Thursday 9 July 2015

Isle of Wight Civic Pride

We nipped over to the Isle of Wight for the day on Saturday. Yes, we were in Liverpool the previous weekend. That's how the JibberJabber crew roll. It was a beautiful, sunny day and just like those I have experienced many times when visiting the Isle of Wight. Although the island does enjoy a milder sub-climate than much of the rest of the UK its exposed position also means that gale-force storms can batter the coastline bringing down piers and causing landslides.
I've always liked going down Union Street in Ryde. It's quite a steep hill running down to the seafront and the pier which the trains and catamaran come into. It's full of a quirky mix of independent shops that you struggle to find in most towns these days. You can buy a top of the range camera, check out the latest bikes or read the 1960's comic you've just bought whilst having a facial. As you stroll down you start to notice the flower baskets attached to the lamp posts. A nice summer touch but it doesn't end there.
Once Union Street hits the Esplanade at the bottom you start to get feel that the Isle of Wight Council isn't going to stop at a couple of baskets. It's the sort of municipal planting that went out of fashion years ago but with the sun bouncing off the azure coloured sea and stalls selling buckets and spades it's the perfect combination.
There's a riot of colour from purple petunias... bright red salvias.
Bees are given treat with a planting of lavender.
This cheerful display isn't the only reason why I was happy to see all these flowers. I've long believed in the 'Broken windows' theory. If one business closes and the shop is left empty soon mail piles up. Another shop closes and soon shoppers are put off leaving yet more businesses to flounder. Before long the streets are full of litter and weeds are growing up through the cracks. Everybody knows how hard it is for seaside towns to flourish with such cyclical trade and the vagaries of the English weather. Yet I'm happy to report that on Saturday Ryde was bustling with shoppers and day trippers like us. Hats off to you Isle of Wight Council. With so many budget cuts it can't be an easy decision to keep the flower displays in place but that investment is bringing people in and we were happy to spend our cash in local businesses.



  1. I've noticed how good their planting always seems to be. It does make a difference. I'm sure you're right about it helping to stop the tide of empty shops and becoming a no-go area. Villages around us, seem to be banding together and planting up communal areas, rather than waiting for the council. Good to see. #HDYGG

  2. looks awesome! loving all the bright colors

  3. It always makes such a difference when a town, village or even city makes an effort to fill areas with flower and cared for nature. You're so right that this feeling of an area being loved and tended will also bring in the shoppers.

  4. I totally agree - big kudos the IOW Council. Such public displays of floral can only improve the mood of everyone living and visiting there and making people want to spend more time there can only be good for business! This is such a pretty and positive post my Jibbery Jabbery friend - thanks for joining in and brightening our day! x

  5. It's great to see such bright and cheerful flowers - that multi-tiered one I'm sure defies the laws of gravity. It's been many years since I've been to the IoW - or the Isle of Widget as we convinced my niece it was called before she went on a school trip. Strange thing is now she's working there xx #hdygg

  6. i do love new adventures and just nipping somewhere, the photos of the flowers are stunning, the colours are so bright


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