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Oldbridge Country Fair 2011 and The Garden Talks

The Oldbridge Country Fair took place over the May Bank Holiday Weekend.

On the Saturday, I and some fellow great outdoor enthusiasts gave two sessions of what were titled short garden talks that I had put together with the organisers of Oldbridge Fair. The talks [I prefer chats] on a particular subject involving in some form or other gardening had changed ever so mildly from the original intended and covered the following topics:

  • growing your own to suit your lifestyle
  • community gardening
  • urban city gardening
  • the 3 metre squared gardener
  • a short history on bee keeping
  • the great outdoors
  • elder flower champagne making
  • bee keeping for beginners

To the garden talks, the audio was recorded for The SodShow, Dublin’s garden radio show on 103.2 Dublin City Fm and will be aired over the coming weeks for you to enjoy. And because of the fact that I won’t be including audio in this post, I felt it better to make this post a bit bulkier [?] and include some information about the entire weekend. With that in mind I did return again on the Monday.

What I was really looking forward to seeing was the hot air balloons but alas it was far too windy. Due to family reasons I also missed the sheep dog trials…. I did however catch the talk from the balloon experts. I loved the crafts that were on sale throughout the day [In particular the Big Red Kitchen Chutneys which I bought some of – yummy!]. All local and hand made I should add. The reenactments were brilliant, suffice to say I caught these on both days. I simply loved the coin minting. The dog show was great craic and watching an attempt at a world record piggy back attempt was simply smiles all round. It was also my first time to see a fly fishing demonstration… on a lawned area. Love it!

It’s a little windy in this video… but well worth a look

More than that, Oldbridge House/ The battle of the Boyne visitor centre looked spectacular. The weather was glorious and my regret was that I didn’t bring a picnic as I had intended to do so. The fair was very much a local af-fair but that was good. There were good crowds, yet it wasn’t crowded. I loved it. I enjoyed it. I brought the Donegan Clann with me when I returned on the Monday, on my day off. They loved it. And believe me if they didn’t they’d tell me 😉

My very special thanks to the very kind people who spent the day with me on Saturday:

Jason Robards, Philip Murtagh, Tricia Sheehy Skeffington, Jennifer Farly, Dee Sewell, Brian Greene. The wonderful staff of Oldbridge House and in particular my point of contact Aisling Mcmahon.

Garden Talks @ The Oldbridge Country Fair


Over the May Bank Holiday weekend The Battle of the Boyne, Oldbridge House will play host to it’s first Country Fair. Of greater relevance to gardeners or for that matter any [potential] garden enthusiast, is that the Saturday of the fair will see a series of garden related talks take place.

The Country Fair event in its entirety will run over the 3 days of Saturday, Sunday and the Bank Holiday Monday 31st April – 2nd May. For that, you can find details on the Battle of the Boyne website. To all things gardening….

Taking place in the indoor marquee [Saturday 30th April] the garden talks are billed as follows:

  • 12.00 – 1.30 : Short Gardening Talks
  • 3.00 – 4.00 : Short Gardening Talks

The general idea of the garden talks is as such:

  • Each garden topic will be given 15 minutes each.
  • There will be no preachers pulpit or stage
  • There will be some seating available
  • Brian Greene of the Dublin City Fm’s The Sodshow will record the talks
  • The speakers names will be listed here closer to the day
  • Some speakers may come dressed as gardeners. I doubt that they will.

The talks topics are titled as follows:

  • Introduction to the garden talks
  • 2.4 Children. A House and a Car The 20 minute per week gardener
  • I’ve got a balcony and a window ledge. More than enough room to garden.
  • I’ve got a garden. I don’t have an allotment. More than enough room to grow my own.
  • It doesn’t matter the age or space as long as you enjoy gardening Gardening shouldnt be an expensive hobby

part 2 will run as such:

  • Just because it’s not bought in a shop – some call it rustic. I prefer to say I made it myself. Self made garden features.
  • Gardening can be expensive. Not when you have no money. Community gardening without any shoe string
  • I’d like to have some honey, but they might sting me. bee keeping for those that never have… but might like to
  • Hedge laying. it used to be only for farmers. it’s now got a fancy name thats great for biodiversity

Also: Dublin’s Garden radio Show, The SodShow Team, myself and Brian Greene will be there doing some interviews – come on over and say hello 😀

I’ve been to Brú na Bóinne many times before, most notably to most when The Garden Group visited there. It is a wonderful place. There are many other garden and outdoor related events billed over the course of the weekend that for me personally will make it quite difficult to pick just one day on which to come along.

