Date: Thursday, March 15th
Speakers: Nature Expert Jim Hurley & Reformed Gardener and Nature Activist Mary Reynolds
Venue: Wexford County Council Offices, Carricklawn, Wexford
Booking not necessary, all are welcome to attend.
For more information on the exhibition & other talks please see:
• “Stepping back into our roles as guardians of the earth‘. Mary Reynolds will explore the deep connection we have broken with the earth which has left us lost, spaced out and aimless. She explains easy ways to restore the connection and heal the hole in our hearts that we tore when we forgot who we are in the circle of life on the earth.”
Mary grew up on a small mixed farm in Wexford, in the south of Ireland. 20 years ago she set up her own company designing gardens in Dublin. A few years later, having lost the will to live from constantly creating modern gardens, she realised that she could no longer continue shaping land in the same way and re-imagined her work to become nature rather than human centred.
Mary brought her new, still relatively unformed ideas to be showcased at the Chelsea flower show in London where she achieved a gold medal, unusual at the time for a first-time effort. Since that time, she has built up quite a cult following in the world of garden design and is considered unique in her field.
Another U-turn came a few years ago when Mary realised we had to rethink the whole relationship we had with the land and re-examine what it means to truly design in harmony with nature. Those latest revelations lead to ‘The Garden Awakening – Designs to Nurture Our Land and Ourselves’ being born.
This book was written at night, over four years, when her two young kids were asleep… and Mary was almost awake. It was published in 2016.
Mary has been known to present telly programmes about garden design and do the odd garden makeover on the box. She also gives talks and workshops about her work and beliefs. The Irish writer and director Vivienne De Courcy made a movie about a journey in Mary’s life when she made a wild garden at England’s R.H.S Chelsea flower show while simultaneously chasing a very handsome man to Ethiopia and back. She’s trained as a Reiki master, is not a bad cook (to her mother’s eternal surprise) and she likes to campaign against evil multinational efforts to cull us all off with pesticides, herbicides and GMO’s. She spends a lot of time growing and guiding her own land into a place where people can come and stay and learn, but most of her time is spent being a harassed single mum, trying to grow two cheeky but wonderful boy and girl monsters and a crazy golden-doodle with as much grace and love as possible.
• Jim Hurley will be talking us on a virtual walk of one of the most interesting areas of South East Wexford, departing from Kilmore Quay.
Jim Hurley is south Wexford’s keenest promoter of its wonderful natural heritage. The retired Biology teacher has lived here for more than 50 years. He has come to appreciate the flora and fauna of a region which boasts no less than 14 officially designated sites of significant scientific importance.
There is scarcely a bird or a flower to be found between Rosslare and Templetown that he has not rejoiced in and written about.
His love affair with Kilmore began by chance back in 1965, when as a recent graduate in science from UCD, he was recruited by County Wexford VEC to set up the laboratory in the new Bridgetown School.
His knowledge of the sea breezy environment has been shared with readers of this newspaper since 1981. His column run without break for over 33 years. His success is also attributed to the excellence of his own teaching at Bridgetown, his involvement with the Irish Wildbird Conservancy, work on the preparation of Ferrycarrig Heritage Park, and his willingness at all times to give talks or lectures on any matter connected with nature.
For Jim Hurley, nature is for everyone and should be celebrated by as many as possible.
‘There is room for more people to enjoy the south Wexford coast,’ he says simply. ‘Some have a technical or scientific interest but for ordinary people too it is a wonderful amenity. People should be encouraged to enjoy it.’