We may still be wearing jumpers to work but over the past few weeks there has been a definite whisper of spring in the air. To celebrate, a series of colourful pop-up gardens have been installed across the city.

Every spring the City of Sydney delivers colourful floral displays all over town as part of its Living Colour campaign. This year 12 trees and more than 24,000 plants have been placed across the city.

Martin Place and St Mary’s Cathedral forecourt are home to lush green displays of magnolia and acer, or “October glory” trees. The cathedral’s forecourt also has a floral pyramid with layers in shades of purple, yellow, orange and red.

Botanical displays have also sprouted up along Castlereagh and Alfred streets, outside Customs House at Circular Quay, in Springfield Gardens at Potts Point, outside Green Square Library, at the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre at Ultimo, and at Taylor Square at the junction of Oxford and Flinders streets.

Some of the species featured are delphinium, poppy, snapdragon, aquilegia and foxgloves, while herbal varieties include chocolate mint, ornamental kale, golden sage and silver thyme. All of them have been grown free from chemicals and pesticides. Innovative growing and watering techniques (compared to traditional overhead watering) mean the amount of water needed to sustain the plantings will be decreased by up to 25 per cent.

In November, when the campaign ends, the plants and trees will be given to schools, community groups, neighbourhood centres and community gardens to be planted in verges and flower beds.

City of Sydney’s Living Colour displays run until November 3.