There is a wonderful community Garden just down the road from where I live. It is a true oasis in the middle of a very urban area, trees, flowers and lots of fruit and vegetables grow happily hidden behind an archway just beyond a very busy road. This wonderful place is called Mud Island and when I can I spend may Tuesday and Saturday afternoons with my hand stuck in the mud or busy picky ripe fruit.
The garden is named after the area it is in. Today this part of Dublin is North Strand and/or Ballybough (Baile Bocht from baile = town and bocht =poor) but in the late nineteenth century it was known as Mud Island, because it was close to the mudflats in Fairview. It was an area know for it’s seedy residents, smugglers, highwaymen, robbers and prostitutes, not a place you’d really want to go. But now it is a hive of urban living, a mixture of creatives, old time residents, council flats, immigrants, a potpourri of Dubliners, both old and new. The perfect place for a community garden, a place where everyone is welcome and you get to meet strangers who could become friends.
So with the sun shining and the temperatures rising I will wander down to the garden later on this afternoon, maybe I’ll harvest some local produce but I am sure to have lots of fun.