Garden guide: Hi there, Connor here. I’m delighted to share that I’ve been promoted from Friendly Neighbourhood Forager to the new Gardener in Residence here at Stillgarden. It’s been great to have more time to get involved with the garden, get my hands covered in soil, meet some new social botanists, and work with the community to get our delicious botanicals to flourish.
Our garden in Inchicore is filled with different species of cultivated and wildflowers, herbs and trees, and visited by a variety of pollinators and wildlife. In celebration of last week’s National Biodiversity Week, I thought I’d share some of our homegrown biodiversity that you can expect to see when you visit Stillgarden.
We’re keeping the top of the garden up by Tyrconnell Road as a wildflower haven, making sure that there is plenty of choice for our pollinators beyond what we humans like in our gin. Creeping Buttercup is a pretty flower, but unfortunately has an invasive root system that likes to dominate the more delicate roots of herbs; it is still important for pollination, so up here is where it can plantspread.
Our Calendula, otherwise known as marigolds, are in sunny bloom, recognisable as large daisies that look like they’ve been stained orange. They’re surrounded by a delicate bed of Speedwell, which are small blue flowers from the Veronica genus. They make quite the couple.
We also have plenty of wild mustard and flowering brassicas that I’m yet to identify, so if any of our Social Botanists have an eye for plant identification, your wisdom would be much appreciated. Dandelion is often seen as a weed, but in addition to its roots being great for a yummy, caffeine-free coffee replacement, pollinators love the flowers, blowing the seeds away from a dandelion clock grants wishes (allegedly), and those tasty roots also greatly improve soil quality. What a team player.
As a few of us were working away in the garden over the weekend, we were visited by a mason bee. Mason bees are solitary, but are far more efficient pollinators than honey bees. Along with bumblebees, hoverflies, our native black honey bee neighbours, and of course our social botanists, we have quite the team of pollinators hard at work.
Now’s the perfect time to visit our garden as we begin to plant what has been cultivated at home by our social botanists. If you have anything you’d like to plant to further this biodiversity, we’d be delighted to have your contribution (and so will those happy bees).