With Canberra’s famous Floriade making new arrangements for 2020, Tuggeranong Uniting Church are among those chosen to display flowers.
Rev. Elizaebeth Raine is Minister of the Word at Tuggeranong. She told Insights that the event would provide a symbol of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The congregation are quite excited by the news. They have reacted with great enthusiasm, as for them this will provide a lovely symbol of hope that can be shared with the community,” Rev. Raine said.
“About a month ago, one of our gardening members distributed sweet pea seeds to every member, hand delivering them with cards containing messages of hope. The joy this act of kindness caused was immense. People brought their seedlings to Zoom church to show others, and the potent symbol of seeds and green shoots, coupled with the promise of flowers in the spring and the kind words, buoyed the congregation’s spirits immensely.
The congregation at Tuggeranong want the Floriade flowers to share their feeling of hope and joy. One of the flower beds will be in the design of a dove.
“Tuggeranong is situated opposite a shopping centre and bus station on a well-used road,” Rev. Raine said.
“The flowers will be visible along the front of the church grounds from the road. The congregation is quite excited that they were chosen as one of the places to receive bulbs and flowers.
“The building and grounds are well situated for this purpose, and the congregation hope people will visit to see the flowers and also read the two new banners we put up with messages of hope to the community. Being included in the dispersed Floriade helps them with one of their mission goals, which is to bring good news to their community.”
COVID-19 means that the 2020 Floriade will be somewhat dispersed. Normally bulbs are mass planted in one spot, and thousands of visitors make their way to Canberra to see the themed display.
With restrictions in place to prevent crowding, the ACT government has decided to instead spread the flowers across Canberra, so that people can drive around the city and see the flowers blooming across the city in different areas.
Community centres and churches were invited to apply for an allocation of bulbs.
“The criteria was that the beds needed to be visible from the road, that it was a public place with nearby transport, that there were sufficient volunteers to plant and care for them, that they needed to be planted by the end of May,” Rev. Raine said.
Yarralumba Uniting Church are among the other community groups that will also be a part of this year’s Floraide festivities.
Floriade 2020 runs from 12 September to 11 October in Canberra.
Image credit: Brenden Ashton