On Tuesday, May 30th a group of women and our Horticulture Tutor, Des Kehoe left Wexford at 5.00 a.m. to assemble our Postcard Garden in the Phoenix Park for the Bloom Festival.  This was the culmination of many months of preparation work, lots of tea and coffee, and some great camaraderie and teamwork.  The excitement grew as all the work of making the individual pieces, the mosaic, the papier-mâché tree, the flowers, and the unbridled creativity were now going to be linked together to symbolise what ACCESS means to the women from the various communities in Wexford.  This installation task at Bloom took over 8 hours but we were all delighted with the finished garden said the Development Worker, Margaret Cullen and Administrator Dagmar Byrtusova, both of whom collaborated on the project from start to finish and assisted the over 30 women in making their vision a reality.

On Thursday, June 1st opening day of Bloom, the sun was shining, mobile phones were all on high alert waiting to hear news of the judging, which took place on Wednesday afternoon.  Full of nervous tension, the team entered the park and went straight to the garden.  There it was the plaque from Bloom Garden Committee acknowledging all of our hard work and commitment over the last ten weeks.  We were awarded a ‘Certificate of Distinction’, which meant we came joint second.  The first time exhibiting a garden at Ireland’s largest garden festival and we received this very prestigious award!  We had gone from a very nervous idea, to an anxious application to Bord Bia; we were accepted and then we had to deliver something credible and appropriate with our concept. Just imagine our garden will be seen by over one hundred thousand people from June 1st to June 5th.

Throughout the day, many people visited the garden, to ask questions, to admire the work, the colours, the individual pieces, but above all to acknowledge what can be achieved when a group of women who have a clear vision and an action plan work together. On Thursday we took a bus of 40 participants to the show, what a day out.  The sense of involvement, participation, and success was palpable in every voice.  Henry Ford once said that “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success” and this success is truly shared by many.
A project like this could not be possible without  the help from our volunteers, professional guidance, supporters and sponsorship from the local business people.  The Management and Staff of ACCESS would like to express our sincere thanks to you all.  We hope we have done you proud and discussions are already starting on next year’s project.

Go raibh mile mile maith agaibh go lear.