Planet-themed community garden will be out of this world

Councillor Simy Dhyani (holding spade) is joined by members of our Housing Service and representatives from Sunnyside Rural Trust at the site of the new community garden

We're working with Sunnyside Rural Trust to transform a plot of amenity land in Hemel Hempstead into a biodiverse, sensory garden.

The Council-owned site off Redbourn Road, Highfield, will be turned into a circular garden with paths, seating, wildflower planting and seasonal perennial beds. It will be planet and space themed to link into the road names in the area, which include Saturn Way, Jupiter Drive and Martian Avenue.

The scheme is part of our Housing Transformation and Improvement Project. We are reviewing all our housing green spaces and looking to identify further sites to develop in the borough.

Cllr Simy Dhyani, our Portfolio Holder for Housing and Property Services, went to the site on Monday 30 October, along with Council and Sunnyside Rural Trust representatives.

Cllr Dhyani said: “Our aim is to create a wonderful amenity space for local residents to enjoy the creative and first-of-its-kind, planet-themed landscape in town. We are identifying further sites across the borough and look forward to creating more themed gardens across Dacorum. It was lovely to visit the area and do the first dig at the site before the work begins. I am looking forward to seeing it completed in November.”

Keely Siddiqui Charlick, CEO of Sunnyside Rural Trust, said “We are so grateful to the Council for putting their faith in us to design and create the planet garden. To see our team beautifying our community and challenging the perception of what people with learning disabilities can do, is amazing. We hope the residents and wider community enjoy it for many years.”

Sunnyside supports young people and adults with learning disabilities to build their confidence, independence and find work. The charity has been growing the Council’s bedding plants since 2012.