Locals plant bulbs for a spring celebration

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Bulbs go in for spring in Downer. Photo: Paul Costigan

“Good things do happen in this city,” writes “Canberra Matters” columnist PAUL COSTIGAN in praise of the local enthusiasm for the citywide planting of spring bulbs intended for the now-cancelled Floriade. 

ON Friday, while calling into Gang Gang in Downer to have some takeaway coffee and snacks, I ran into Miles Boak, the Downer Community Association president. 

Paul Costigan.

Miles had some good news about what was about to happen at the Downer Community Square.

By the time you read this, members of the Downer Community Association will have gathered at the gardens near the Gang Gang café and put in place something special that will appear this spring.

A little while ago the Downer Community Association put up its hand to participate in “Floriade Reimagined. This has come about because Floriade as we know it has been cancelled, but someone had the brilliant idea to distribute the flowers throughout the city – and create a city-wide spring celebration.

Many community groups are out there planting the Floriade bulbs and annuals ready for the coming “Floriade Reimaged” in September and October.

There’s a list online of the groups and organisations involved (here). 

Volunteers prepare a bed for “Floriade Reimagined” in Downer. Photo: Paul Costigan

A band of Downer members gathered early on Sunday to get the bulbs into the ground so that they will be in flower for the spring. They had to get 300 bulbs and 400 annuals planted into their specially prepared flower beds. It was a busy morning.

When you look at the map of where the flowers will be springing into life – here – Floriade 2020 will be something to remember. You will be able to enjoy the flowers while visiting your local shops, such as Gang Gang in Downer.

With the doubts about whether large gatherings will still not be allowed later this year, the flower festival will be popping up all over the city to be enjoyed often as you move around. Good things do happen in this city. 

The other benefit is that there is a good chance that the bulbs should survive to re-appear in the years to come.

Thanks to the Downer Community Association for putting in the time and effort for something for all of us. 

There will be even more reasons to get along to Downer community centre and visit Gang Gang café as well as the other local businesses.

With the bulbs flowering in spring, this could be a city-wide celebration of how lucky we are to be in Canberra. Hopefully, the pandemic will be under control enough for these celebrations to happen. Fingers crossed.

Stay safe – we are not there yet.

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