The Little Acorn Garden – Foroige Time Travel Garden with Diarmuid Gavin, sponsored by Aldi in association with the National Ploughing Association
Four Foroige Clubs from Clare, Cork, Galway and Laois are creating with the help of Diarmuid Gavin and his team, four gardens under the theme Time Travel, using plants and flowers from Aldi. Each of these gardens will be transported by Aldi back to their communities after the National Ploughing Championship to remain a testament to their hard work and creativity.
Scarriff Foroige Club has been chosen as one of the four clubs, this enterprising group supports young people from Tulla, Feakle, Tuamgraney, Bodyke, Scarriff and Mountshannon. Nine Foroige members with youth leaders, parents and local expert Martina O’Brien, will build the garden at the weekend.
Youth Leader Tracy Doyle and Scarriff Foroige are “thrilled” to be working on this special garden and to be finalists in the country. In May 2014 the youths aged between 12 and 17 were offered a small piece of publicly owned land, at The Connaught Road housing estate in Scarriff, by residents to plant and develop. A lot of hard work, thought and local integration has gone in to the development of this garden and where it fits in the community. It has brought confidence and fulfilment; there are apple trees and fruit bushes, which bring thoughts of jam and tart making. A lot of planning went into what was planted and its effect, herbs for ailments, food for cooking, based on the success of this project, there was a further meeting with the residents and another piece of land was secured in Fossabeg, for a children’s garden.
Following discussion with Martina O’Brien who runs a local florist and is an accomplished horticulturalist, it was decided to plant herbs, vegetables, and fruit and mindful of colours to attract bees and butterflies. Martina said “how excited everyone was to be working with Diarmuid Gavin and his team” The group have met him twice and he has allocated a wonderful mentor and project manager Janet Duff, who is a garden designer.
They have chosen the Tardis Time Machine from Doctor Who, the popular TV series. One side depicts the past and the other the future, using recycled material from local company, Clare Waste. The entire area has been very supportive of the group as they prepare to showcase their garden. There is a rich horticultural and preservation culture in East Clare and the group efforts have been supported locally by The Woodland League, Irish Seed Savers Association and local nurseries.
Local artists Ian Kelly and Natalie El Baba have made a beautiful seat and Lynda Christian donated a piece of sculpture for the futuristic side of the garden. The garden on the Connaught Road in Scarriff is called “The Garden around the corner” and the garden at the ploughing championships is “The Little Acorn” and this will also be the name for the children’s garden in Fossabeg using the material from the competition. One of the inspirations for the name “The Little Acorn” is the longest living oak tree in the country is in this region, in woodlands at Tuamgraney, well over 1,000 years old. The oak symbolises power and strength, great oaks stand at over 80 feet. Its powerful branches are home to a huge family of wildlife, particularly great baskets of insects–moths, flies, beetles, wasps and all sorts of creepy crawlies. It is also a favourite choice for many birds, and, of course, squirrels all find shelter and food in its web of foliage.More than any other, the oak has given its name to more place names than any other tree from city to town, village and townland–the name Derry deriving from Doire and “The Little Acorn” is a fitting name for this garden and it’s team.