How We Began

In the autumn of 2014 the Sisters of Mercy from St Leo's Convent contacted several groups and individuals in county Carlow, inviting them to a meeting to discuss the possibility of a community garden being created in land adjacent to the convent.

There was huge interest in the overgrown two acre site and from that initial get together on a warm bright evening, three sub committees of volunteers were formed to move the idea into action. They included:

♥     A Governance Team who focus on putting in place legal and constitutional structures. 
♥     A Catalysing Team who focus on community and education. 
♥     A Design Team who focus on the physical design, planning and health & safety aspects of the garden. 

In 2015 a Board of Directors was created and An Gairdín Beo applied to be a Company Limited by Guarantee with Charitable Status, with a 20 year lease being agreed with the Sisters.

Once all of the formalities have taken place and everything has been signed and sealed, the garden will have a launch party and encourage all the communities in County Carlow to get involved and experience this wonderful amenity for themselves.


There is a rich history surrounding the community garden and lots of visitors are familiar with the site. 

The Tennis Court - October 2014

Many years ago the two buildings were used by previous St Leo's College staff and pupils, known as 'Bethlehem' and the 'gym'. 

The Basketball Court - May 2016

The tarmac is still down from old basketball and tennis courts, once used by the all the girls from the school during their PE lessons. The mediation area of the garden was known as St Joseph's Walk and used by the Sisters; it's still possible to glimpse some of the planting from this time.