Bandon is abloom — from today the town’s main street will be festooned with hanging baskets and window boxes full of summer blossoms.

It’s all part of a new initiative by the members of the local Men’s Shed, who this evening officially launch Bandon in Bloom, a colourful project under which some 40 different hanging baskets and 15 window boxes are being provided to businesses in the town’s South Main Street.

Working in conjunction with Youthreach and the community work scheme Tús, the Bandon’s Men’s Shed group has installed brackets for hanging the baskets, and planted and nurtured the containers which they started to put in place yesterday.

“At the start of this year we decided we wanted to do something for the community,” said Tom McCleary coordinator of Bandon Men’s Shed.

The group was set up in the town about four years ago and now has about 30 members who range in age from men in their 20s to their late 70s.

“We came up with a plan which we called Bandon in Bloom, under which we would supply local businesses with hanging baskets and window boxes to improve the appearance of the town.”

Under the scheme, which, it is hoped, will be operated right through autumn and winter, businesses pay a reasonable fee for the provision of brackets, baskets and window boxes, and for the ongoing maintenance of the plants by the Men’s Shed and Tús.

Bandon mens sheds and Tús team members Paddy O’Driscoll and Joe Shannon hanging up the new baskets in Bandon, Co Cork.
Bandon mens sheds and Tús team members Paddy O’Driscoll and Joe Shannon hanging up the new baskets in Bandon, Co Cork.

Currently the project only extends to businesses in South Main Street, but since word got out about the plan requests have been rolling in.

“Already more requests from businesses are coming in because they see how nice it makes the town look — we are hoping to spread this initiative all over the town,” says Tom.

The initiative, however, will not only run in the summer months he said.

“We hope to maintain a presence in the town throughout autumn and winter too,” he said, adding that at the end of the summer, workers will take the baskets and window-boxes back to re-stock them with a range of appropriate cold-weather plants.

Bandon in Bloom, which is being sponsored by local firm ODM Accountants and supported by Kelliher’s Hardware store, is a project which is of benefit to the community, according to Mr McCleary:

“There is a tangible result of the work of the men’s shed and Tús workers, it is a very attractive initiative in the town,” he said, adding it’s expected that all the flowers will be in place for the official launch of the project at 6.30pm this evening outside Horgan’s chemist’s shop in Bandon.


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