Green fingers reaching out

A passionate family of horticulturists from Stamullen are behind an eco friendly project to encourage young people to ditch the screens and embrace gardening and the outdoors.

The “Growing Together” initiative is the brainchild of the De Buitléar family consisting of mum Fiona, dad Ciarán and children Sam (12) and Zack (7) along with Fiona's Father Frank who is also on board.

This community project will see the local beavers club given materials to grow three flowers from seed when grown they keep one, give one each to a grandparent and a neighbour.

The family whose “Gardening Well” blog has 50,000 followers on social media and are advocates of sustainability believes that “if we can’t be together, we can grow together.”

Speaking on the importance of educating young people on growing Ciaran said:

“We think gardening is very good for the planet and our mental health gets us off the screens and out in the fresh air, it is kind of like active meditation.

“With our blog we share updates on our garden and make videos to help people get involved in gardening, we also have a Facebook page for the area called "Stamullen Gardening."

“Last year we grew some plants like foxgloves, dahlias cosmos and tomato plants and gave them away in the community here during lockdown to cheer up our vulnerable and elderly.

“A few local gardeners help us with the growing.

Beaver member Lara Lynam gives "growing together" the thumbs up

“We can go bigger this year as Meath County Council Climate Action & SDG helped us out with a lot of materials for these two projects.

“We wanted to give people a boost and maybe encourage more people to take up gardening and plant with their kids, they learn so much from it.”

The Stamullen gardening enthusiast is hoping that their latest project will not only foster a love of growing but will bring people together also. He added:

“Zack is in the local Beaver club and we were trying to think of something to do with them so we came up with this idea of growing together.

“A lot of people don’t have the knowledge to grow things so we said we’d put together packs that was just enough materials and seeds for them to grow three plants and we make little videos to show them how to do it and give them all the stuff they need.

“When the plants are bigger the beavers can keep one, give one plant to a relative (maybe a grandparent) and one plant to a neighbour who might need cheering up.

“They can share the pictures of the plants growing and feel like they are a bit more together during lockdown.

Young Sam getting stuck into his gardening project

“This only if it can be done safely and following whatever government health guidance is in place at the time. Leaving on the doorstep and phoning the person is a good way to do this.

“They will also get a badge from the beavers for their effort.

“Other seven year olds are coming up to Zack on the street and asking him how they water the plants or how do they make the seeds grow, it is wonderful to see.

“We have started another project called Growing Community, a similar idea as to what we did last year growing plants to give them away to the elderly in the community, it is just a small way to try and make a difference and bring people together in another way.”

Follow “Gardening Well” on Twitter for more information.