Partnerships

Nextdoor teams up with Grow Wild to help transform neighbourhood spaces and change lives with UK native wildflowers

Written by Roisin O'Neill

Nextdoor is excited to partner with Grow Wild. Grow Wild connects people with nature and each other by sharing native plants and fungi, transforming spaces and changing lives across the UK.

We caught up with Hannah Kowszun, Grow Wild’s Communications Manager, who shares her own experience of growing wildflowers where she lives.

 

I admit, I am enthusiastic but clueless about plants. I have three on my windowsill, but can’t remember what they’re called. I really want to know about plants though. I want to go on walks and say, “What a beautiful White Campion” knowing that what I’m pointing at is, in fact, a White Campion.

 

In case you’re wondering, this is what a White Campion is, it’s the pretty white flower in the image above!

Anyway, now that I’m working for Kew Gardens on their outreach programme, Grow Wild, I feel like this is my chance.

We have a campaign running at the moment for people to transform a shared urban or unloved space with wildflowers. The idea is that by finding a shared space, and roping in people to help, there’s a chance to learn more about plants, have fun and create a pocket of wildflower beauty that everyone who walks past can enjoy.

I’m a member of the Elthorne Park neighbourhood on Nextdoor, and 100m from my flat is Caxton House, a community centre with a patch of slightly unkempt green and brown. You can see it on Google Street View here. I called the other day to ask whether I might work with them to use a Grow Wild seed kit to sow wildflower seeds this Spring; after some initial confusion over what I was asking they said yes: my Grow Wild adventure begins!

Seed kits aren’t just for neighbourhoods though, they can also bring the joys of nature to a workplace.

Last year Glen, a paramedic practitioner for the Yorkshire ambulance service, applied for a seed kit to transform an unused grass verge surrounding the ambulance station into a wildflower garden.

His hope? “I just thought, why not? The area is perfect for it, it may help improve staff morale and welfare, it may help our native wildlife which I’m very passionate about and it will most definitely enhance the area around the station.”

Here’s what it looked like before…

And here’s how it looked a few months later – a beautiful transformation!

Glen and his team found there was a lot of local passion for the project: his colleagues volunteered their time and local businesses donated supplies, including 300 hedge plants from a nearby garden centre.

A transformation doesn’t have to be this big though – simple pots, tubs and wooden planters can easily turn a dull concreted area into a beautiful floral masterpiece.

Grow Wild supplies the seeds and the guidance, to help you with your transformation project from Spring, to Autumn and beyond.

I’m excited because the team at Caxton House are going to help me, I won’t be doing it alone. And come Summer, every time I see someone walk past our wildflower, I will hope it’s put a smile on their face.

Apply for your free Grow Wild seed kit today! (hurry – deadline for applications is Sunday 11 March).

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