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June 2008

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Just can't stop the beat... Sandra O'Hagan lays plans for summer outings.

Down here in Barryroe we have something called TOPS. Every few years, all the talented members of the parish tread the boards and come up with a knock-out production. The standard is very high from sets to costumes and all the singing, dancing and comedy sketches are fantastic - it's a real treat for all the family. I watch in awe as my neighbours and friends step up to perform, a few of whom are in the gardening club.

The Barryroe Gardening club took a break while dance routines were being perfected, songs practised and punch-lines carefully crafted. As the doors finally opened to Can't Stop the Beat, over the Easter weekend the buzz was amazing. And what a production. Club member Ber dancing and singing her heart out and the two Johns part of a great rendition of ‘Step in time' from the film Mary Poppins. Everyone in the parish was rightly proud of the talent on display, both old and young. Hats off to everyone involved.

Thankfully all the clubbers engaged in the TOPS were delighted to get back into gardening mode, so we all got together to plan the club's summer schedule. I kept expecting someone to break into song or arrive in stage makeup. It was good to meet up again and talk about all things green and hardy. With Charlie Wilkins pre-booked for the autumn, everyone was keen to get out and about. Resident professional, Nicola suggested some of her previous employers would be worth a visit, in particular the gardens at Cappoquin, which is now a definite to launch the season.

After that we'll look to the various garden trails to prompt a garden club convoy and rely on our various members to find out when a local garden opens its gates. Then there was RHS Chelsea for those that like to cross the water and nearer to home Bloom 2008, very recommendable after the success of last year's show. The Rare and Special Plant Sale was another great day out, this year it was held at Larchill Gardens, Kilcock, Co. Kildare, a big attraction for garden clubs.

It was good to meet up again and talk about all things green and hardy.

Suddenly there is too much to pack in and not enough days to choose from, but somehow we'll manage. From a personal point of view I have a leaky pond that I can't decide to fill in or resurrect and also I want to find a bit of inspiration in creating a shady garden. Instead of it being a problem area, I'm hoping to find plants that will work well together without the sunshine. And now I've mentioned the ‘S' word lets all hope that we get a lot more rays of it than last year. 



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