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St Martin Flleurie
St. Martin’s, in the extreme SE corner of Guernsey, is one of the 10 Parishes in the island and from 1998 up to 2016 has entered the Bailiwick’s annual ‘Floral Guernsey Community Competition’. The overall winner of this competition is then invited to enter the RHS national Britain in Bloom competition. During this period St Martin has represented the island in the national competition on six separate occasions.
Since for the purpose of our national entry, St Martin (with around 3,567 parishioners), classifies as a ‘Small Town’, it was decided to use the French term Ville Fleurie. However the team preferred to use the local patois term “Ville Flleurie”.
In reality the Parish is only really a village in terms of its size (a mere 7.3 sq km (or 2.8 sq miles) and population but within this small area lies a great variety of scenery, both built and natural. The Parish centre is densely populated whereas the coastal cliffs has virtually no houses at all. Most of the Parish consists of a 100 metre high plateau and from here deep wooded valleys run down to the spectacularly rugged cliffed coast.
A small, very hard working, and almost totally volunteer team, assisted by St. Martin’s based and other individuals / organisations located throughout the island, under-took to do what is necessary to enter these floral competitions and enhance our Parish.
During these 19 years, huge changes have taken place in St. Martin as a result of the Floral team’s efforts. Probably the most obvious can be seen along La Grande Rue and Rue Maze (the 2 main roads in the centre of the Parish). However deliberate attempts have also been made to involve other parts of the Parish, for example the large scale bulb planting at Jerbourg and Moulin Huet Valley; the continuing development of the Wild-scape pond area, copse and new garden areas at the Primary School; the renovation of the former War Memorial site at Croix Bertrand; and the Old Mill triangle (previously a small area plagued by vandalism and grafitti). The team has also worked with the other parish committees, such as The Fountains & Troughs Committee renovating many of the abreuveurs (watering places) in the Parish, and with the Environment Committee to create two new cliff paths in Moulin Huet valley.
One of our highlights was in 2012 when St. Martin was invited to enter the Canadian based “Communities in Bloom” (Collectives en fleurs) International Challenge. This is the first time any group from the Channel Islands has entered this prestigious floral competition. When the results were announced in Edmonton (Canada) we were delighted to be awarded a gold medal plus Five Blooms, with St Martin as the winner of their Small Territories category.
As part of our participation in the 2010 ‘Britain in Bloom’ campaign we undertook several special events, starting with our official launch when 3 paragliders launched themselves off the Jerbourg cliffs flying the Parish flag.
With the retirement of our long serving and dedicated Floral team the Douzaine has decided that while the current Floral team will continue to enhance the Parish with a range of floral displays they will not be entering the Floral Guernsey Community competition for the next few years.
The exception is the Parish Hall competition in which John and Marilyn Garham will continue participating. Their success over the years has been exceptional and we are extremely grateful for the work they put in to make the outside of our Parish hall so attractive for us and our fellow parishioners.
For the results of the various competitions from 1998 to the present day please visit the History page.
Hire the Parish Hall!
Did you know that you can hire the Parish Hall for public and domestic functions such as a wedding reception or anniversary party?