I was really delighted to get an invitation to come visit the Mud Island Community Garden recently. When I visited Newcomen Court back in 2013 the garden was just getting started and I really hoped that it would develop as the location was just perfect for it.
My guide was lovely Fionuala Halpin who was determined to show me a brighter and more positive side of the area in contrast to some of the experiences that I had during my survey years ago. Although I am already a big fan of the area, it had some of the most fascinating history I have encountered, the visit to the garden really was the icing on the cake.
It has been transformed from the mud mounds I had encountered into a horticultural wonderland with all generations lending a helping hand to help prepare the beds for autumn. While I was there a group of secondary school kids were helping to clear one of the potato beds and refill with fresh compost for autumn planting.
The greenhouse was dripping with tomatoes at various stages of ripening and is attached to the social center – a corrugated roofed gathering area where they hold community events. On the other side of the garden is the brightly decorated mosaic caravan that adds a fantastic rebel element to the garden and has been a feature in the Trailer Park area at Electric Picnic.
I also met Paul Redmond whose beautiful cottage renovation I will be featuring next week. He was busy preparing for the Halloween party the week after – again, a big community garden celebration to include all ages and any one interested in taking part. Leaving the garden – I met this poor little guy with just one eye whose elderly owner had passed away and he was now being fed and cared for when possible by the members of the garden – no local is left out :-)!
I left the garden with a bag of vegetables and an invitation back to the Halloween party the next week. The Mud Island Community garden is a fantastic achievement and is all down to the locals whose focus is on growth, creation and community. Every inner city area should have a space like this.
Check out the Mud Island Community Garden Facebook Group