After all the snow and sleet of the previous week, the Beast from the East was finally banished and there was an air of Spring in the air and the Sun shone brightly.
The team at Griffins in Dripsey pulled out all the stops to get everything ready for the official launch of the Muintir na Tíre Cork School Garden Competition. Muintir na Tíre, Cork County Council Environment and Heritage Sections and Griffins Garden Centre have all come together to organise this exciting competition and the sixth annual competition is now officially open and many primary schools across the county have already entered.
Speaking at the launch, County Mayor Declan Hurley spoke of his own love of gardening and praised this great initiative that helps children to learn the importance of nature, while staying active.
Special guests included the children and teachers of Skibbereen Boys National School, who were the overall winner in 2017, and Coachford and Aughabullogue National Schools. These schools got the opportunity to meet and chat with local beekeepers and learn the importance of bee-friendly gardening.
Margaret Griffins and the local beekeepers are asking schools to help protect our bees and plant bee-friendly gardens. Her message is simple. Plant flowers and bees will follow. This year Griffins are again awarding a special award for the best bee-friendly garden.
Margaret and her team also gave the children and teachers lots of invaluable advice on recycling and potting up old wellies, old handbags and even using their new compostable coffee cups, which can be planted directly into the soil.
Dr Mary Stack encouraged schools to rethink, repair, refurbish along with reusing and recycling items in their garden, as this is very important for the environment.
Conor Nelligan Heritage urged schools to think of biodiversity when gardening. He particularly suggested the inclusion of natural hedges, log piles, bird boxes, bird tables, wildflower meadows, nature-trails and the use of native flora. With this year being Bliain na Gaelige, Conor urged schools to use Irish in their school garden, maybe highlighting the names of trees and plants as Gaelige. He also suggested that schools be creative!
The main theme for this year is climate change and the garden categories include:
- Edible Gardens
- Biodiversity/Wildlife Garden
- Art and Colour Garden
- Mixed Garden
- Small Garden
- Best New Garden
- Creative Ireland Innovation and Creativity
- Use of Irish in gardening
- Overall best Pride of County Cork Garden. All schools are automatically judged for this award.
Log on now to muintir.ie to register your school for the 2018 school gardens competition.
Griffins Garden Centre
021 733 4286