Category Archives: Uncategorized


WILDFLOWERS – Your next outing! 

There is nothing to equal a native wildflower meadow to delight the eye, gladden the heart and with the humming of bees and insects to soothe the ear on a warm sunny day.  And it does not have to be a meadow! It can be a small plot, road margin, anywhere.

GROWING WILDFLOWERS is our next event here at An Gáirdín, Portumna  on Saturday 16th November from 11.30am-2.30pm. 

We are privileged to have Sandro Cafolla from Design By Nature, who has been saving, supplying, and advising on Native Wildflower seeds for the past 30years. We will learn the wildflowers that suit our soil, when and how to sow them, and how to maintain them. 

Sandro tells us that since the 1970’s, Ireland has lost 90% of its rich species meadows.  This has serious implications for pollination and biodiversity. The good news is that this can be reversed.  The workshop will be helpful for all who would like to do something for the health of our planet whether it be at home, for your ‘Tidy Town’, for your farm, or for the local laneway.

The cost is €15 including refreshments.

Booking at  or 0872845443

Nature Warriors – Were Early Irish Monks Ahead of Their Time?

With Alf Monaghan – Saturday 9th November, 10am – 1pm

Alf’s illustrated talk looks at how early Irish Christian spirituality was deeply nature-centric.

He illustrates how the unification of all Europe, as well as its cultural, moral and spiritual renewal, was started by wandering Irish in a continent devastated and decadent after the fall of the Roman Empire.


Contact us on 087 2845443 or angairdin1’at’

Book by Wednesday, 6 November.

More details:

As a follow-up to Alf’s very inspiring and popular talks last year, he is coming again with a refreshing and evocative subject.  He will introduce us to early Irish Christian spirituality, which was deeply nature-centric due to the influence of Egyptian monasticism.  It asserted the goodness of all creation. Like the Egyptians, Irish monks embraced a spirit of adventure and took to ‘wandering’ over land and sea for communion with nature and its creator.  Following the fall of the Roman Empire, they arrived in a Europe devastated by the lack of moral values, barbaric invasions, and famine. A wave of moral and cultural renewal, and of spiritual and civic re-unification, began with the arrival of the Irish monks.  

Alf has spent most of his life abroad as an economic advisor in Northern Europe, Central America, the Mediterranean, and Africa. His time in Syria and Egypt, in particular, sparked off a deeper interest in early Christianity and the influence of the Eastern Mediterranean, much of which is now lost or forgotten. 

We may be left with some musings about  parallels with the Europe of today and what Brexit is saying in this context.



Organic Gardening with Jim Cronin

Jim Cronin is back with us for two days this autumn:

Saturday 12 October, 10am – 1pm

This day will look at choosing a site for a garden and getting the garden ready for winter – green manure cover, compost etc.

Saturday 19 October, 10am – 1pm

The second day will look at choosing a polytunnel.

Cost is €30 per day. To book, contact us on 087 284 5443 or  

Celebrating 25 Years, 20th-23rd June 2019


An Gáirdín Summer Fest – Celebrating 25 years

Come and celebrate our summer fest with events enjoyable for adults and children alike including an informal music session with Kíla band members, short films, garden tours,
hedgerow safaris, storytelling, circle dance, yoga and informative sessions on native trees and herbalism.

For full details, view or download our brochure: BigPictureBrochure

Reduce the Plastic Footprint – Ways to Reduce Plastic in Everyday Life

“ I can only do what one can do but what one can do I will do ” – a quote attributed to John Seymour.

It is in this spirit that we are hosting our next workshop on Saturday, 23 March, 10AM – 1PM.

Anne Marie Mahon (PhD) GMIT will be facilitating the workshop.

We know from scientific research that plastic is deemed a threat to our ecosystems and
human health. We can feel helpless with the volume of plastic packaging we have to dispose of each week. We may think it is fine as long as our plastic goes into the bin but
unfortunately this is not the case, so there is a necessity for each of us to strive to reduce
our everyday plastics consumption.

Indeed there is already some positive action being taken by individuals, businesses and community groups. Together we can do more.

It is encouraging that our local O’Meara’s Supervalu will be introducing their new policy on Plastic Reduction.

And so we balance out John Seymour’s quote with Margaret Mead’s
experience: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

We will also have alternative products on display and we will be sharing alternative techniques and practices.

Booking at 087 2845443 or

Chris Jordan’s ALBATROSS film trailer from chris jordan photographic arts on Vimeo.

Monastic Ireland – A Gift of the Nile

Alf Monaghan will be back with us for a follow-up talk on the 1st of December, 10am-2.30pm.

