Community attends launch of planet-themed garden

Representatives from Dacorum Borough Counci, Sunnyside Rural Trust and residents gathering in the new garden

A pilot community project to create a biodiverse, sensory garden in Hemel Hempstead has been completed.

The initiative between us and Sunnyside Rural Trust, supported by the Housing Operations Service Tenant Improvement Panel, has transformed the Council-owned site off Redbourn Road, Highfield into a circular garden. The garden is planet and space themed to link into the road names in the area which include Saturn Way, Jupiter Drive and Martian Avenue. There are now paths, a pergola, seating, wildflower planting and seasonal perennial beds.  

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, with input and engagement from tenants and leaseholders.

Sunnyside Rural Trust, a charity which supports young people and adults with learning disabilities, designed and created the garden.

Cllr Simy Dhyani, our Portfolio Holder for Housing and Property Services, went to the site along with residents and representatives from our Housing Service and Sunnyside Rural Trust.

Cllr Dhyani said: “It’s wonderful to see how the site has been developed by Sunnyside and we look forward to the spring as the planting blooms and transforms this space for residents to enjoy.  I’ve had the opportunity to talk to residents, including young children, with representatives from our Housing and Property Service about the project and have had such positive feedback.

"We are identifying opportunities on further sites across the borough and look forward to creating more themed gardens.”

Keely Siddiqui Charlick, CEO of Sunnyside Rural Trust, said: “To see our drawing come to life is as exciting for us as the residents. It has been so rewarding for our team of people with learning disabilities to engage with local residents to deliver a creative, sustainable and tranquil garden. A big thanks to the residents for the refreshments and encouragement!

"We look forward to the final stage of the colourful planting in late spring to bring this to life. To all those involved in the design, funding, consultations and delivery, thank you for your faith in us and embracing partnership.”