St Peter Port - Best Floral Coastal Town in the UK
St Peter Port won a Gold Award at the 2014 RHS Britain in Bloom Regional Finals competition and was crowned overall winners in the 'Large Coastal Towns over 12,000 Residents' category. St Peter Port beat the other entrants in this category - Filey in Yorkshire, Hunstanton in Anglia, Sidmouth in Devon, St Andrews in Scotland and Tenby in Wales.
The St Peter Port Douzaine formed the Floral St Peter Port Committee in 2006 with the directive to enhance and promote St Peter Ports floral beauty. Since then, the Floral Committee with support of sponsorship, volunteers, home owners and social housing residents have created a capital consisting of a blank canvas into a wonderful array of colour.
The committee began their quest for gold last year when the parish was crowned overall winner of the 2013 Floral Guernsey Community Competition. As island champion, they were put forward to represent the Bailiwick in this year's Britain in Bloom competition.
From the Old Quarter to the town's seafront, Fountain Street to the roundabout, spectacular blooms were been planted, which meant that St Peter Port looked truly spectacular during the summer months, a place that visitors and locals were able to enjoy.
Earlier this year we spoke to Pat Johnson, member of the Floral St Peter Port committee, to find out how much work had gone into preparing St Peter Port ahead of the Britain in Bloom judges visit.
'Having two sowings keeps St Peter Port looking attractive and welcoming 52 weeks of the year, where most towns only sow once a year, in May. We're a group of like-minded people who want to enhance the Parish'
An estimated 80,000 flowers are planted in St Peter Port alone each year. The planting is split equally between Nigel Clark from Queux Patio Plant Centre, Colin Falla and The States Works.
'All the money raised remains on the island and goes back to our growers, heritage and community - it's a recycling of resources,' said Mr Johnson.
There is 7.6km of irrigation throughout St Peter Port that service 1,100 planters for a cost of only 45p per planter per year. St Peter Port's community is different to the other Parishes, as many are transient residents. What it does have are businesses who want to help. Along with the support of Floral Guernsey and the St Peter Port Floral Committee, St Peter Port businesses volunteer to prepare and plant designated areas.
'The amount of support that we have received has been tremendous - everyone has said they can lend a hand, even the other parishes,' said Mr Johnson.
A new area of St Peter Port was used for 2014. The Salarie Batterie, a once disused dumping ground for vehicles, has been taken over by the Environment dept and has been given a new lease of life. The pièce de résistance, a donated boat, restored by the College of Further Education and the States of Guernsey Prison, was put in place just in time for the judging on 1st August.