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02 Jul 2022

Wildflowers and friendships bloom in biodiversity garden in Thomastown

Wildflowers and friendships bloom in biodiversity garden in Thomastown

The biodiversity garden in Thomastown

The biodiversity garden, which overlooks the quayside in Thomastown, is a hidden gem where nature is thriving and a group of committed volunteers are investing time and effort to maintain a truly magical place.

Tucked away in what is locally known as the Upper Paddock this magnificent space is teeming with wildflowers, herbs and fruit trees and is a haven for both birds and bees.

The garden, which is on land owned by Kilkenny County Council was started approximately ten years by Colin Castle and his daughter, Jenny who built up the steps that lead up to the paddock .

Over the years the project has developed and a garden design by well-known nature activist, Mary Reynolds. ‘ The Two Hours Gang’ meet every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10.30 to 12.30 and new people are always welcome to come along and lend a helping hand.

The group breaks for coffee (bring your own) at 11.30am and people are encouraged to come along and participate in the social side of the project. Transition Year students and volunteers from the Kingsriver community have also got involved in this wonderful community venture.

Red brick snakes adorn the grass paths and desire lines (a natural path caused by children traversing the garden) enhance the garden which is in full bloom at the moment and is home to echiums, which are native to the Canary Islands and are very rare in Ireland and do not normally survive, but in the biodiversity garden in Thomastown they have grown to 20 foot in height.

There is also a touching tribute to murdered schoolteacher Ashling Murphy and a yew tree has been planted in her memory.

The importance of caring for and supporting the environment is paramount to the garden and the volunteers use all their own compost and are also upcycling and recycling. Donations of roses and other plants are commonplace as the local community gets involved in helping to tend to this very special place.

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