There are countless examples locally of individuals and small groups giving freely of their time to enhance their immediate environment.
The Royal Horticultural Society is aware that this is happening throughout the United Kingdom, and by way of recognising those voluntary efforts, has set up an It’s Your Neighbourhood awards system.
This is coordinated by regional in-bloom organisations such as Northumbria.
It could be Scouts or Guides clearing an area and planting bulbs, residents improving their street or parishioners tidying the churchyard.
If you know of any person or group working voluntarily to improve their neighbourhood, why not contact Northumbria in Bloom – www.northumbriainbloom.co.uk – and nominate them for an award.
Better still, join them and see what satisfaction it brings.
Northumbria in Bloom has offered so much by way of encouragement for half-a-century, but entering competitions is not everyone’s cup of tea, indeed the majority of people interested in plants don’t even consider it.
But the important thing surely is taking a pride in the appearance of your own patch or joining others in improving the neighbourhood with plantings.
Consider a few sustainable perennial types that will flower or offer colourful foliage and demand little by way of maintenance.
Introduce a range of bulbs for eye-catching late winter-spring display.
And, of course, you must have an element of cheerful traditional bedding to mark spring and summer.
This is such an exciting time of year, because the garden centres are stocking up on the appropriate plants and we are raring to go!