IT’S A DATE Clew Bay Garden Trail members Genie Keating, June Bourke and Deirdre Cosgrove with Martina Jennings (CEO, Mayo Roscommon Hospice) at the launch of the 2022 Clew Bay Garden Trail calendar. Proceeds of sales will go to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice. Pic: Conor McKeown
On a beautiful May morning in 2019, RTÉ ‘Home of the Year’ judge and architect, Hugh Wallace launched that year’s Clew Bay Garden Trail, waxing lyrically about the gardens of which he’d been given had a sneak preview of earlier.
He followed a long line of eminent personalities who launched Clew Bay’s annual garden festival since its inception in 2012, including Minister Michael Ring, Garden gurus Leonie Cornelius, Klaus Laitenberger and the late Angela Jupe, wildlife cinematographer Colin Stafford-Johnson and others.
By 2018, the Trail had raised €89,000 for charity, and the goal for 2019 was to surpass the magic number of €100,000. At the close of the 2019 Garden Trail, that goal became a reality.
Clew Bay Garden Trail (CBGT) is marking its tenth anniversary in 2022 with a beautifully produced garden calendar – a collaboration with photographer Conor McKeown, who conceived the idea.
Its wonderful collection of photos is partnered with useful and practical ‘Jobs in the Garden This Month’, put together by garden designer Evleen Mulloy.
The CBGT members hope those who buy a calendar will sit down with a cuppa and leaf through the pages, and feel inspired to get out there and enjoy their own ‘room outside’.
The trail is comprised of gardeners of all kinds – organic growers, conservationists, environmentalists, swift-box builders, award-winning traditional-farm builders, bee keepers, seed savers, partners in biodiversity, consultants and volunteers in the gardens attached to the Mayo-Roscommon Hospice and the Adult Mental Health Unit in Castlebar.
Commenting at the launch of the calendar, Martina Jennings CEO of Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation said: “We are so honoured that the Clew bay Garden Trail has chosen Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation as the recipients of this beautiful calendar. The trail members are phenomenal supporters of the foundation, not only through their amazing fundraising, but they also lent us their expertise and knowledge when it came to landscaping the grounds at The Mayo Hospice in 2019.
“The committee have a deep understanding of palliative care and creating a special environment for the patient and families on their most difficult journey. The calendar is a lovely way to mark their ten-year anniversary, and I wish them, on behalf of the foundation, many more years of success and happy gardening.”
The CBGT gardeners themselves have a message to add: “To you, our loyal and constant visitors, who have contributed immeasurably to the success of the trail through your generosity, we say míle buíochas – thank you. Remember too, the gardeners are artists. Their canvas is that corner of a native field which by dint of toil and labour has been transformed. They share something very unique and personal, so if you espy an odd dandelion (and dandelions are good!) tread softly because you tread on their dreams. Mind your step!”
Calendars are available to buy any of the Mayo Roscommon Hospice shops, or contact the Clew Bay Garden Trail page on Facebook.