Daniela O’Gallaghoir and Siobhan Dunne, community gardeners, photographed at the Droichead Resource Centre Community Garden, Calla, Co. Kilkenny on 8th September 2014
Daniela’s hands had their first gardening experience when they moved from Germany to Ireland, it was a revelation! Soon many hours were spent in the garden, whole days slipped past, the hands addicted to the feel of soil and the mind lost to nature’s air. Housework was ignored, meals sometimes forgotten. The nine years since have seen the hands fall in love with the soil, helping her appreciate what she has in life and now the hands share the love of soil with her children.
Siobhan’s hands grew up with hands in the soil, pulling weeds from her mother’s vegetable patch, and picking snails from the cabbage leaves. With the hands of their siblings, they picked berries, dug potatoes and pulled wild oats from the grain crops. Today, the hands still get encouragement from their fathers hands, reminding them each spring to get the potatoes planted before St Patrick’s day. Now these hands seek and find a therapy in the soil and a sense of achievement in seeing plants grow from seed.
Together both pairs of hands join others in the community garden, sharing the work and harvest, celebrating the communal spirit while finding nurture and escape in the soil.