SOME MUSINGS OF A VOLUNTEER
by Janet M Jeffrey
It all began in 2014, the year Howth and Sutton Horticultural Society decided to repeat a very successful Open Garden Weekend similar to that held in 2008. This time, however, it was agreed that the proceeds should be given to a charity.
St. Francis Hospice, Raheny, seemed a natural choice, being local, familiar to many – and celebrating its 25th anniversary. Thus a link between the hospice and our society was formed.
A few months later a hospice circular, advertising for a volunteer gardener, appeared in our ‘Inbox.’ David and I responded, were interviewed, vetted and provisionally taken on. We passed our 3 months’ probation, and so began a new chapter in our gardening experience.
We work alongside, but independent of, a team of volunteer gardeners, each of us caring for a definitive area. Ours is centred around ‘Day Care’ where patients come for various therapies and social activities.
The many bright and cheerful patio containers provide a source of interest throughout the year. The society’s annual donation allows us to buy spring bulbs and summer bedding. A well traversed small walled garden, used mainly by staff and visitors is also our responsibility. This we have developed as a peaceful, tranquil garden.
So many people stop and chat to us and admire. The appreciation of all is heart-warming and it makes our efforts so worthwhile. Monday mornings are looked forward to and are quite a highlight of our week!
Photographs: Janet and David Jeffrey