Tidy Towns groups and Residents Associations plant a lot of flowers, trees, hedges etc every year. Some are designed to give short-term colour, others are more long-term in nature.
Whatever your group is planting, you should consider:
- whether the plant would be found naturally in the area – for example, a plant usually found on top of a mountain in Japan is going to be a tad out of place in Corcaghan – even if it is the highest point in the county!
- You should also consider where the plant has come from.
This is important from a disease control perspective (the recent introduction of Ash Dieback Disease into Ireland via trees imported into garden centres for sale to the general public is a case in point).
But it is also crucial to preserve the genetics of our local trees and plants by regenerating our hedgerows and gardens with cuttings from local plants.
For a fantastic schools project, why not identify a few old trees in your locality, collect their seeds, then get your local primary school involved in planting the seeds and caring for the seedlings until they are big enough to plant?
You can preserve the local genetics of species such as oaks very easily. Or with a little expert help, you could discover some long-forgotten local varieties of apple or other fruit tree, and play your part in preserving these for future generations to enjoy.
Visit Irish Seed Savers to find out more. ISS also sells Irish-sourced seeds and plants.