Molly sees the winning garden design bloom

Arthur Ellis Photography

A ten-year-old primary school student saw her winning garden design flourish at the launch of Shannon Group’s new Biodiversity Community Garden.

Last year Molly McPhillips, ten, a fourth year pupil at St Senan’s National School in Shannon, won a competition to design a new biodiversity garden in Shannon, after her design was selected by popular vote on social networks.

Today, Molly, along with her classmates, returned to see her inspirational garden design in full bloom at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of the community garden on the Shannon campus.

Speaking at the launch, Shannon Group’s Head of Sustainability, Sinead Murphy, said: “At Shannon Group we are committed to sustainability, and as this week marks Biodiversity Week, it is normal that we are here to officially celebrate the launch of our biodiversity garden. It’s fantastic to have Molly and her classmates with us today, to see how her design inspired the layout of the garden. Molly wanted a “magical and friendly” garden and I think seeing the reaction here today, her design certainly helped us sum that up. »

After exploring the garden and seeing its inspiring design blossom into this new community amenity, Molly said, “I love all the wildflowers and nature all around here. I’m really happy, excited and proud. I planted a tree and put some dirt on it, and some of my friends helped me out and we made a plaque that my whole class participated in and we colored it, for the hang on the tree.

Molly’s winning design included an insect hotel, fruit trees and a seating area.

After months of planting, pruning and a bit of patience, the garden now includes a wildflower meadow and wildflower lawn teeming with Irish wildflowers such as wild ‘Shamrock’ clovers, bog rosemary , primroses and red clover, to name a few. During flowering, spring bulbs of daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths and tulips were planted to provide an early food source for pollinators.

Fulfilling Molly’s vision, the garden is home to hotels for bees and insects, an earthen bank for hibernating bees, and a log pile to provide shelter for insects and promote species of fungi that are integral to the environment. garden environment.

More than 35 students from St. Senan National School, Shannon, participated in a tree planting ceremony and helped create a wooden plaque for the garden. They also received a lecture on the purpose of each specific area of ​​the garden before being sent home with seedlings to grow on their own.

The new garden, open to the public, is located on the Shannon Campus, near the entrance to the Shannon Free Zone and Shannon Airport.

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