I am thrilled to be off to the Rathgar Road today to do some planting. I have such happy memories of attending my first school there on that same road, the famous Miss Carr’s; running in with my older brother every morning past the glorious trees planted in front of the school on either side, then after school going to the swings in Palmerston Park under the shade of the wonderful canopy which is still one of the great and elegant city parks of Dublin. Looking forward to our ceremonial planting today! This is one of the trees on the preferred list for planting today; a Hawthorn. Magic, of course, we love a bit of magic. However it may be a different species, we shall report. I am so looking forward to seeing the tree, chosen by the gardener Audrey at the hospital which is part of the James’ Hospital campus; she has selected it specially for the site. We always leave this to the experts!  The school children are all on holiday however the staff have located one to help us today! It is great to be invited along to take part in the hospital’s “Green Day of Action”.

This is the third hospital on our list of planting sites in the easy treesie – Crann  project this season; Dr. Steeven’s, Clontarf Orthopaedic and St. Luke’s (thought the first venue is now an administrative centre). Our project also has links through Rotary and our Forest Friends with the Mater children’s garden and two sensory gardens in the Wheelchair Association and one under development in Kilbarrack. A green vista has long been accepted as a route to faster patient recovery times.

Well done St. James’s Hospital team at St. Luke’s and our other friends in the HSE. And thank you by the way for training my niece Colette who recently qualified as theatre nurse in St. James’s. I presented her with my late mother’s badge, I was so proud we have another nurse in the family.  Her grandmother was a nurse-midwife, how lucky we are with the great tradition of medicine in Ireland and thank you to all who care for us when we need help!