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Nano’s Global Garden

One of the final events marking the Tercentenary of the Birth of Nano Nagle was the official opening of Nano’s Global Garden in her birth place of Ballygriffin, on 7 September 2019.



Inspiration for the Global Garden came from two of Nano’s quotes – “I have made myself a pretty garden…” and “if I could be of service in any part of the globe, I would willingly do all in my power.”

About the garden

The site was already a garden but weeds had entwined both above and below ground with the original planting. The first step was to remove a lot of the soil and most of the plants from the beds involved. The Hornbeam hedging and some of the larger specimen shrubs were retained. This work was done over two days by a local farmer, John Magner using a digger and the new topsoil was given by a friend of his.

Nano’s inspiration spread from where she was born to all continents in the world, so the plan was to develop a garden with plants native to the countries where Presentation Sisters live and work. First the soil was left fallow and then emerging weeds were removed, a job done through physical work over some time.

As I researched suitable plants and asked visiting Sisters about what is native or common to their countries. I often found these plants are common here in Irish gardens. I now appreciated past gardeners and plant-hunters who travelled and brought these plants to Europe. Some of the plants in the Global Garden are bought from Garden Centres, some are divisions taken from other areas of our garden or from other Presentation gardens, and some are grown from seed”. (Sr. Eileen Nash, Ballygriffin).



Some examples of the plants are as follows:

South America: Dahlias, Peruvian Lily, Nicotonia…

Europe: Primula, Iris, Hornbeam, Pansy…

Australia and New Zealand: Eucalyptus, Bottlebrush, Phormium…

Asia: Lily, Jasmine, Phlox, Asters…

Africa: Freesia, Aryum Lily, Kafir Lily…

North America: Grasses, Rudabecia, Lupin…

The planting in the garden is mixed together, as an acknowledgement that as we are all part of one great story which began with a little girl who grew up in Ballygriffin.

There are hundreds of different plant species and it has been a delight to watch them grow and bloom, and to see and hear the birds, bees and butterflies enjoying their new organic habitat. The Global Garden is a tranquil place to reflect on our shared story and an expression of a Spirituality of  Being in Communion. (Sr. Eileen Nash)

About Nano Nagle’s Birthplace – Ballygriffin

Nano Nagle Centre in Ballygriffin  provides tranquillity and spirituality and is the perfect location for those looking for some time out in a natural peaceful setting. The Centre’s mission is to promote a vision of eco spirituality – the natural interconnectedness of everything, which leads to personal transformation and a sense of responsibility to our earth and to all living beings. The Centre offers retreats, courses, school programmes, ‘day away’ programmes and hosts conferences and events.

Visitors can come and do a heritage & organic farm tour, cosmic walk, work on an allotment and simply enjoy the natural beauty of the place. The base of a Centre is a 32 acre certified organic farm with dining facilities and self-catering accommodation that operates to the highest environmental standards.

Find more at https://www.nanonaglebirthplace.ie/



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