Galway city gardens shine in spite of summer drought

The annual Galway City Tidy Towns Garden Competition results were announced this week. The competition is organised by Galway City Council on annual basis to recognise the efforts of residents, commercial organisations and public buildings to maintain and enhance the appearance of their gardens, estates, and public areas. The overall winner of the Front Garden Competition was Patrick O’Connell, St James Crescent, Mervue. The Best First Time entrant was Bernie Molloy, Castle Park, Ballybane, with Betty O’Flaherty, Forster Court taking the prize for the Best Floral Display category. Brendan Moran, Blackthorn Park won the Best Front Lawn category.

St Pat’s Boys N.S. continued their run of awards for their garden, scooping the overall winner in the schools category. St John the Apostle, Knocknacarra won the Eco School Garden category, and Scoil Roís won the Best Floral Display.

Phase II Forster Court was awarded the Best Residential Area, 20-50 houses. The Maples Residents Association was awarded Best Residential Area (50-200 houses ) and Castlelawn Heights / Ros na Shi Residents Association was recognised as the Best Residential Area with 200 houses or more.

In the public and commercial buildings categories, Merlin Park University Hospital won the Civic Buildings category. Connacht Hotel won the Hotel category, with Bank of Ireland Eyre Square receiving the Commercial/ Retail Park award. Western Motors Ballybrit won the Best Garage/ Petrol Filling Station award. In the community category, Merlin Park Community Nursing won the Community Group Project.

The achievements of the award winners were in spite of a drought over the summer months. Gary McMahon, Acting Director of Services, Galway City Council, commented, “Galway City Council would like to applaud all entrants for their efforts to keep their gardens and residential areas maintained, in particular those entrants supporting pollinators through their planting and avoidance of chemicals. The feedback of our Judge noted the sheer amount of work carried out by residents, residents associations and commercial entrants, entirely on a voluntary basis. I would like to commend all those for their care and time, and thank them for their efforts to keep Galway City maintained and attractive”.

Arlene Finn, Acting Environmental Awareness Officer, Galway City Council commented said that despite of the drought this summer, gardens in Galway City were in full bloom and looking amazing when our judge visited.

“The drought was a reminder of good gardening practices that we can use next summer, including mulching the soil to stop water evaporating, weeding flowerbeds to stop competition for water; using ‘grey’ water from your sink or bath to water plants; moving hanging plants into the shade; not using fertiliser as it encourages growth which needs water; and using a rain barrel to collect water when it rains, for use in later dry days.

“If you want to go one small step further with good gardening practices, leave a part of your garden for wild flowers and long grasses, to encourage pollinators and butterflies to visit, avoid use of chemicals, and you can enter the Eco-Categories in the competition.”

Continued support and interest in this local competition, which aims to encourage and promote householders and businesses to take a greater pride and interest in their own gardens, is vital for the further development and enhancement of the appearance of Galway City. Galway City Council would like to thank all those that supported the 2018 competition and would encourage more households and businesses to get involved in the Tidy Towns campaign in Galway city. More information is available from the Climate Change & Environment section of Galway City Council, e-mail [email protected]

Galway City Council will hold the award ceremony in early November 2018. All winners will be notified of the date and time.

Full List of Winners

Residential Areas

Best Flower & Shrub Beds – Oaklands Residents Association

Best Gardens and Public Spaces – Glenvale Court, Clybaun Road

Less than 50 Houses Winner - Phase II Forster Court

50-200 Houses Winner - The Maples Residents Association

200 Houses or more Winner - Castlelawn Heights / Ros na Shi Residents Association

Apartments Winner – Maria Kim Brown, The Plaza, Headford Road

Community Group Project - Merlin Park Community Nursing

Schools Best Garden - St Pats BNS

Schools Best Floral Display - Scoil Roís

Eco School Garden – St John the Apostle, Knocknacarra

Eco Front Garden – Aideen Ward, The Rise, Knocknacarra

Civic Buildings Winner - Merlin Park University Hospital

Hotels Winner – Connacht Hotel

Commercial/ Retail Park Winner – Bank of Ireland Eyre Square

Garages/ Petrol Filling Stations Winner – Western Motors Ballybrit

Best window boxes/ floral display – Betty O’Flaherty

Best Garden in a Council Estate – Pat McPhilbin

Overall Front Garden Winner – Patrick O’Connell, Mervue

Best Lawn – Brendan Moran Renmore/ Murrough

Best New Entrant – Bernie Molloy, Ballybane

Residential Area Winners:

Bushypark/Dangan/Circular Road: Area 1st – Maureen & Vernon Law; Area 2nd – Michael Duffy

Castlegar/ Menlo: Area 1st – Mary Boyle; Area 2nd – Anne Connell; Area 3rd – Maureen Spellman

Headford Road: Area 1st – Helen Langan; Area 2nd – Sean & Mary Hynes; Area 3rd – Martin & Mary Lennon

City Centre/ Bohermore: Area 1st – Declan & Lucia Ramberg; Area 2nd – Tom Broderick; Area 3rd – Phil & John Holland

Riverside/Tuam Road: Area 1st – Noel McGuire

Wellpark/ Dublin Road: Area 1st – Nora Forde

Mervue: Area 1st Patrick O’Connell; Area 2nd Pat McPhilbin; Area 3rd – John Connaughton

Renmore/ Murrough: Area 1st – Aideen Hurley; Area 2nd – Brendan Moran; Area 3rd – Patricia Ryan

Salthill: Area 1st – Frank & Kay Burke, Area 2nd – Carmel Mahoney; Area 3rd – Anna Maria O’Brien

Knocknacarra – Area 1st – Derval McCormack; Area 2nd – Noreen Harris; Area 3rd – Tracy Mulhall

Taylor’s Hill – Area 1st - Tom & Warren Fitzgerald; Area 2nd – Tom Ford; Area 3rd – Frank McHugh

Shandalla – Area 1st – Michelle Lambe; Area 2nd – Ursula Lally; Areas 3rd – John Grealish

Newcastle – Area 1st – Pat Colohan; Area 2nd – Margaret Gouyet; Area 3rd – Helena Farrell

Ballybane – Area 1st – Bernie Molloy; Area 2nd – Tommy Derrane; Area 3rd – Pat Reynolds

Claddagh – Area 1st – Nora & Billy Heneghan; Area 2nd – Noel Coyne

Doughiska/ Merlin Lane – Area 1st – Kumar Saidha

Rahoon – Area 1st – Alan Sixsmith; Area 2nd – Michael & Noreen Concar; Area 3rd – Catherine Lovett

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