What do we do?
FlowerPower is gaining momentum and greater support from residents, visitors and businesses.
The Leas Floral arrangements set a high standard for the town and received much praise.
The group of volunteers who fundraise and work under the ‘Flower-Power’ Banner wish to help other groups (residents and businesses) to achieve the high quality of street scene throughout as many areas of the town as possible and are willing to share best practice and in-crease opportunities through improvements aiding the visitor and residents experience.
A well cared for environment works to counter act anti-social behav-iour and the team work required to ensure it, galvanises residents and businesses to work in a partnership approach to enliven the town.
returning it to its blooming best !
Folkestone Flower Power is all about a group of residents getting together to raise money for flowering up Folkestone and regenerating its lost reputation as one of the most beautiful resorts along the South East coast.
Folkestone Flower Power raises funds to have 66 flower baskets on 33 lamp posts right along Folkestone’s famous Leas during the summer, and is part of the Floral Folkestone initiative. Flower Power was started a couple of years ago by Leas resident Pat Cocks who wanted to cheer up residents and visitors walking along The Leas, by having lots of flower baskets on the lamp posts. You only need to speak to “cheerful” people on The Leas to find Pat's ambition has been achieved.
Our sponsoring businesses know happy, cheerful, people spend more time and money in our town! So come along Folkestone residents and businesses . . . . please make a donation !
Our Floral Displays
A little known historical item that readers and visitors may find interesting, is that in the Victorian and early Edwardian period, only the posh and wealthy were allowed on The Leas, along with their servants and nannies to push the prams and mind the children!
In anticipation that you are currently enjoying or have enjoyed the baskets in the past four years and would like them to continue and to expand in to the rest of Folkestone with flower beds, there is a bank account in to which we would love you to make a donation.
Folkestone flower power & the hanging baskets:
The Story so far
One fed up ratepayer who suddenly one day, realised the floral hanging baskets had not been hung on the lamp posts along The Leas and missed them, decided to find out how to get them back again. Shepway isn't funding them any more said the voice on the end of the telephone.
What if I got the money to fund them? We'd be delighted to put them back up said the voice. OK then, how much would it cost? I'll send you a quote. Quote duly arrived. £7776.04.
That's an awful lot of money. Well, you should know, that approximately one third is for the plants and the other two thirds is the maintenance and hanging and taking down. There is an upside, we still have the old baskets you can use but you will have to renew some of the liners and some brackets.
From being totally ignorant and exceptionally green behind the ears, in four years one can become the fountain of all knowledge on raising money from funding bodies and how difficult it is to actually get your hands on it.
What eventually dawns on you is, that in fact, most of the money that gets dished out to you by the various holders of these funds, is originally your taxes/gambling money given to those you may have voted in or those bodies judged appropriate to give it back to you if they think you qualify. Something along those lines.
That first year in 2013 we had Kent County Council elections and finding out that our representatives get given some of the above mentioned money to give back to us, they were approached for some cash and a miracle happened because between all three of them they handed back £6,186. They surely knew a good thing when they heard it.
Spurred on by this success the rest of the money duly followed from our local Councillors, Rotary and local residents. It was the best year ever. Up went the baskets and that lovely feel good factor came back with the flowers. Everybody said “wonderful and can we have them back every year”.
Year one was sheer good luck and can never be repeated. Requests and enticements to big companies laying out the advertising advantages for them if they contributed to 2015/2016 baskets or even sponsored the lot, fell on deaf ears.
Much help was received from an organisation called Funding for All. Help and advice was given on how to fill in applications for funding from local bodies and businesses and slowly the money came in. The South Cliff Hotel auctioned off its accumulation of lost property and gave us the proceeds. One offer of £100, guaranteed if we reached the halfway mark by January, morphed in to £200 when we reported success. This from a couple who don't live in Folkestone but love coming here and missed the flowers.
Two years ago we cheekily asked The Leas Cliff Hall Management to cough up a considerable amount of money and the result was that they came on board and now flower up the area around the hall with their own funding. Watch out for 2018.
Next time you walk along The Leas and reach the railings above the delivery slope to the Leas Cliff Hall, you will see a little strip of ground under there that was full of weeds. We got fed up with looking at them and persuaded Shepway Gardens Dept to drag them out and renew the soil. We then planted up with anyone's donations and rejects. The result is a blaze of colour which seems to last well in to winter despite the appalling weather we sometimes get. Last year a cabbage appeared from nowhere and a hollyhock community has decided its a good place to be. Freebies are always welcome. Appreciative dog walkers bring bottles of water during dry weather and give it to the plants. Not sure how the dogs feel about that.
Most of us being on the dark side of 60, we need compulsive gardeners to help us with this work as we can only give as much time and energy as we are able. So, anyone who is hanging on to their old hand fork and trowel for sentimental reasons, will be very welcome to give it a try out for old times sake. Leave a message and we will get back to you.
The Leas Residents Alliance have come forward with volunteers to help with fund raising and spread the load of responsibility. They are on a learning curve and have big ambitions to flower up the rest of Folkestone. Its all in the early stages at the moment.
In anticipation that you are currently enjoying or have enjoyed the baskets in the past four years and would like them to continue and to expand in to the rest of Folkestone with flower beds, there is a bank account in to which we would love you to make a donation. Details are below.
One great thing learned over the last four years is that the smallest donation is valued as much as the big amounts. Folkestone's flowers are there for everyone. We all get to enjoy them.
We will shortly be putting on our newly forming website, the names of all those who have and are currently sponsoring Flower Power and updates will follow on our progress.
A little known historical item that readers and visitors may find interesting, is that in the Victorian and early Edwardian period, only the posh and wealthy were allowed on The Leas, along with their servants and nannies to push the prams and mind the children. Imagine that!
Join us and rejuvenate your neglected green space
Folkestone Flower Power also encourages residents & community groups to take ownership of unloved pieces of land; creating their own neighbourhood Folkestone in Bloom/FlowerPower patch of floral beauty.
This web site is nothing short of a miracle. There I was down on my knees weeding a small patch of Folkestone when along came Vanessa and David to interrupt my good work. Lots of questions were asked about the past and future intentions of our little group and lo and behold that evening they mailed me to say they would like to sponsor a website for Floral Folkestone/Folkestone Flower Power. We are very grateful to them and as one person wisecracked, I should get down on my knees more often. This spot is where you can find those very supportive businesses and individuals who have made it possible for all our visitors and residents to enjoy the flower baskets along the Leas. No need to imagine how bare the lamp posts can look without the flowers attached, just come along in the winter and see what a difference they can make.
With your help and support we intend to expand our horizons and bring back the flower beds that have disappeared over the years. You can do this by clicking on the following link or making contact with us to organise sponsorship. Every contribution no matter how small has equal value. We all get to enjoy the flowers. They cheer us up don't they. We can't magic funds out of the sky so your help is essential to compliment the match funding from Folkestone Town Council when we reach our target for next year.
Are you a frustrated gardener, no longer able to grow your veg and flowers. Do you live in an area where your talents could be used to flower up a patch of ground or persuade your neighbours to get together to put up some baskets. Its surprising how a small splash of colour can enhance the odd nook and crannie around us.