Green Fingers
Spring arrived and the residents in many of the Clann schemes were active in preparing their gardens for the summer months. As you read about the activities in the various schemes, you’re not only reading that putting time into gardening brings beautiful colour into the garden, but it is also a time when you can learn a new skill, connect with others and most importantly be out in the fresh air doing something that you enjoy.

Clann Housing Killarney Schemes
On the Clann schemes in Killarney – Coill na Darach, Oakwood and Holy Cross Gardens – the residents have begun preparation for their Community Kitchen Garden project. This project is an addition to the Community Polytunnel project and is being run with the help of Ingrid Swan, the in-house horticulturist in Clann. The plan is to install a new raised bed area and have residents growing their own vegetables such as cabbage, sprouts, carrots, artichokes, beans, potatoes, scallions, etc from seed. Once the vegetables are grown and harvested, there will be a ‘share basket’ in the Community Room where residents can swap, share, and donate their vegetables. No doubt the project will be a success and will further promote a sense of sharing and caring across the three schemes.

Oriel Lodge
As part of the residents’ consultation in January 2023, several Oriel Lodge residents mentioned the courtyard area and the need for something to be done with it. The area had become overgrown with bushes and trees, becoming an eyesore for the residents. It blocked natural light from entering several apartments. Residents were also worried about the birds and wildlife that lived in the area, and what would happen to them if the area was completely cleared. As there is a carpark nearby that is used by many people, the trees also provided some privacy.

Several months of consultation led to the agreement to remove two trees completely. Residents would retain some privacy by cutting back one tree. Weeds were pulled and shrubs were cut back. There was a complete clearing of the area.

Thanks to Brendan Foley of Property Services for taking on all the residents’ concerns and making sure their voices were reflected in the work. A huge thanks to William Quinn of Estate Services who will take care of the area going forward.

In 2024, the residents in Oriel Lodge are looking forward to working with Ingrid Swan, Clann’s horticulturist, in adding some features to the area. This will be an opportunity for them to get their green fingers out and create an environment that both they and the natural wildlife can enjoy.

Mill Street, Swanlinbar
Mill Street, Swanlinbar is a small housing scheme in rural Cavan with four bungalows and four residents. In the summer of 2020, when Mill Street came under Clann management, residents wanted a polytunnel with raised planters so they could grow their own vegetables and plants. With funding from Clann and National Lottery Funding 2023, the project was completed in December 2023. It has been a busy winter for residents, who were planning where and what to go in their polytunnel and then, during the early months of 2024, began sowing the seeds. During the summer months, they will see their hard work grow and they will be able to enjoy the results of their efforts.

Baile An Rí
Baile An Rí residents spent their Great Place to Live prize money purchasing shrubs and plants for the communal beds on the scheme for all to enjoy. Planting is well under way with a wide variety of fruit trees and shrubs to enhance the scheme.

Fair play to all residents that have shared their gardening experiences. Gardening, whether it is a plant pot on a windowsill, a small plot in your front garden or a community space where you can grow fruits, vegetables, or colorful flowers, all have the same benefits. Gardening provides us with an opportunity to connect with others, stay active (even watering a plant is a job well done), learning and helps us slow down and take notice of the cycle of growth of the plants or veg that you are growing.

If you or your scheme have any gardening projects that you would like to share with the wider Clann community, please do not hesitate to talk to your scheme manager or email myvoice@cluid.ie. We cannot wait to hear from you and learn more about the projects that are happening across the country.

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