In spite of a summer drought followed by a season of storms, the brightest gardens in Galway were announced this week at the Galway City Tidy Towns Garden Competition.
The competition is organised by Galway City Council every year to recognise the efforts of people, groups, and businesses to maintain their gardens and public areas.
The overall winner of the Front Garden Competition this year was Seamus King, 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.
While the Connacht Hotel won the hotel category and St. Pat’s Boys NS continued their run of awards for their garden, scooping the overall winner in the schools category.
Gary McMahon, Director of Services at the city council said they applauded everyone who worked to keep their home and neighbourhood 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,” he said.
Mr McMahon thanked all those who took part in the competition, “for their efforts to keep Galway City maintained and attractive.”
The awards ceremony for winners of the Garden Competition will be held in early November.
Continued support and interest from businesses and individuals is essential to maintaining a good appearance to the city.
Many of the awards and gardening practices emphasised weren’t just about aesthetics, but about environmentally friendly gardening.
This is especially important in light of the summer drought that caused severe water shortages in Galway and throughout Ireland.
St. John the Apostle, Knocknacarra won best Eco School Garden and Aideen Ward of The Rise, Knocknacarra has won best Eco Front Garden.
Arlene Finn, Acting Environmental Awareness Officer, Galway City Council commented that despite poor conditions, people still managed to keep beautiful gardens for the judges.
“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.”
The full list of winners from the 2018 Galway City Tidy Towns Garden Competition is as follows:
- 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 – Seamus King, 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