As I indicated at the end of my last progress report on the Orchard Garden in early summer we have now ‘signed off’ on that particular gardening project. Mary Toomey has been training Botanic Garden students during the summer months in the Orchard Garden. They have been getting great experience in all aspects of maintaining a large walled garden. The students will continue their involvement in the Garden.

There has also been a small government grant obtained which will pay for some autumn and spring maintenance. Hopefully in the future the Alzheimer Society will be in a position to provide funding for a part time paid gardener as well.

All those of us who participated felt really privileged to have been able to work on such a worthwhile project, particularly as we were there from it very early stages of development. It is hard to believe when one walks through the grounds now how so much of it was an overgrown wilderness. There were very many people involved in the development of this beautiful outdoor space for the service users and their families. It good to know that we were an integral part of that group and played our part by initially clearing, digging, weeding planting and then helping to maintain the garden for several years, Great credit is due to Mary Toomey who had a vision and who has worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. She is now putting in measures to ensure that it remains at this high standard.

So we are now considering other projects to get involved in. We feel it is an important element of the Foxrock & District Garden Club that we participate in some way in the community. We would love to use our combined gardening skills to help make a beautiful outdoor space for some group of people. It may be planting up window boxes or something a little more ambitious. We will take our time over the winter and explore various options.

Emer Torpey 3rd October 2014