Canberra community unites to help plant Floriade: Reimagined

In May 2020, it was head down and shovels up as the Canberra community began the process of planting out Floriade bulbs and annuals across the city.

When Floriade was cancelled due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the decision as to what to do with the bulbs was easy: plant them out across Canberra.

Floriade: Reimagined community bulbs and handbook.
Floriade: Reimagined community bulbs and handbook.

Following an application process, community groups and organisations were allocated a portion of the bulbs and annuals that normally would have filled Commonwealth Park in a patchwork of colour from mid-September.

Some 88 groups, ranging from preschools to neighbours wanting to beautify their local parks through to national attractions, became the recipients of parcels of the 182,000 stunning bulbs and 225,000 annuals.

These plantings helped to supplement Floriade: Reimagined’s professional horticulture team’s massed plantings across the city, comprising about two thirds of the annual total bulb and annual allocation.

Floriade: Reimagined head gardener Andrew Forster was on hand to provide guidance and instruction on planting and maintaining the bulbs and annuals through to spring.

Floriade: Reimagined head gardener Andrew Forster watering bulbs.

Recipients of one of the larger orders was Lyn and John Anderson of Gold Creek. It was a family affair when planting the bulbs around Gold Creek.

Lyn praised the decision to give a portion of the pre-ordered bulbs to the Canberra community.

“It’s fabulous, just fabulous,” Lynn said.

The well-known Dahlia grower in Canberra’s north said the decision had generated lots of discussion in what was a difficult time.

John Anderson of the Gold Creek Floriade: Reimagined community garden.
John Anderson of the Gold Creek Floriade: Reimagined community garden.

“Something good has become of a bad situation,” she said.

“You know what, people are talking about it and saying that it’s kind of bringing the community together and we’re sharing this beautiful thing together,” she said.

“I think it will be very, very popular and very well received.”

Discover the community plantings, the heart and soul of the tulip trail.

Remember, it is everyone’s responsibility to follow the health advice and do what we can to ensure we keep ourselves and the community safe. All Floriade fans are asked to avoid large crowds, keep 1.5m apart whenever possible, maintain good hand and respiratory hygiene, stay home if unwell and get tested if any COVID-19 symptoms are experienced.

A Public Health Emergency has been declared in the ACT in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

The traditional Floriade festival in Commonwealth Park is not proceeding. Learn how the festival has been reimagined this year. Read more.