School’s hurling-inspired garden proves a winner

A small but perfectly formed garden created by pupils from Villierstown National School in Waterford has been given top marks at Bloom by Bord Bia, Ireland’s largest garden festival.

The children were awarded Best in Show for their Dromana Gate and Lost Sliotar garden depicting a game temporarily stopped while players look for a sliotar in a futuristic Dromana Gate Garden.

Best in Show for amateur postcard gardens at Bloom went to Villierstown National School.

The centrepiece is a model of the Dromana Gate, which dates back to 1849 and is the only example of Hindu-Gothic architecture in Ireland. The Asian-themed garden has plants grown from seed by the pupils and design features made from recycled household items.

It was one of 13 “postcard gardens” created by amateur gardeners from community groups representing their club, locality, special person, or local character.

Trisha McKeever, Shine, celebrates its Green Ribbon Garden being recognised at the Postcard Garden series. Picture: Julien Behal.

Principal Sarah Fitzpatrick said all of the 39 children in the two-teacher school — from junior infants to sixth class — were involved in the project, which was supported by the local community.

The school has a polytunnel and Danny Fletcher, a community representative on its board of management, advised the children on growing and nurturing the plants for the garden.

Ms Fitzpatrick said all of the children, bar those in junior infants, travelled up to Dublin’s Phoenix Park for the opening of the five-day Bord Bia-organised festival on Thursday.

“We split the children into groups of 10 and always had one group at the garden, greeting the visitors and handing out leaflets that the children made,” said Ms Fitzpatrick.

“We were so proud when we heard them speaking to the visitors about their garden.”

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