A Day of Discovery: Horticultural Exploration at Ballymaloe Gardens

A Day of Discovery: Horticultural Exploration at Ballymaloe Gardens

On the lush morning of Thursday, May 11th, our Transition Year (TY) Horticulture students, along with members of the Green Schools, embarked on an enlightening journey to the verdant Ballymaloe Gardens.


Guided by the expertise of Mr. Tim Allen, our day unfolded with a wander through the living textbook of gardens, showcasing a dazzling array of produce both in the open fields and the climate-controlled glass house. From the crisp taste of rhubarb to the earthy delights of artichokes, broad beans, tomatoes, courgettes, aubergines, and a kaleidoscope of herbs, every step was a sensory feast. A particular highlight was the delight of savoring young carrots, plucked fresh from the soil and rinsed on the spot, a taste of nature in its purest form.


The tour then transitioned to an engaging session around the potting benches, where we delved into the intricate dynamics of irrigation and drainage, and the vigilant art of pest control. The wisdom shared was a blend of traditional knowledge and innovative practices, tailored to the unique needs of each plant.


Our exploration continued at the compost silos, the unseen heart of any garden. Here, we learned about the magical transformation of cow manure, plant cuttings, and kitchen waste into what gardeners affectionately call “brown gold.” This dense and sticky humus not only enriches the soil with essential nutrients and microbes but also enhances its moisture retention – a crucial aspect of sustainable agriculture.


The day culminated with a delectable treat, courtesy of the students at Ballymaloe Cookery School. Their culinary expertise, a testament to the seamless connection between farm and fork, provided the perfect conclusion to our journey.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Tim Allen for orchestrating a tour that was as educational as it was inspiring. Our appreciation also goes to our own diligent students, who conducted themselves with curiosity and grace. Special thanks to Ms. Henry for her efforts in organizing this remarkable excursion, and to Horticulture Instructor Ms. Mary Walsh and Ms. White for their company and guidance.


The memories of Ballymaloe Gardens will linger not only in our minds but in the way we approach horticulture, connecting us to the earth and to the continuous cycle of growth and renewal that it represents.