Spring and Summer 2022
Our dedicated gardeners have been particularly busy over the past six months. The following is an overview of their achievements.
Several existing flower beds have been extended outside schools and in other public spaces around our town.
Our garden outside Coláiste Choilm, in particular, has been greatly extended and replanted between April and August.
New planters have been added to those outside the garda station and to the centre strip on Main Street. We are grateful to the sponsors, who have come on board with this project. A little plaque, acknowledging their generosity has been attached to each one.
Our existing garden near St Colmcille’s Well has also been extended, adding even more colour to this area.
Hanging baskets, containing flowers grown in our polytunnel, bring a wonderful display of colour to Main Street. Fingal County Council are also a major contributor to this display, providing their own flowers and maintaining them.
This year STT and FCC were the joint winners of the Fingal Horticultural Society’s annual Business Frontage Floral Award.
Our team has successfully planted a wildflower patch along the banks of the River Ward. They ensured that only native Irish seeds were used.
STT has supported the “No Mow in May” initiative in public places and in our own home gardens.
The two heatwaves from this summer season have been challenging for our gardening team, who’ve had to put in many extra hours of work. Besides the usual weeding and dead-heading, members have had to turn out more frequently in the heat to ensure that our plants were watered. Our water butts around the town captured rain water for use on our plants.
A new trolley for transporting water has proved to be very useful this summer.
To avoid using poisonous chemicals, our hardy “Weed Warriors” have spent many hours weeding by hand the STT gardens areas, and other areas of Swords.
At our polytunnel our master composter, Ramune, has been overseeing our composting beds and leaf mould cages.
New recruit, Darren, is a wonderful addition to our team at the polytunnel. Over the past few months he has been developing his gardening skills with Rose and Alla as mentors. His enthusiasm and hard work is much appreciated.
Growing, planting and maintaining flower beds, planters and hanging baskets have become a major part of the work of STT. Since 2016, our new polytunnel has been managed by two green-fingered members, Mary Maxwell and Rose Brennan. They choose the appropriate plug plants and plant them at the polytunnel, where they are looked after by Rose and TUS workers. They also use cuttings from the hanging baskets at the end of summer, and grow new flowers for displays around the town for the following summer. This ensures that we have sustainable and affordable plants to create a colourful display about the town in all seasons. They create hanging baskets, which are sold to local businesses to enhance their premises.
Our gardeners have attended workshops about biodiversity, and incorporate pollinator plants in our flower beds. Our chairman Ken Duffy and member George Mongey have made signs for pollinator plants from recycled materials. They put these signs up at flower beds about the town. This gives passers by the chance to see which successful pollinators they could plant in their own gardens.
Open Day 2019
We held a family-friendly open day at the polytunnel on May 4 this year, as part of the Big Hello (National Community Weekend). Besides fun activities for the children such as face-painting, we also strived to give members of the community ideas about sustainable gardening, which they could apply to their own gardens. A small biodiversity survey was held on the day, and visitors were given a leaflet about suitable pollinator plants. Advice was shared about composting, recycling and chemical-free gardening, all of which are put into practice at our polytunnel.
Ongoing projects include work at the local garda station, which STT began back in 2015. The first planters were provided by Fingal County Council, and the planting was done by us. This year we planted nasturtiums, sunflowers and bee-friendly plants there. Eight hanging baskets from our polytunnel were hung up around the station.
We continue to do planting and maintenance of our adopted patches outside St Colmcille’s School on Chapel Lane, outside Colaiste Choilm and the area opposite the entrance to Lidl on the Dublin Road. Regular maintenance is also done by our members near the Lord Mayors, on North Street and at Morton and Flanagan on Main Street. In summer our planters and hanging baskets and those of FCC provide a riot of colour on our main streets.