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St John the Baptist Boys National School, Old Road, Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland

Flower & Garden Club

Hello and welcome to our website.  I'm Monica Slattery and I work as a SNA in our school.  In September 2011, I chatted with Mr Ryan about the idea of setting up a Flower and Garden Club in our school.  I was given free reins to carry out this project and before we knew it we had formed a committee consisting of two boys from each class (First to Sixth Class).  My idea for this project came from my own interest in flowers and passing on that interest to the boys and teaching them the basic skills of digging, planting and then seeing the beauty of their work and sharing that beauty with the school and community.

Our first meeting was a little chat about the different seasons and what to plant in spring, summer and winter.  Our committee of 12 boys included a secretary and a treasurer which made our club very official.  Mr Ryan financed us for the first two years and we were able to buy window boxes for the front of the school and compost to fill them.  We bought daffodil bulbs for spring planting and bedding plants for summer display.  The boys were amazed to see the gradual emergence of  colour that changed the appearance of our school.  Our school won the County Tipperary Tidiest award in 2013 and the prize was €500 euro which was shared between schools in our complex. Mr Ryan has kindly  given us donations  from this fund for the past two gardening seasons.                        

In May 2012, our club entered a competition run by Bord Bia which required the boys to colour a picture for National Strawberry Week.  We were also required to provide photos to them of our own strawberries we planted at school.  All eight boys in the club worked together on the picture with a little guidance and the end result was a 3D image which resulted in the boys winning 1st prize in this National Competition.  The amazing prize was a free trip to Dublin Zoo with a free lunch and a special meet and greet with Bord Bia to congratulate the boys on their win.  All the boys in the Flower and Garden Club travelled along with myself and two teachers.  One of the highlights of the day was the endless amount of strawberries the boys got to eat!

The Committee has been changed every September so lots of different boys got the opportunity to come out to the garden and learn gardening skills. Since September 2014,  the format has changed and we have decided that all of the 6th class boys' will run the Flower and Garden Club under supervision. This way every boy at school will eventually get a chance in some way to be part of it.  We normally get to work in the garden on Friday afternoons when the boys are allowed out from their classrooms by their teachers to fulfil their important duties (digging, planting , watering etc ) .                                                  .                                                                 

Local group, Aimsir Bia (Cashel Community Gardening Group) have also linked up with our school to promote the growing of fruit and vegetables.  They provided us with four raised beds which they prepared and generously donated plants and seedlings.  Two local girls from Aimsir Bia Mary Barron  and Annie Dalton were invaluable in the time they spent educating the boys on the importance of growing your own vegetables.  The resource teachers became involved in this project and, with their pupils, harvested the vegetables and made some homemade soup at their cookery class.  Some staff members also took home some vegetables to share.

I hope you will continue to read updates on our Flower and Garden Club and capture some of the joy the boys get from it. We look forward to continuing to improve the visual beauty of our school.



8th Oct 2019
Mrs Slattery SNA does great work with our boys in our school garden. They were busy...
5th Sep 2019
Mrs Slattery was back working in the garden with the boys getting everything ready...
8th Jun 2019
Monica Slattery SNA has been extremely busy completing the Incredible Edibles Programme....

Flower and Garden Club go to Dublin Zoo 2012