Community Garden – Rathanna

One thing often leads to another.  When we had our get-together for ‘Memory Map‘ in February: ‘It’s the little things that matter – sustainability, biodiversity’, talk turned to the Community Garden here in Rathanna.

This garden had been established last year but many of us had no idea as it was hidden behind the village hall.  Those who are involved with the garden asked for volunteers and I am always happy to help grow food.  The four large grow beds will now be placed at the front of the hall and we will be sowing seeds and small, propagated plants in there soon.  The committee has also decided that we should buy two apple trees (an Elstar and a Braeburn) as well as a Victoria Plum.  An almond tree will also be put at the edge of the carpark, replacing a tree that has died.

Today being the 23ed of March and the weather warm enough to finally take off my hat, I decided it was a good time to get some plants in.  In Rathanna village I found that others had had the same idea. There were people weeding every bed everywhere and it’s great to see young children lending a hand too. Every available bed is now weed free (keeping all those weeds that help with biodiversity) and planted with insect, especially bee, friendly plants of hope.

At the edge of the car park there are some beds with existing roses and shrubs which have now been added to with lilies, Montbretia (original bulbs from West Cork), Anemones of the white variety and Ajuga for ground coverer. All going well this will look amazing as a plant combination come the late summer.

The existing roses in the second car park bed have new companions with culinary and biodiverse properties: Rosemary, Sage and Thyme.  A little food for eating and the roses for a sensory feast.

rosemary, Sage n Thyme

Meanwhile my polly tunnel has been cleaned and the small flower and vegetable seeds are doing their thing.  I started late as it still felt so cold but now nature knows best and  I can now see the changes on a daily bases.  The waiting was worth it.

clean tunnel 3.19

21.04.2019.  Things have moved on a in the garden.  The primroses are out in full force. Many have self seeded in abundance and with amazing colour variations.

primrosesThe seeds in the poly-tunnel are now small plants and waiting for their raised beds to be ready in the Community Garden. The garden has four grow beds, so the rotation will be easy to remember.


The vegetable and flower seeds come from our own saved seeds and the Brown Enveloppe seeds company in West Cork (we like to support small organic businesses).


A combined effort of will saw the raised beds planted up this weekend.  We have all sorts of good stuff growing which we hope we can share with the community.  It is early days but the plants seem to be doing well.  I find that things are just a bit slow this year, May is cold and we had frost about a week ago.  The four beds are divided (kind of) by sort.

Bed 1: salads, herbs, sunflowers

Bed 2: red onion Barron, white Stuttgard giant onion, shallots and spring onions.

Bed 3: peas (own seed), Douce petit pois, Coco (drying) beans.

Bed 4: broadbean (own seed), carrots (just a few), beetroot and sunflowers.

The  newly planted apple trees: Lord Lambourne and Elstar are in flower, as is the purple Damson, Prunus Domestica.

Eric Osborn made the wonderful garden sign using an old Queen Anne slate from his yard.

For the first UN World Bee – Day, we will be hosting a day where the community can get together, see the work done, swop some plants and talk to one of the local bee keepers.


 A celebration of the vital importance of Bees and all Pollinators for the world World Bee–Day festival will take place in Rathanna village, Rathanna, County Carlow on the  Sunday 19th of May, starting at 2 pm.

This is a free event.

Bee–Day celebrations will include a plant swop (so bring along your extra plants) in the Community Garden, bee keeping demonstrations, children’s activities, biodiversity discussions as well as a general social gathering. Refreshments will be served in Rathanna hall.

This is the first UN designated World Bee – Day. Although officially on the 20th of May, we have decided to celebrate this important recognised day on Sunday 19th of May to allow for a get-together for all those interested in celebrate with the community of Rathanna.



19.05.2019.  UN World Bee – Day get-together.

A great crowd today in Rathanna, both young and old, to celebrate, gather information, meet the bee-keeper Ian, partook in the children’s  workshop, swop plants and share a cup of tea with a neighbour for the first UN World Bee-Day.

We might make this an annual event, considering the importance of the topic and the shared love of the land and it’s flora and fauna among those who came. Thanks too to the Farmers Journal who printed a notice in the paper for us and passed on our information to other publications.

03 07. 2019

Things are progressing in the community garden.  There is now food for people to pick and eat!  Looks amazing and once we got started it wasn’t that hard.

The pea’s doing their thing, climbing up sticks.  A work of art in itself.


It’s raining – the soft kind and it’s very welcome but we need so much more. The ground is dry and hard; grass patches are turning yellow and many of the plants are speeding up their seed producing process.  It’s worrying.

I dug out a row of potatoes, usually two plants are more than enough for a dinner or two but not this year. Every, no matter how marbled size, spud will be eaten.


Food for dinner from the community garden and the bee bed which is being well visited by insects, inc, of course, bees.


I wonder if it is going to be a cold winter this year.  The fruit on the brambles is abundant, is this a message from Mother Nature?




sunflower in comm garden aug 19



Produce…from my poly tunnel in my garden but I might try tomatoes in the community garden next year.


Amazing plants I saw today.


The community garden is all tucked up for the winter now.  The flower heads and berries have been consumed by the birds and the soil in the beds are fed too.  No good soil, no growth, it’s something that I think we forget about sometimes yet it is so basic.


21.03. 2020

We are all housebound due to the Corona Virus. Spring is slow to start and today is the first day of sunshine and a little heat. The fields are waking up and early spring flowers are in abundance. Nature takes no notice of this virus, it just marches on.



Potting up French beans. Just waiting for a time when we will be allowed to mingle again in the community garden.

march french bean


Gardens all over the world are getting added attention this year with the virus keeping us all close to home. We have planted up some of the boxes in the community garden and other seedlings in my poly tunnel are getting ready for the move.

The roadsides are blossoming and with the lessened traffic, the birds are amplified with the silence.


All around us the fields are covered in dandelions. I have never seen them in such numbers – it is stunning to look at, smells great and the pollinators are doing their bit in abundance.


The air feels warm and the threat of frost has passed. All the plants that we have been bringing on in our personal poly-tunnels/glasshouses and garden sheds were ready to find a well prepared bed so Mary and I spent a beautiful sunny afternoon getting the Community Garden in order. We welcome people to come together to grow, maintain, converse and enjoy the produce we hope will come to fruition this year.

18.05.2020. I saw this in someone’s garden, perfect cloche. I love a bit of re-using, up-cycling.



The weather may be an ‘Irish summer’ and the world is upside down, but nature keeps going. Our little patch is providing food.



We are still deep into the virus restricting phase here, everyone taking care of themselves and each other. The weather is muted too with only odd days of sunshine but that does not stop the hard work being done in here in our community.



Progress in the community garden. Plenty of eating out of it too.


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