Ribbon cutting at revamped Dromore community garden

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A COMMUNITY garden in Dromore, which has been transformed by a team of green-fingered volunteers, has been officially opened

Deidre Shannon has lived in the area for 35 years and, when she saw on social media how people were unhappy with places in and around the town of Dromore, she felt compelled to do something.

She set up a gardening group and, together, through the love of gardening - and of Dromore - she made a call out to local people to volunteer to help deal with areas that needed attention.

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Deidre said: “It has taken a lot of work to get established and to start to actually be able to do something positive.

Pictured at the community garden opening, Deidre Shannon, Deputy Lord Mayor Kyle Savage, Allison Harrison and Julie Reynolds. Pic: Gary Gardiner.Pictured at the community garden opening, Deidre Shannon, Deputy Lord Mayor Kyle Savage, Allison Harrison and Julie Reynolds. Pic: Gary Gardiner.
Pictured at the community garden opening, Deidre Shannon, Deputy Lord Mayor Kyle Savage, Allison Harrison and Julie Reynolds. Pic: Gary Gardiner.

“People should start to see improvements - at Regent's Bridge where the planters have been filled, litterpicks, overhanging shrubs onto the public pathways, other street planters etc.”

The first big project was the community garden in town and Deidre would like to sincerely thank all the volunteers who assisted with clearing, cutting, digging, planting and moral support - especially Julie Reynolds and Karen Weir.

“Thanks go to the Deputy Lord Mayor Kyle Savage, who, along with our prize winner Allison Harrison, cut the ribbon and completed this ceremony to open the garden,” the local resident said.

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“Thanks especially must go to the National Lottery Community Fund NI for the very generous grant. It has been put to good use.

“Colin Shirlow for the days of work taken to build the raised beds. They look amazing.

“James Magill for taking time out of his busy schedule to powerhose the entire area; Graham Construction for the continued use of the site; ABC council for the floral grant and permission to proceed with this project.

“Also to Dromore Chamber of Commerce, Calm and Quails for their assistance and ongoing support; Calm, Taste, Still Magills, Bethels Kitchen & Barrel & Bean for the generous competition prizes (for the competition to name the garden).

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“Special mention should be given to the turnip press which was donated many years ago by the late Helen McFadden MBE.

“She was a local lady who did so much work around the town because she loved it and she believed in the people here.

“It has been lovingly refurbished and planted with forget-me-nots to remind us of all the people we have known or who lived in this great town that are no longer with us, but who are still in our hearts.”

There are little acrylic hearts available to write the names of those you wish to remember onto.

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These will be hung up by the group in the garden, hopefully, by the end of July.

There are a number of these still available, so if you'd like to add a heart, pop into Barrel & Bean and fill one in.

Deidre added: “Hopefully everyone can enjoy the garden going forward and, if it makes anyone feels like volunteering a little bit in Dromore, please contact me via Facebook.

“There's a few more plans for the garden, but these will happen once the summer actually arrives and when time permits.”

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