a Wildflower Adventure with a Roundabout

How an idea became a community project

I thought it would be nice to see the roundabout covered in wildflowers so I reached out on a community Facebook page to see if it would be a popular idea and if anyone knew where to start.

The roundabout is prominent for us as residents, but also the thousands who pass on the way to Addenbrooke’s and the Biomedical Campus.

I went through the comments on the Facebook post and reached out to those who had given useful advice.

That single post got the ball rolling and I had lots of messages from those who wanted to be involved or giving me pointers as to who I needed to contact as well as others just agreeing it was a good idea.

Fellow resident Lauren was one of the first to reply to say that she also thought it was a good idea and she was keen to be involved.

Lauren and I built a good relationship from the very start – talking regularly on WhatsApp and sending emails to as many people who we thought could not only help us, but grant access for us to be able plant the wildflower garden. I take my hat off to Lauren – she was relentless in her search for who had the power to let us plant on the roundabout!

Lauren and I were complete strangers prior to my Facebook post but now we are friends who bonded over a roundabout.

We work well together and had the same vision for the roundabout so it was a pleasure to work with Lauren.

We shared the workload and kept one another updated with the progress.

I don’t think that anyone except Lauren and I will ever know how much time and effort it has taken for this project to take place!

JC, of County, and GB, of City Council, were instrumental and we managed to build a strong relationship that helped to ensure the community project could proceed.

We have also been introduced to a local community group On the Verge – their purpose is to brighten the areas around Cambridge with a pop of wildflowers.

Meeting Ben and Jo from On the Verge helped the project immensely. I joked that what the Wildflower Group lacked in knowledge we made up for in enthusiasm!

I am very proud of this community project. Lots of people were involved, and not just those who people saw on the roundabout on the day.

A local farmer managed to clear the area for us ready for our day of planting. The preparation of the roundabout was just one job too big for us as a small group, whereas the farmer had the machinery to clear the area in a day or two.

Another volunteer managed to collect a haul of seeds from local residents, Scotsdales have been very generous in donating a number of Lavender and Dogwood and Waitrose offered to provide a lunch for those who volunteered.

The florist, Peter Graves Florist, from Cambridge Market was very kind with donating lots of bright plants – violas and daffodils give the roundabout a pop of colour while we wait for the seeds to flourish.

My heart was full by the end of the day. I hope the community spirit continues. Lauren and I have already talked about other events we could organise to help keep the roundabout looking colourful all year as well as combining the enthusiasm of the Wildflower volunteers and the Community Garden just a few hundred metres away.

I highly recommend that people share their ideas for a better community – that is quite simply all I did, and am very proud of what the community managed to achieve.

The Adventure Continues

By J. Smith

If you have a community project idea or concept that will bring the community together do contact and if possible we will point you to some helpful likeminded people.