It could be coming up roses for the Garrison House, as they look to reinstate tradition and create their own ‘Millport rose’.

CEO of Cumbrae Community Development, Michael Bertram, has entered in to positive discussions with a prestigious rose gardener in Wolverhampton to establish a ‘Millport rose’.

The team started looking in to the branding of the islands own rose after it was discovered that the grounds had a long history of growing the flower.

In 1819 the fourth earl of Glasgow enlarged the Garrison grounds to become a family residence.

The land was leased from the Marquis of Bute to whom the Earl of Glasgow was then bound to supply a rose on July 11 each year.

It is hoped that if a Millport Rose is secured, that this tradition of payment to the Marquis of Bute will be reinstated on its 200th anniversary next year.

With the new ‘white rose’ being delivered with a flotilla of small boats crossing the Clyde from Cumbrae to Bute.

Michael said: “I have approached Mr David Austin who is very prestigious grower of roses, to see if we can create a new commercial variety of rose for Millport.

“This could be a huge boost for local tourism.”

Additionally whilst the sunken gardens have been flourishing in the sunshine thanks to senior groundsman, John Thomson, his vision of transforming them in to a rose garden could become more than just a look through rose tinted glasses.

Along with a Millport rose, the sunken gardens would be developed as a formal rose garden by planting the flowers along three sides with colour blocked roses.

It is hoped that with the development of a Millport rose and the garden they would be able to involve the Big Lotto, Visit Scotland and North Ayrshire in planning of the 200th anniversary of the tradition.

Michael added: “We hope to have an open gardens event next year, but we are still waiting permission from Visit Scotland to join their Scottish Gardens initiative.”

“I have also written to the Marquis of Bute, as ideally, he could officiate and open the gardens in July 2019 and we hope that visit Scotland will add this to their open gardens calendar of events.”