Alf’s illustrated talk looks at the history of early Irish Christianity from a different perspective – a Mediterranean perspective. It provides a tantalizing glimpse under the veil of history. It asks many questions and confounds some of the accepted theories about the history of early Christianity in Ireland. It traces links with ancient Egypt, connects Irish monasticism with the Desert Fathers and the early Irish Church with the Egyptian Coptic Church. Recent Irish discoveries such as the Faddan More Psalter – Egyptian papyrus found in an ancient book of psalms from a Tipperary bog – are clues pointing to a more substantial Eastern Mediterranean influence in early Irish Christianity, than has been acknowledged to date

Booking, before Thursday 29 November, at 087 2845443 or angairdin1’at’

Download the event flyer: MonasticIrelandPoster

A Sacred Island Before Christianity – Alf Monaghan

  • Saturday, November 3rd, 10am – 2.30pm,
  • €10 (includes light lunch)
  • To book, contact angairdin1’at’ or 087 284 5443   (Before 31 October).

The impression that Ireland was a remote, isolated place in antiquity is outdated. Latest evidence suggests it was part of an active trade network along Atlantic-Mediterranean seaways. During the Neolithic and Bronze ages, the sea was a corridor for trade, communication, ideas  and beliefs – easier, faster & more economical than overland routes.

In reality this made ancient Ireland ‘central & accessible’ – its west coast & islands part of a continuous maritime corridor, from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia. Seagoing Irish had intense cultural affinity and contact with other communities along this long seaboard. The result was shared maritime heritage, language, &religious beliefs.

Against this backdrop, Alf Monaghan traces the origin and spread of Pre-Christian eastern religious beliefs to Ireland, and their impact here. In this context too, the influence of Egyptian Christianity on the early Irish Church is easily understood.

Download flyer: Flyer – A Sacred Island – before Chtristianity (5 Sept. ’18) (1)

About Alf Monaghan

Alf, from Carrick-on-Shannon, has spent most of his life abroad.

He has worked as an Economic Adviser to governments and development agencies in Northern Europe, Central America, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, South & West Africa.

His years in Syria,Turkey, Lebanon, Cyprus, Jordan & Egypt, triggered a deeper interest in the origins of belief and religion.




Organic Gardening Course – An Gáirdín, Autumn 2018/Spring 2019

Choosing and Preparing Your Site for a Vegetable Garden in 2019

With Jim Cronin

Organic growing can produce awesome harvests from the home-scale up, and does so in tune with nature.

If you’re thinking about having a garden next year, now is the time to start your preparation. Jim is one of the country’s most well-known and respected organic growers, and we’re delighted to have him back at An Gáirdín for these sessions in October and during the spring of 2019.

The sessions will cover:

  • Soil
  • Fertility
  • Weed control
  • Reading your garden
  • … and much more

“Organic gardening is magical…. come along and see how to make it work in a practical way”

Booking: or 087 284 5443


Open Day at Jim Cronin’s Farm in Bridgetown

Last April, we were delighted to have Jim Cronin here at An Gáirdín for a very interesting and enjoyable talk and discussion about different aspects of organic growing.

This post is to let you know that on this coming bank holiday Monday, August 6th, Jim is hosting an open day at his farm in Bridgetown and all are welcome.

The day has two parts:

  • Field scale vegetables and workhorse demonstration from 12-1 at Gortmagee, Garraunboy. This will be signposted from Killaloe. (@52.80858090,-8.4718760)
  • The open home garden is from 2-5 at Ballyknavin, Bridgetown, Killaloe (V94 EH50). The venue is signposted from Bridgetown village.



Learn Permaculture in the Permagarden – May 14

On Monday the 14th, we are delighted to host a practical day-long course with Istvan to look at how permaculture principles and  practices can help in overcoming a wet garden.
With a landscaping practice based on the natural patterns of water flows, Istvan will focus our interest on structures such as swales and raised beds and show how transforming the very
structure of the land allows us to take advantage of the abundance of water to serve the
purpose of bringing more fertility to the garden.

A full description of the day here, and more about Permaculture Resource Ireland here.

Booking: Contact or call 087 2845443.

Istvan Markuly –  Lead Facilitator Local community developer who is working on establishing and growing the permaculture network in West Cork, Ireland and initiating Permaculture Waves across the country! He has taken PDC’s and Permaculture workshop internationally and continues to grow his knowledge. He’s co founder of Earth Environmental Education. He provides easy understanding through the principles of permaculture which might make people feel motivated, zestful and dynamic.