Update from Ards Walled Community Garden, Co Donegal

Ards Walled Garden 3Myriam Rommers supplied us with this report on Ards Walled Community Garden, Co Donegal:

Saturday 17th of June we held an open day in Ards Walled Garden in the context of Street Feast nationwide.  This unusual garden is situated in Ards Friary near Creeslough, in view of mighty Mount Muckish.

Joanne Butler of Organic Gardens in Gortahork has been inspiring some 20 allotment holders and fervent gardeners. She helped us with practical advice and lots of times with valuable seedlings. She is supposed to sell but left them generously for us to try out!

Ards Walled Garden 4Ards Friary is under management of the Franciscans Capuchins. It is a stunning beautiful treasure in the heart of Donegal with at least 6 different types of soil: woodlands, wetlands, sand  dunes, bogs, and others. There are wide vistas over the open Wild Atlantic from some of the well kept walking paths.

The Stuart family,  previous owners, financed the original walls at the beginning of the 20th centuary. In Ards they, as Lords, used to have their vegetable garden employing in the spring and summer some 40 workers.

Then in later days when the property was handed over to the Friars their seminarians worked the fertile land and grew all their veg  and were self sufficient. The soil lay to rest for about 25 years when the seminary moved on and the Friars got older. Fortunately some entusiastic and dedicated neighbours forned the Ards Walled Community Garden committee 4 years ago greatly encouraged by the Friars. Members of the committee connected with the local NS of Creeslough this year. So now the children are growing Sunflowers (who has the tallest?) and other plants of interest. They even created Fairy houses, just in case.

The 17th of June was a fantastic summer day to welcome visitors in to the garden to have a look around and to have a chat with a lovely cup of tea and freshly baked scones. Our project is also part of a wider Donegal Community Garden Network. The good news is out there even if it doesnt get on the airwaves! So come to Donegal and see for yourself!

The Ards Walled Community Garden is on Facebook.


Ards Walled Garden 2

Ards Walled Garden 1