Photo of green space within the Phoenix Community Housing area
Photo of Mary Heelan at the Farmstead Road community garden, owned by Phoenix Community Housing
Mary Heelan
Friday 1st November 2019 - 11:23

Taking pride in our community

Mary Heelan has been gardening her whole life and has turned that passion into a way of fighting flytipping near her home.

After Phoenix cleared two bramble-covered flower beds that were a flytipping trouble spot next to her home, Mary was inspired to make a difference.

In February, Mary decided that she would adopt the two small plots and turn them into the fantastic flower garden they are today.

“I thought that if the area looked beautiful that it would be respected,” said Mary. “It worked. Since I started planting, we haven’t had a single incident of flytipping.”

Mary’s family and neighbours have been helping too.

“My mum and sisters come around to help and my neighbours have been donating plants and money to help keep the bed going. It’s really brought us all together.”

Mary has plans to develop the plot even further.

“The bed used to be full of roses andIwant to bring them back. I want everyone to smell the roses as they walk past. I’m also hoping for the bed to develop enough that I’ll be able to give cuttings to help other community gardens

If you want to start your own community garden here are our top tips:

  • Don’t take too much on all at once. Build up steadily.
  • Tell us where you’re planting so we don’t schedule any changes for that plot of land
  • Get your neighbours involved. They may able to help with planting or donations.
  • Take photos of the area as it is now - then you can enter next year’s ‘Most Improved’ category in Phoenix in Bloom!