On a usually unremarkable verge, a group of volunteers got their hands dirty for the love of Floriade on Sunday.
The Weston Creek residents were one of several groups who collected their bulbs this week, part of initial efforts to start planting ahead of the spring festival.
This year, Floriade will celebrate its 34th year with the return of a huge display in Commonwealth Park, alongside popup flower gardens across the city.
The Weston Creek Community Council have put their collective hands up to transform the corner of Streeton Drive and Darwinia Terrace in Chapman.
Taking part for the second time, the council has twice the flower power as it had last year, with volunteers planting 4000 bulbs in the raised garden beds they shovelled in on Saturday.
Come spring, the busy intersection on the edge of Rivett will contain 12 different garden beds for passers-by to enjoy, the students of Chapman Primary School up the road and neighbouring government housing for the elderly among them.
Part of Floriade Community, the initiative was introduced last year as part of Floriade: Reimagined, a way of hosting Canberra's nationally renowned flower festival in the time of the pandemic.
Reimagined saw more than 80 community groups plant bulbs and annuals to help create a tulip trail through Canberra's suburbs last year.
Following the success of the modified event's inaugural year, an additional 300,000 bulbs and annuals have been made available for the community to plant in 2021.
Weston Creek Community Council's Simone Hunter said their garden was an example of government, business and the public coming together to fund, donate and orchestrate.
ACT government put up money for the plants. The community group did the labour. The Council paid for the garden beds. Cooleman Court provided the gloves and ACT Liberal MLA Giulia Jones gave up her old election post stakes, Ms Hunter said.
"We're drawing on the resources we've got within the community to put together something really special that means a lot to everyone in this area. We have people who walk past everyday who just absolutely love this site."
Ms Hunter said the coronavirus pandemic had kept us home and made us care more about our backyards and Floriade Community helped ensure that sense of sovereignty was ongoing.
"It's all about getting the community together to participate and connect with one another," she said.
To rediscover old connections and to make new connections and basically just work on a project together that keeps us busy and in contact over the winter months, with a wonderful result for the broader community come Spring."
A team of around 50 people will take turns tending to the gardens over winter, though weeding is not restricted to Western Creek Community Council members, Ms Hunter said.
Connecting through a "bush telephone" service, the volunteers from Chapman, Rivett, Stirling and surrounds will be part of a network across Canberra sharing the labor of the flower beds over the next few months.
Ms Hunter said the return of the festival to Commonwealth Park was an important get for the events community and the city as a whole, with Floriade contributing more than $44 million to the ACT visitor economy in 2019.
The way she saw it, Floriade Reimagined was here to stay alongside it.
"In some form, these community events are the way of the future," she said.
- Floriade runs from September 11 to October 10.
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