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The Laois Rose Opens Sacred Heart School Garden

On Tuesday 22 June in blissful sunshine, the Laois Rose, Ms Bernadette Ryan performed the opening of the school garden in Sacred Heart School, Portlaoise.

To tumultuous applause from the children and staff of the school, Bernadette cut the ribbon on the new school garden. Part of the grounds of the Presentation Convent, the area for the garden was generously leased to the school by the Presentation Sisters, to restore and maintain.

The School Garden project arose as a result of the Fifth Class winning 1200 in the Incredible Edibles project last year. The prize money was put towards developing the school garden. An ongoing project, involving all of the children in the school, the garden to date contains a beautiful lawn, apple trees, rose bushes and a fruit and vegetable patch created and maintained under the watchful eye of local landscape gardener, Mark Sherlock. Classes can regularly be seen strolling through the garden along the paths generously donated by Booth Concrete.

The garden also contains a water feature and a seating area supplied by Joe Ging of Gings Homevalue. Des Rankin, the school caretaker installed the water fountain in the garden. While bird and wildlife are welcome into the garden, "Trixiebell Poppy Fitzpatrick",the resident scarecrow, who is soon to be joined by her extended family, keeps a watchful eye over all the fruit and vegetables.

To celebrate the opening of the garden, a "Rose Ball" was held. All the children dressed up for the occasion, the girls wearing ballgowns and summer dresses, their escorts looked very suave in suits and jackets! They carried paper roses or wore sashes, tiaras and "Rose headbands" that they had made in school in preparation for the special occasion. There was plenty of competition for Bernadette Ryan, the Laois Rose! The "Ball" began with a parade in the garden. The children from Fifth Class performed "La Vinca" an Italian folk dance for the assembled audience. The school band, accompanied by Mrs Anne Whelan and Ms Orla Coughlan, entertained with their renditions of "The Rose of Tralee" and "You are my sunshine". First class also sang the Rose of Tralee especially for the Laois Rose.


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Sacred Heart Primary School, Church Avenue, Portlaoise, County Laois. Tel. (057) 8621904 |

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