queen to crown, Mandi set about her other crowning glory, her garden, which has flourished throughout the years and gained her many an award.

The 2019 Crowning Lady has created a water feature tribute to the NHS staff fighting the virus.

Green-fingered Mandi has scooped awards in competitions run by Peebles in Bloom, and opened up her garden to the public under Scotland’s Garden Scheme a couple of years ago.

Mandi, who lives at Connor Ridge, Peebles, welcomes locals out on their daily walk to peek over the fence to see her water feature.

“Hopefully it will lift their spirits,” she said.“And if I’m in the garden, I’m more than happy to give advice on any wee gardening matter.”

As well as rustling up some rainbow bunting for her four children to display in the windows of their homes, Mandi also knitted blue rosettes for staff in a London hospital where her daughter works.

Clinical nurse specialist Nicola told us: “She still sends me the Peeblesshire News every single week – it was lovely to get the rosettes along with it.

"My colleagues were very touched by her kind gesture.”