Apart from a few welcomed showers between the rays, this past month has truly been a gardener’s dream.
At the community gardens we have had a great time growing and harvesting all the wonders nature has to offer.
In St Conal’s, Letterkenny, the garden has been transformed into a grower’s paradise, with the garden committee redoing paths and fixing up the summer house. Early last month we enjoyed a garden party on a glorious day, with food and music.
This is, after all, a month when you start to reap what you sow.
Last month we had a visit to Glenveagh with the Cara House group, who were delighted to tour the gardens with head gardener Seán Ó Gaoithín and see such an array of plants and vegetables, like Gortahork cabbage and the fabulous Matt Armour dahlias.
In Dunfanaghy community gardens, we wrapped up the summer programme in preparation for autumn but there was work to do. A a week after clearing out the compost bin, making news beds and sowing late-summer salads, we planted over 100 late-fruiting strawberry plants into hanging baskets. They will be put up around town for a bit of late-summer fruit from Dunfanaghy resource centre gardeners. New sessions start at 10am, Monday, Sept. 1st, when an eight-week programme will show how to store your harvest, build a cold frame and carve a pumpkin. New new and familiar faces welcome.
Gardin Pobail, Falcarragh, had a quiet month, taking time to enjoy the garden, making sure plants were well fed and watered and that weeds were kept at bay. The medicinal Farmacy garden is flourishing with camomile, St John’s wort, valerian and more.
The garden at Ionad Naoimh Pádraig has undergone a transformation with the help of community gardeners, Fetac level five students and children from the school next door. This garden brings people together to learn new skills, relax and have fun, everything a community garden should be. This month we organised a spelt bread-making workshop after the garden class, where we made gluten-free scones, pizza and fairy cakes. While encouraging healthy eating at the gardens, sometime you have to let loose!
If you’re interested in coming to the community gardens for social garden enjoyment, contact me on 0861789971 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, keep an eye on the Donegal Democrat for the getinvolved.ie ‘community feeding community’, project. You can contact me for more information.
Joanne is a gardener based in Cashel Na gCorr, near Gort an Choirce. She writes a monthly column for the Democrat on the community gardens she facilitates.