Budding Artists

Join our 'budding' artists, a creative workshop especially for younger children taking place once a month, under the watchful eye of artist Niamh Synnott. Children are encouraged to take a closer look at the natural world all around them to inspire fun art-making activities. Suitable for 4 to 7 year olds.  Saturday 16th November. Cost: €10, booking essential - download booking form

Source: National Botanic Gardens

Santa Claus Visits the National Botanic Gardens Dublin

Savour the seasonal atmosphere and experience the true spirit of Christmas with a free visit to Santa and his helpers in his snowy woodland hideaway in the gardens. Admission by ticket only, collect at the visitor centre. Tickets can only be collected on Sunday 15th.

Source: National Botanic Gardens

World’s Scariest Flowers

Thought all flowers were beautiful? Think again! Here are our top 10 weird and wacky flowers that are sure to give you a fright this Halloween.

1. Dracula Orchid

This is one of the freakiest flowers out there. Belonging to the genus Dracula, it has two long spurs that hang down, almost like fangs, as well as a scary monkey face. Yes, it really is as bizarre as it sounds! It only grows in the cloud forests of Ecuador and Peru on the side of mountains, and smells like a ripe orange. Amazing!

Read more: World’s Scariest Flowers

Childrens Sand Pit, Dublin - Peter Donegan

If you are gonna do a sand pit for the little ones in your house and garden there really is only one way to go. In that I mean you get one that they simply do not want to get out of and also one that will last outside in the delightful Irish weather that we have inherited.

Read more: Childrens Sand Pit, Dublin - Peter Donegan

Kids Harvesting Heritage Lumper Potatoes - Gareth Austin

Its been all-go this week with the harvestign of the Lumper potatoes as part of the Living Heritage Project. Various schools have been out digging up their spuds, some have had great success, some not so great, but the kids are loving the unusual shapes and sizes of these heritage potatoes.

Read more: Kids Harvesting Heritage Lumper Potatoes - Gareth Austin

Flowers ‘Grown from Pencil Stubs’

Scientists have come up with a novel way of recycling old stationery – by turning pencil stumps into flowers and herbs. Researchers in the US have created the Sprout eco pencil which is made from cedar and contains graphite and clay in place of lead. Each pencil has a seed capsule fitted onto its end which can be planted once the pencil becomes too short to use.

Read more: Flowers ‘Grown from Pencil Stubs’


Ardan Foraging Walk

Would you like to learn more about the edible treats available in your local woodlands? If so then join the Native Woodland Trust in Ardan Wood in Westmeath for a foraging adventure. At this time of year Ardan wood is packed full of different edible berries, fungi and nuts making it the perfect place to learn the craft of foraging.

Read more: Ardan Foraging Walk

SEED Schools Conference

Saturday 5th October 2013. Teaching is Easy in a School Garden. Be part of Ireland's first ever school garden education conference to be held in Marino Institute of Education (www.mie.ie) from 10.00am to 4.15pm on Saturday 5th October 2013.

Read more: SEED Schools Conference

Horticulture Open Evening - ITB

Our hands-on and practical courses are designed to help develop the knowledge, skills and practical experience needed to work in the dynamic, developing horticulture sector.

Read more: Horticulture Open Evening - ITB

Gracedieu Community Woodland Volunteer Day

This November we will be planting hundreds more trees on our Gracedieu Community Woodland on the outskirts of Waterford City. Before we can plant these trees we first need to clear some space and prepare the site. This would not be possible without the help of volunteers, so come along and lend a helping hand. With the river Suir on one side and the Waterford.

Read more: Gracedieu Community Woodland Volunteer Day

Ghost Stories in the Woods

Our beautiful Blessington nature reserve is situated on the shores of the Poulaphouca Reservoir. The name comes from the Irish “Poll a' Phúca” meaning “hole of the ghost”. If you’re feeling brave why not come along to our Blessington reserve this Halloween where we will be telling ghost stories in the woods. This event is open to all (living or otherwise) and is sure to be great fun for all the family. This event is free for members with a suggested donation of €4 for non-members.

Read more: Ghost Stories in the Woods

First Harvests of Lumper Potatoes in Schools - Gareth Austin

Exciting times in schools gardens throughout Derry-Londonderry this week as the first harvests of Lumper potatoes started as part of the Living Heritage Project which was launched in April with Chef Emmett McCourt of Irish Food Heritage Project and Glens of Antrim Potatoes 

Read more: First Harvests of Lumper Potatoes in Schools - Gareth Austin

Animals and Flowers that Resemble Each Other

There are certain natural wonders that are so unusual they are hard to believe. Flowers are already awe-inspiring in themselves, but there are some breeds that look remarkably like animals. Conversely, there are creatures that actually resemble some of the most beautiful blooms. Here are just a few examples of these strange living things that resemble one another:

Read more: Animals and Flowers that Resemble Each Other

Upstart - Thank You Granby Park Volunteers!

For me personally, Granby Park was never a ‘pop-up’ project. Nothing about it appeared suddenly and easily overnight and much of what made it exceptional was the way in which it has, and continues, to resonate.

Read more: Upstart - Thank You Granby Park Volunteers!

Cork Students Win First Prize at EU Young Scientists Award

First prize at the 25th EU Contest for Young Scientists, worth €7000, went to Emer Hickey, Ciara Judge, and Sophie Healy-Thow from Kinsale Community School, Cork, for their project entitled “A statistical investigation of the effects of diazotroph bacteria on plant germination".

Read more: Cork Students Win First Prize at EU Young Scientists Award

Sanctuary Synthetics - Let ‘Em Run in School Play Areas

We were all allowed run around to our hearts content blowing off steam and honing our hide and seek, footballing and chasing skills as youngsters. (and don’t forget, we were young once too and we’re still young at heart! – click here for the evidence). We think its unfair and indeed unhealthy that many children are not allowed run these days, albeit for laudable health and safety reasons.

Read more: Sanctuary Synthetics - Let ‘Em Run in School Play Areas

New Play Area to Open at Tim Smythe Park

A new Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) will be officially opened to the public at Tim Smythe Park in Ennis today Monday (2 September, 2013) at 12.30pm. Ennis Town Council entered into a contract with Crawford Contracts Group Ltd. in 2012 for the all-weather sports facility, which features a polymeric surface than can accommodate a wide variety of sports and games through the use of multifunctional goals and nets.

Read more: New Play Area to Open at Tim Smythe Park

Garden Class @ The Summer Art School - Peter Donegan

This week I did a garden class with Amy Cooney’s Summer Art Class in Ballyboughal. For those who may not be aware, that’s in North County Dublin, just outside of Swords and it’s also my own home town.

Read more: Garden Class @ The Summer Art School - Peter Donegan

Miniature Golf Course!

Our team just completed this fantastic miniature golf course at 'The Old Mill Pub' in Tallaght. Sanctuary's design team created and installed this one of a kind 9 hole course at the popular family pub. The course runs both indoor and outdoor and is perfect for all ages.

Read more: Miniature Golf Course!

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