Our Club’s outreach activity is focused on the Orchard Day Care Centre Garden, at the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Temple Road Blackrock, where our dedicated volunteers are helping to create and maintain a peaceful garden environment for the users of the centre.
It has been a busy few months in the garden, but as every gardener knows nature takes it into her head that it is time for everything that grows, crawls or flies to take off in a hurry and then you just have to try to catch up! Various splendid new structures have been erected and trees planted as well. Mary Toomey has described all of these in a separate article so I will concentrate on the Foxrock and District Garden Club volunteers’ activities here.
As usual we met on Wednesdays, unless weather was horrific. I remember Helen Dillon in one of her articles describing her progress down the garden meaning to do one job and then being distracted by 20 other tasks demanding her immediate attention! We tried to counteract that propensity by deciding who should do what and trying to stick to it. Of course half the fun of gardening with other enthusiasts is that we can ask each other for advice, is such-and-such a weed, or a rare treasure? We can call each other’s attention to a shrub with the first blossoms appearing, proudly show off an uprooted dandelion that was trying to get to Australia or make that welcome announcement that coffee was ready!
We had a deadline to work towards as we were having an Open Day with a plant, cake sale and a raffle on May 17th. We potted up lots of plants from the previous autumn and had a good collection ready. We also appealed to the members of the club for plants and cakes and we got a great response. I must mention here one particular club member, Peter Lynch who grew and beautifully potted up about sixty primulas and lilies. They were all labelled with colour pictures of the plants and advice for after care. Needless to say they vanished like snow in summer. Mary Toomey had ordered clematis plants from Japan which she had potted up and clematis enthusiasts made straight for them.
The garden looked splendid and really repaid our and the other garden volunteers’ hard work. Not a weed in sight (well, very few anyway). The weather was beautiful, lots of people turned up including very many club members. Everyone loved the garden and stayed for ages, which is the best compliment.
As we had such an amount of plants we ended up with some left over, so I am holding a plant sale at my house on the 28th June from 2 to 5pm. Details on the Website. Peter has given us about 50 beautiful dahlias and has promised about 30 more plants. It would be great to sell all of the plants.
Apropos the maintenance, namely the summer work in the garden, Mary has said our services are not required over the next few months. She is training two students and is giving them instruction in the ongoing care of a walled garden with mixed planting. All that is required of the Club volunteers is to carry out watering duties during the summer months. We will review the situation in September. Whatever transpires we have helped over the last three years to create a beautiful space for all those who use the garden. We hope that it gives them pleasure and contributes to their health and wellbeing.
Hope you enjoy these images of the garden taken during spring and early summer
Emer Torpey June 19th 2014