‘Growing Closer’ NCAD Community Garden and Exhibition

On Tuesday a small group of us decided to head into town to soak up a bit of culture.

To start our day off we decided to head to The National College of Art & Design on Thomas street, to take part in a public tour of the NCAD Community Garden Farm/ NCAD Gallery ‘Growing Closer’ exhibition.

The NCAD Community Garden Farm was founded in January 2014 by the NCAD Students’ Union in partnership with community gardener Tony Lowth. The garden stretches from Thomas Street to Oliver Bond Street and is situated right next door to the college. This land was originally an empty, run down, unused site. However with a lot of hard work and creativity it has now been transformed into a wonderfully fruitful garden.

“I had a fun time! This garden in the middle of town is lovely. It is hard to believe that it is, where it is and manages to looks so well.” – Chris O’Neill

We love this project because it is about sustainable living and the creation of connections within your own community.   

The main gardener on site, Tony Lowth, gave a very inspirational talk during the tour of the garden.

His main points were to start composting, start working and the worms will come!! He is a very strong believer in No-dig gardening which basically consists of layering organic materials on top of the soil to create a nutrient rich environment for your plants.

“I liked the garden project called ‘Growing Closer’ in the college a great deal. It was very different and the people that created it were very interesting. It seems like they have had a great time creating it. A man named Tony gave a short talk about the garden. He really had a great interest in composting and said that it was really important.” – Matthew Colgan


A lot of the beds in the NCAD garden were raised beds. Using this method means that it doesn’t matter what the soil is like underneath, you can still create a healthy environment for growing food with the use of good compost. We were very impressed with this method and believe that it is something which we could adopt in our own gardens here in EVE Estuary. Raised beds would be of benefit to not only the plants and soil, but also to people less able to bend down and dig in the garden.

“It was an unusual garden. It’s not like a conventional garden because they don’t use any chemicals and use a lot of compost instead. I liked the fact they they grow their own vegetables and share them with their local community.” – Thomas Ryan

“The garden also has a visitor called ‘Bunny’. As you might have guessed this is a rabbit. Someone must have not wanted him and just threw him away. He found his way into their garden and Tony is now looking for a new home for him.” – Matthew Colgan


For Valentine’s this year we are working on a project called ‘Spreading the Love’. This project consists of placing small love hearts, with nice massages written on them, around town. Our hope is that people may happen upon these hearts, read their messages and be filled with a little love. This may then inspired them to share the love themselves that day and thus start an unending chain of positive thinking and living.

We left one of our love hearts in the NCAD garden. Written on it was the phrase ‘Enjoy the little things in life!’. We picked this one especially because we felt that this message echoed part of the gardens ethos.

“While we were in town we also planted some of the love hearts from our ‘Spreading the Love’ Valentine’s project around town in different places. I really liked the one that we left in the NCAD garden, it said ‘Enjoy the little things in life!’. I would love to go on another adventure like this again some time real soon.” – Chris O’Neill


Follow the link provided to find out more information about this project.

NCAD Gallery Facebook Page

© 2015 HSE/EVE

About HSE EVE Estuary

HSE EVE Estuary Centre is part of Eastern Vocational Enterprise (EVE) and is a training centre for individuals with intellectual disabilities based in Lissenhall, Swords, HSE Dublin North East. We provide a quality service to sixty four individuals.


  1. Pingback: WORLD ORGANIC NEWS | ‘Growing Closer’ NCAD Community Garden and ExhibitionWORLD ORGANIC NEWS

  2. martinobst918419058

    New growing season is starting with much more growings space! Workers needed! Enjoy some work in the garden in our open days on Tuesdays and Saturadays… Find the gate on top of Oliver Bond street and walk in.

  3. Mary McDonnell

    Free bags of leaves ourside 130 Griffith Ave and a few neighbouring gardens. Please pick up.

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