By Jessica Quin
THE Clare Garden Festival returns on April 27 at Ennis Showground, with organisers challenging local communities to create their own pop-up gardens. In the run-up to the festival, the organisers are launching a calendar of community events and competitions to get gardeners geared up for the big day.
In 2014 Clare Garden Festival will keep its educational character offering talks and demonstrations provided by reputable national speakers from the Horticultural and Gardening World and it will also again feature its popular large-scale garden and food fair.
“Following a hugely successful Clare Garden Festival in 2013, featuring a garden and food, with over 60 stallholders from all over Ireland and attracting over 1500 visitors, we are delighted to welcome the festival back”. said Bernard Hanrahan, chairman of Co Clare Agricultural Show Society.
“Our focus at Clare Garden Festival in 2014 is community, meaning the community of Ennis and Clare and, of course , the community of gardeners throughout Ireland. As a result we have created several exciting events and opportunities for you, the community, to benefit, get involved and get more than just a one-day event,” said Carmen Cronin, founder and festival organiser,
“In the run-up to Clare Garden Festival, we are launching a garden talks series and retaining our successful seed and garden share. We are also now aiming to offer charities and community groups a helping hand by creating an opportunity to fundraise, promote, take part and win with our pop-up garden community challenge.
The competition is supported by Clare County Council’s Environment Section. festival. The competition is now open for applications and the deadline is February 27. All details are on www.claregardenfestival.com.
Joan Tarmey, Environmental Awareness Officer commented, “The new PopUp Garden Community Challenge created by Clare Garden Festival organiser Carmen Cronin is an inspiring and inclusive idea. The strong environmental theme “Protecting the environment in my garden” allows for many diverse and creative entries incorporating ideas such as water conservation, rainwater harvesting in the garden, enhancing biodiversity, reuse and Recycling, reducing kitchen food waste, as well as managing garden waste.”
Ms Tarmey added, “Raising awareness about these topics is important. The Environment Section of Clare County Council is delighted to support this new competition and I would urge community groups and charities to make use of this new learning and fundraising opportunity by entering the competition.”