More information on Oldbridge Country Fair:

  • Telephone: +353 (0) 41 980 9950
  • E-mail: battleoftheboyne@opw.ie
  • Address: Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, Oldbridge, Drogheda, Co. Meath.

I have listed the garden talks on Faceebook as an event:

More information on the garden talks you can contact me in the following ways:

anything else…. just leave a comment ;)
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Battle of The Boyne Site Visit & The Garden Group

To those attending there is of course the original garden group guide post to this trip to the battle of the boyne site.

A note of thanks and deserved applause to Nick Reilly and Aisling Mc Mahon [OPW]  and also to you who decided to make this your Sunday day out.

Really looking forward to this. 🙂

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Garden Group Tour: Battle Of The Boyne Site

Date: Sunday 27th June

Time: 11.30 am on location.

Details: Aisling Mc Mahon of the OPW & Site Manager for The Battle of the Boyne site [Drogheda] will give a personal guided tour to the group.

Numbers: limited to 18

Also: [update] this post on the boyne site

New To The Garden Group:

I recommend you read the garden group guide. The two previous trips were to Irelands Eye and the war memorial park. Dena Williams and her family The Garden Group was also featured in the Mail On Sunday recently.

Our Tour will include:

The Walled Garden and Tea Room 2008, this part is the only part that is fully open to the public at the moment. The layout of which is as per the 1808 and later OS maps.

However, by special arrangement, we have permission from the contractors who are currently on site restoring the outer walls, to access their site, subject to certain limits as there are health and safety concerns. We will also see the Octgaon which the group will be able to see pre- restoration.

And… On the day they visit we will also have living history displays taking place for free on the front lawn with people in period costumes firing muskets with gunpowder and doing cavlary displays.

Please Note:

  • There will be no charge for the tour of the gardens.
  • Anyone planning on bringing children should know that they must be supervised by a parent/ guardian at all times.
  • We are not booked into the centre for a tour but can go in afterwards by buying a ticket and self guide. There are also numerous walks throughout the battle site and Oldbridge Estate that are self guiding and there are directional panels at various locations or one can pick up a free map from reception.
  • There is also a Tea Room located in the Walled Garden.
  • See website for further info www.battleoftheboyne.opw.ie

Garden Group-ees

  • Booking: via comment here only
  • Contact me: see below. not a problem 😉
  • Other: the train/ nor bus stops here. My suggestion is car pooling from Dublin City or Swords meeting point. Most of you know each other. Most people drive anyway. If you are stuck leave a comment it will be easily solved. 
  • Dress Code: advised to wear suitable footwear as all the walks are on grass, except the Boyne Canal towpath which adjoins the site and is surfaced with gravel.
  • Duration: I conferred Aisling and 2.5 hours should see you well
  • Weather: the weather…. your guess is as good as mine.
  • Lunch: I had suggested bringing a picnic. That’s what I will be doing anyway. All things going good it’ll be a flask of coffee and some nice sambos!
  • Anything else: leave a comment below or gimme a call. 
  • Directions: The Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre is located on the South bank of the River Boyne, 3km north of Donore Village.  The site is sign-posted from the  M1 (Dublin/Belfast), Exit 9, off N51 (Slane/Drogheda), Not Suitable for Coaches, and off N2 (Slane/Ashbourne). Also see google maps

Contact Me:

Note of thanks: to Nic Reilly for putting me in touch and to Aisling McMahon for taking my call and arranging this for us.

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