Iveagh Gardens Garden Guild

The Iveagh Gardens Garden Guild was formally established by the Iveagh Trust around 1941 to encourage good gardening practice in Iveagh Gardens Crumlin and has been going strong ever since. The Trust provided trophies and financial support for the Garden Guild but this was gradually reduced and finally withdrawn in 2009, however the Guinness family’s personal engagement and connection with the Guild continues to this day and in 2018 Lord Iveagh presented the Annual Garden Competition prizes.

The Garden Guild is run by a committee of three volunteer residents. We encourage, support and engage in horticultural and environmental activities and events throughout the year and our social media platforms also allow residents to share information about their gardening and environment.

While maintaining our more traditional events, such as the Annual Garden Competition and the Decking of the May Bough, which are part of the social fabric of the community in the last eight years we have had particular focus on biodiversity, awareness and care of our shared green spaces/environment and engagement with our younger residents. To this end we have held Garden Walkabouts locally, Wilderness Workshops, plant giveaways and an annual Frogwatch (one resident has a front garden pond and encourages observation of frog development as soon as spawn is spotted!) We have also carried out a tree audit in Iveagh Gardens and encouraged residents to become involved in commemorating a large copper beech which recently had to be felled because of disease. We held events including measuring the height, width and diameter of this grand old tree, obtained drone footage from the top and video footage of the felling. A wreath was made using plants from some gardens and placed around the lower trunk prior to the felling. Some residents even wrote poems about their memories of the tree. DCC kindly gifted us a large branch which we placed by the little library in one of the green spaces, where children can sit on the log and read.

The Community Woodland Biodiversity Planting Project was undertaken in conjunction with DCC’s biodiversity officer, Lorraine Bull who carried out an assessment of our estate’s green spaces. DCC Parks personnel Brid Brosnan and David Moore kindly provided 500 of the 3250 bulbs that were planted, and gave advice on how to prevent squirrel and magpie damage. Thad Garden Guild applied for and received funding from the Community Environment Action Fund in order to buy bulbs and equipment to prepare and protect the planting.

The preparation and planting took place at the end of November and early December 2021 in two of the seven green spaces (known as “rings”) in the estate. We highlighted the project by specifically designating one of the days as a Community Planting Day and residents of all ages contributed their labour. These areas are now designated as “No Mow” areas and will only be mown by DCC when advised by the biodiversity officer. The Garden Guild have committed to keeping the margins of these areas tidy as agreed by the community.

The response to the wonderful spring flowering from both residents and visitors has been very positive and people are now asking when will the other rings be planted. Pollinators have been seen busily feeding on the flowers in that critical “hungry gap” from early January right through till May and everyone has enjoyed the beauty of the flowers. The Garden Guild will continue to update the community of existing outlined planting plans and of any further planting proposals and will get formal feedback at our Summer community events and via social media and other notices.