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Spring planting to brighten your community

A burst of colour and fragrance can make such a difference to your community, especially after a long, dark winter. Here's some spring planting ideas to bring some joy to your community.

Spring planting

Our experts at Eden have put together their favourite things to plant over the spring.


Easy edible plants

These summer salad vegetables are super easy to grow – why not prepare them ready for a Big Lunch?

  • Peas – plant peas between March and September (there are a huge variety of peas to choose from to suit your space!)
  • Salad leaves/lettuce – perfect for containers or windowsills
  • Radishes – these are tiny little plants and great for sowing where you don’t have much space
  • Chard – chard has a very long season so you can harvest repeatedly all summer
Hardy annuals

These plants need planting each year and bring amazing bursts of colour to your community space. They’re hardy, which means you can plant them earlier in the year – they may just want a bit of protection from frosts.

  • Sweet Peas are colourful & fragrant climbing plants
  • Poppies, Cornflowers and Love in a mist (nigella damascena) are all excellent for insects and pollinators
  • Pot Marigold (calendula officinalis) and nasturtium (tropaeolum majus) will add bright reds, yellows and oranges to your space
  • Sunflowers (helianthus annuus), which can range from the enormous competition winning giants to short, multi-headed plants suitable for cut flowers

Flowers for summer

Plant these flowers in spring ready for colour come the summer months. It won’t just be your community that thanks you – bees and butterflies will be thrilled too!

  • Geranium
  • Geum
  • Rudbeckia fulgida deamii (quite a mouthful but a very good plant)
  • Echinacea
  • Campanula

Did you know?

Every part of the sunflower plant is edible!

You can dry sunflower heads and extract the sunflower seeds from them as a brilliant source of antioxidants and vitamin E.

You can also pick the young sunflower buds (before they’ve flowered) – blanch them and serve with garlic butter for a tasty alternative to artichokes!

The experts at Eden share their tips

We’d love to see your efforts!

Take a before and after photo to send to us and we may feature them in a ‘neighbourhood glow-up’ series next year.

Top tips from community gardener Kathryn

One plant pot was our starting point – a sign that we’d already begun creating a garden, and an invitation to others to get involved.

Start with what you have

You don’t need fancy planters, raised beds or a collection of tools to get started. You need something to hold soil (tyres, old furniture, or a bag for life will do), a growing medium (might a neighbour have a compost heap you could dig from?), and something to grow (seeds are cheap, cuttings are free, and you’ll often find spare seedlings looking for a home in late spring). 

Ask for help

I popped a note through my neighbours’ doors, asking for their permission to grow on our shared space, and for their help to do so.

Kathryn Welch holding a sign that says 'someone should do something'


Find all the freebies you can

Gumtree’s freebies page, Facebook marketplace, Freecycle, and our local Tool Library all proved to be invaluable sources of free materials for the garden. Our garden backs onto a road, so putting up handmade signs (‘We need plant pots! Do you have any spare we could have?’) often meant I arrived at the garden to find a pile of new donations. 


It was important to me that the garden belonged to everyone. That meant lots of signs inviting people to come in, cut herbs, pick vegetables etc., an ‘open gate’ policy that trusted people not to ruin what we’d created, and a regular practice of giving away anything surplus we had to share. Once, a little girl I’d never met gave me a tour of ‘her’ garden, which felt like the ultimate marker of shared ownership.

Make a start

You don’t need to have all the answers, or be granted formal permission, or constitute a group, or secure funding. Some of those things may come in time (or they might not), but to begin, you just need one plant, one pot, one conversation. Make a start, learn as you go, invite others to join you. And enjoy it – some of my happiest times have been spent in the garden, chatting to new friends, making beauty where before there were only bins.

Listen to these tips instead:

A planter outside a pub filled with bright flowers

Working with Punch Pubs to create ‘Pollinator Pubs’

We’ve teamed up with Punch Pubs to help them make their pubs a haven for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Participating pubs received wildflower seeds, crocus bulbs and a planting guide to help spruce up their spaces. We’re loving the results!

If your business would be interested in something similar, get in touch with our Head of Partnerships.