Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tree Nursery Project at Donadea Forest, October 2012

In the autumn of 2012 we carried out our LA21 funded project - Native Tree Nursery Project at Donadea Forest in North Kildare. We worked with three local primary schools, three different classes, 2nd class from Scoil Naomh Mhuire, 4th class from Rathcoffey NS and 6th class from Tir Moghan NS.

The schools came to Donadea for a full immersion in the woods, we gathered tree seeds from the sweet chestnut, maple, beech, sycamore, Hawthorne berries and rosehips from the wild rose, horse chestnut and a small amount of ash keys, there were no oak to be found this year, and we were too late for hazel.

We also played various sensory games to raise the childrens' awareness of their surroundings, we did bug hunts and pond dips, and had wonderful days all in all in the woods.

We followed this up with a trip to the schools to build and set up a tree nursery in the school itself. With the class we built a small raised bed, filled it with soil and leaf mould, and then put in our gathered tree seeds, in separate sections so we can identify the baby trees as they grow, this was topped with leaves to replicate the forest floor, a system called the Dunemann System.

To finish we made a wire mesh lid to keep the vermin at bay, mice especially love to eat tree seeds. And tree nursery beds done. The class have to keep an eye on the beds, water it in especially droughty periods and take the lid off in spring when the trees hopefully start to grow!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Earlier this year I put in an application to the ONE MILLION TREES IN ONE DAY Project for the ACRE Project in Celbridge. We were successful in the application! So, on Friday 26th April we will be planting over 1,000 native trees and hedgerow plants at the ACRE Project in Celbridge! If you're interested in getting involved just let me know, we'll have students from the Salesians, the TY's and LCA's and my adult  FETAC class involved on the day. Really excited to be involved and leading the planting project! Check out more about this really exciting project at:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

From the Ground Up...representing Holy Trinity School Garden

Fionnuala Fallon, horticulturalist and Irish Times journalist has published a book, 'From the Ground Up' that tells the stories of some very talented and very different `ticklers of the earth', all of whom live and garden in Ireland today. From schoolchildren to retirees, amateurs to experts, what they share in common is a delight in growing their own fruit and vegetables.

Most notable for me, she visited our amazing organic school garden in Holy Trinity National School in Donaghmede in North County Dublin over three years ago now, I had completely forgotten about it until I saw myself in print and in photos in the book at Christmas. It's a really good read, and really promotes the positive aspects of developing gardens in schools! To read more about rthe book see below.

Heritage in Schools Scheme is Open for Bookings!

Heritage in Schools Scheme is Open for Bookings!
The wonderful panel of 165 Heritage Experts are all ready to bring heritage to life in the classroom for your pupils!

Find out more at...

Let's get those gardens growing! You can find GROW on the website us in if you want to get your school garden a growing!