Vanessa King’s flowerpot outside her house. Photograph by Vanessa King.

Vanessa King, from Helston, has created a Facebook group to encourage others to start putting plants outside their houses to help brighten up the town. She first got her idea from a passing gentleman who commented on the flowers she was planting by her front door. Vanessa then began asking people on the Helston Facebook group if they would like to get involved in adding some colour to the town by planting flowers outside of their home, and she soon gathered many positive responses from others wanting to get involved. 

“If the town is a nice place to walk around with flowers to look at, people will be more likely to want to walk through town and come into the town centre. They can walk around have a coffeelunch or a pint, browse the shops and enjoy a stroll through town.” Vanessa said. 

Flora Day has now been cancelled 2 years in a row because of the pandemic. Flora day is the biggest annual event in Helston and it holds significant meaning for many of its residents. During Flora Day the streets are full of people and both residents and business decorate their windows to celebrate the event. It’s a time where the town makes a real effort to look nice and encourage visitors to celebrate with them. 

“Flora Day also played into this as so many people decorate their houses and businesses with greenery and flowers. It struck me that as a town we could all do something small and in turn that would have a massive impact on the town.” said Vanessa. 

She added, I’m hopeful that Flora day will be a focus that will help people get started, it’s such an important and wonderful tradition in our town and it’s been sorely missed by so many people 

Vanessa is hoping that most of the town will start to get involved with her idea so that when you walk around Helston you notice all the different flowers on the streets, she also hopes that it will encourage more wildlife and help pollinators and add biodiversity to the area.  

“I think the response has been very positive, at least in terms of people’s reception of my idea” Vanessa stated. 

A few people have shared their concerns with the idea, they mention being worried about vandalism and blocking pavements but the overall response to Vanessa has been positive 

Vanessa added, “We have quite a few people joining the Facebook group planting for Hope – Helston. I’m trying to post as many ideas as I can on there and I’m hoping that I can inspire people with ideas that are easy and cheap in terms of containers and plantings. I also hope that people will begin swapping plants and seeds and showing the pots that they have put outside. It’s early days yet”. 

A few of Vanessa’s top tips for those who want to get involved are; keep it simple, create something that will make your family and neighbours smile, and to try to repurpose old containers to help keep your costs down.  

If as many people in the town as possible get involved in this then Helston will be a cheerful looking place to visit.