A labour of love undertaken over a 10 day period in Dublin’s North inner city came to a flowering finale this morning when the Garden of Hope project at the housing facility run by Dublin Simon Community was unveiled.

A team of volunteers have been working on the project in transforming waste ground at the facility at Sean MacDermott Street, investing thousands of hours free labour and utilising plants, paving and other materials donated to the project.

And among the features in the garden is a shed, part of an exhibition presented at Chelsea Flower Show last year by gardener, Diarmuid Gavin.

The project was the brainchild of students from nearby Larkin Community College and co-ordinated by Localise, an NGO which encourages young people to give back to their community and society.

Localise director, Derek Cleary, said he was thrilled by the success of the project. “When this project was first suggested by the Larkin students it looked like a daunting task. However, many hands make light work and over the past 10 days we have marvelled at how, through voluntary effort, this space has been transformed into a garden of hope and tranquillity.”

He added: “It has also given the youngsters at Larkin and other schools we work with a very practical example of how we can give back to those in need around us.”

Glenda Wright from Dublin Simon Community said: “We are so grateful to everyone who has given so generously of their time and materials. In particular we thank Diarmuid Gavin, who designed it, garden centres and gardeners who gave their time;  Larkin Community College, Localise, the US Embassy and everyone else involved.

“This garden will have such a wonderful impact on our residents. As one of our permanent, supported housing projects Sean MacDermott Street is provided for people who are, for whatever reason, unable to live independently. By providing a stable environment many residents experience an improvement in their physical and mental health.”

Dairmuid Gavin said: “I loved working on the project. I can think of no better place for an exhibit from the Chelsea Flower Show to be permanently located than on Sean MacDermott Street. I am very grateful to all gardeners, garden centres and, in particular Dermot Kearns, the project manager on site,  and others who gave so generously.”


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