Helen’s road looked like any other, until a group effort from over 30 neighbours turned it into a vibrant garden by sponsoring 10 new trees, and planting an array of flowers in each tree pit.
It was a drizzly August afternoon when we went to meet Helen and her neighbours to see what Rosebery Gardens looked like now the new trees were all in leaf. We were hoping to be met with a sea of green, but we weren’t expecting the rainbow of colours! The moment we turned the corner – we were in tree pit heaven.
We met a few of the 30+ neighbours who pitched in to fund the new trees, including the gardeners behind the tree pits – Carol and Alan, who had already made a few around mature trees and were more than happy to have more to add to.
“It wouldn’t have happened without Helen,” Alan told us, “she made everything come together.”
Helen brushes off the compliment, “I just sent some emails.”
The loss of one tree
The project started when a particularly beautiful mature cherry outside Helen’s property had to be removed due to root damage. When it was gone, she began noticing all the other empty tree pits in the street. She wrote to the Neighbourhood Watch via email and learnt there was interest to add more trees. Then when she saw the Trees for Streets sponsorship scheme, she got rallying.
“Once I had number of interested sponsors and possible number of trees, I did the sums and everyone was ok with the amount. As more people came on board the individual cost kept dropping and ended up being pretty reasonable between us all.”
How we helped
Helen reached out to us in July 2022 and told us she was keen to get as many neighbours involved as possible. We met with Helen and a few neighbours, some of whom had been living in the area for over twenty years and were also feeling sentimental about the loss of the cherry blossoms.
Lizzie, our Council & Local Engagement manager, is thrilled with the outcome of Rosebery Gardens.
“It’s been incredibly rewarding to facilitate this project, and work closely with the residents to make it happen. We have a few bumps in the road (or should we say, stumps, in the road!) but once they were removed, we were able to fill the street with trees.”
Bringing neighbours together
With over 30 neighbours involved, a real community has blossomed on this street. They even had a garden party to celebrate the planting of the trees, and everyone was able to put names to faces.
We asked Helen what the general feeling was now the trees were in place; “I think it has renewed people’s love of where they live. It gives a common interest to chat about when out and about. Personally I smile every time I see them when walking along the street!”
A common interest
The whole street is looking forward to spring, when the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom and no doubt Carol and Alan will have planted some spring bulb surprises! Greenery provides year-round interest, and these trees will provide a myriad of benefits to the street for many years to come.
Rosebery Gardens has now become known as one of the prettiest streets in the area – and definitely lives up to its namesake as a garden.
Green your street
We’re always supporting neighbourhoods and groups who are looking to green up their entire street. Whether it’s through their own fundraising methods, or using our crowdfunding service, communities across the UK are feeling empowered to make a real difference where they live.
If you’re interested in getting started, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org