LA VALLETTE CHALLENGE
Floral Guernsey are hoping to facilitate the much needed return to glory of the storm battered bathing pools. With the help of the community the plan is to restore and re-open the gent's and horseshoe pools. The changing rooms will be refurbished and the whole area enhanced. Seating areas will be refurnished and the raised gardens replanted, returning La Vallette to is glory days as a Victorian Promenade.
Nigel Clarke and Joan Ozanne volunteered their services on Sunday November 1st 2015 and were two of the 200 plus volunteers to give their services on a glorious morning which commenced at 8.00 a.m. They teamed up with employees from KPMG and were given the task of clearing an area which had become overgrown and neglected for 25 years and also clearing up steps.
(Photo showing Nigel Clarke standing on the steps of the area allocated to be cleared)
Legacy Team Chairman Pat Johnson, who is the Floral Guernsey chairman, was overwhelmed with the show of community spirit and as a result "The clearing and discovery of what the Victorians left us is now for all to see".
It was extremely important for the clearance of the site and around 250 tonnes of green waste had been cleared over the two Sundays which will prepare the area for the next "reinstatement" phase.
(Photo Left To Right - Gerry Tattersall, Pat Johnson, Nigel Clarke & Honey Johnson In Front)
It is extremely important for plants, trees and shrubs to have sufficient light to ensure their well being. Air circulation can now take place and the introduction of solar energy will be beneficial to the earth and to the new plantings. Wildlife and insects will also benefit from the project.
The Legacy Team will have to sit down and work on this phase and discuss with Environment and others regarding the Victorian plants that will be chosen.
Dennis Le Moignan, vice-chairman of the Legacy Team, said to see the "very beautiful portion of the island" degrade over the years was criminal. "Now when visitors in particular come here they have something really attractive to look at and it will attract more people down here. This area will once again come back to life".
Green Legacy Guernsey are proud to assist in this project and have also made a donation of £1,000.00 which will be used to purchase native plants, shrubs and trees.
(Photo Showing The Rewards of Clearing The Steps - Morgan Johnson & Honey Johnson Making Finishing Touches With Dennis & Nigel In The Background, With Pat Looking On)
FLORAL GUERNSEY FOUNDATION OPEN DAY AT QUEUX PLANT CENTRE
HELD ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 4TH 2015
The Education Garden was open to the public and Nigel Clarke gave three talks entitled "Hanging Baskets - Past, Present & Future" from 2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. on the Open Day.
As you walk around the shopping area of St. Peter Port, you cannot but be impressed by the floral hanging baskets on most buildings. The colour and splendour of these baskets bring joy to what would otherwise be a colourless area. It is easy to forget just what hard work goes into producing and maintaining over 1,000 hanging baskets and how the hanging basket originated and developed to evolve into today's "blooming marvellous" adornment.
Nigel Clarke began growing in Guernsey at Queux Plants as a tomato grower and when this industry went into decline, Nigel realised that he had to revert to an alternative crop as relying on tomato production was no longer viable.
Sitting in his office 26 years ago, Nigel created his very first hanging basket with moss, thin bin liner, compost, 3 pansies and 3 ivy plants around the outer edge of the basket and 3 hyacinth bulbs and 3 more pansies in the middle. The basket was then attached with chains and Nigel proudly hung it up only to find that most of the contents fell out all over his desk!
As you can see from today's hanging baskets situated in St. Peter Port shopping area, Nigel developed his sill and materials into a more successful and environmentally friendly way. This was done by using sustainable moss, compost which holds in more nutrients and creating an irrigation system to water the baskets.
The irrigation system, if laid out, would go from St. Peter Port to Cobo and a quarter of the way back again! Not a surprise really when there are over 1,000 hanging baskets to water. Queux Plant Centre is responsible for creating a third of the total of hanging baskets with Colin Falla creating a third and States Parks & Gardens creating the other third.
The irrigation system took two Spring seasons to complete and work was done very early in the mornings. Attaching the irrigation system to the various buildings was also a challenge as the buildings were made of various materials and some had lead on their roof so it was impossible to make holes to attach the irrigation to the building. Pat Johnson came up with the bright idea of heat guns to overcome this problem. Hand held, battery powered drills were used but ran out of power fast so more upmarket drills were invested in. Due to Health & Safety procedures, ladders with adjustable feet were used due to the lie of the land - Smith Street is one such area where there is a steep slope for the whole of the street.
Bolts were secured into the walls though some buildings were not so compliant and a metal plate was drilled into the wall using expanding bolts. This occurred especially in Mill Street. Sealant in the bolt holes then provided waterproofing against damp impregnating into the building and clips were attached to hold the irrigation line in place.
There are approximately 10 mains taps each holding 4 battery operated controllers, 2 of which are situated outside Lloyds and Creasey's. Approximately 40 controllers start up at 2.00 a.m. in sequence each morning and irrigate the baskets. The pressure reducer is used to ensure consistent pressure levels throughout the watering process.
A top up feed takes place twice in August and is done manually to ensure an extra boost to the baskets' colour until the end of the summer season. The cost to water each basket annually is 45 pence.
Whilst problems with the system are minimal, one such problem results from people being helpful and dead heading. They accidentally cut through the irrigation lines. It is down to the vigilance of people who report problems that sparks Nigel into action to repair that section of irrigation system.
Nigel's hard working team who are responsible for the project includes Ross (Nigel's wife) and Val who make up the baskets and also Stephen, Richard and Joe who transport the baskets, remove the old baskets and then replace with the new season's baskets in the very early mornings.
Baskets will be taken down, replanted and replaced in early October to ensure winter colour.
So next time that you are in the centre of St. Peter Port take a look at the hanging baskets and spare a thought for all the time, effort and care taken by a few to ensure that our town centre is colourful and aesthetically pleasing. It has been proven that footfall increases into shops which of course is beneficial to businesses.
Photograph Above - Nigel Clarke Giving His Talk Entitled "Hanging Baskets - Past, Present And Future" At The Open Day On 4th October 2015
Photograph Above - Nigel's First Attempt At Creating A Hanging Basket Was 26 Years Ago
TINY TOTS WORKSHOPS IN ASSOCIATION WITH FLORAL GUERNSEY FOUNDATION
HELD ON WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 30TH 2015
Another successful morning of workshops with happy tiny took place
UPDATE - OVER THE TWO DAYS AND FOUR WORKSHOPS 110 AT LEAST TINY TOTS AND ADULTS COMBINED HAD AN ENJOYABLE DAY LEARNING ABOUT WIGGLY WORMS AND PLANTING UP BEANS AND A COLOURFUL SUMMER HANGING CONTAINER!
FLORAL GUERNSEY SPRING FESTIVAL WEEK 2015
TINY TOTS WIGGLY WORMS AND MINI BEASTS CHILDREN'S WORKSHOPS
SUNDAY APRIL 26TH & WEDNESDAY APRIL 29TH
Introduce the joys of growing to little ones aged 0-4 years. A packed 45 minutes showing the children around the education garden and learning about the mini beasts that help keep the garden looking lovely. Includes a basket to take away, some seeds and a planted pot.
TIME: SESSION 1 9.45 A.M. TO 10.30 A.M.
TIME: SESSION 2 11.00 A.M. TO 11.45 A.M.
VENUE: QUEUX PLANT CENTRE
COST: £5.00 PER CHILD, INCLUDES BASKET AND SEEDS TO TAKE HOME. PROCEEDS TO GO TO GREEN LEGACY GUERNSEY OF WHICH 100% IS USED TO PURCHASE PLANTS AND TREES
TO BOOK: PLEASE CALL QUEUX PLANT CENTRE ON 256762