St Martha's Bridge Flower Display

Initiated 2018

This display has been one of the most noticeable improvements to our neighbourhood. Flowers adorn the side railings along the entire length of the bridge from early June to late October. The bridge is a high-profile area with frequent traffic congestion ensuring that the display is seen by many.

Summer 2021


In 2018 a grant from Meath County Council enabled us to purchase sixteen planters and display traditional bedding plants. 

Read More

We increased this to thirty-two in 2019 to span the entire length and trialed thyme, chives, and strawberries within the display. These flowering plants withstood exposure to the river conditions, provided food to pollinator insects, and were successfully transplanted to a long-term site in the Autumn.


Traditional flower baskets provide a bounty of colourful flowers throughout the summer but they are rarely of any benefit to pollinators. 

Read  More

Our challenge since 2019 was to become 100% pollinator-friendly. Our display has evolved each year to reflect our changing understanding of what we should be creating to benefit the environment. 

Our most recent displays have included: Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Sage, Strawberries, Chives, Trailing Nasturtiums, Trailing Ivy, Bacopa, Bidens, Sanvitalia procumbens, Calibrachoa 'Caberet Series', Lobelia maritime, Lobularia maritime, Petunia 'Easy Wave White', Helitropium arborescent 'White Queen', Verbena 'Temari Coral Pink', Diascia 'Little Dancer', Lobelia 'Little Dancer', Mint, and even sunflowers! 

Early Years


Our first display hosted traditional bedding plants with big bright flowers but few visiting insects or birds.


Our pilot project successfully introduced Chives, Rosemary, Thyme, and Strawberries creating a fragrant surprise for those walking past.


Decreasing the traditional planting and using more Chives, Rosemary, Thyme, Strawberries, and introducing Oregano was well received by the community.

The Covid-19 pandemic meant 2020 went without a display but in 2021 we included rosemary and oregano plants into the mix whilst reducing the number of bedding plants. Our long-term aim is to eliminate annual bedding plants in favour of flowering pollinator plants.

2021 Display


100% Pollinator friendly with smaller flowers attracted far more insects. Bidens and strawberries were highly successful but in the final month the mint overran the display.


The 2022 planters were pollinator-friendly and able to survive both the hot dry summer and the exposed river location. Going forward the planters will have fewer plants to allow more growing space, include more perennial plants for replanting later, no mint since the roots spread rapidly, and fewer nasturtiums since they needed more frequent watering than we could supply. 

June 26th

St Martha's Bridge in flower

This year's flower display is again dedicated to providing food for our pollinators.

Read More

November 3rd

Summer Display Ends

A combination of weather and choice of plants has resulted in a flower display that has lasted considerably longer than in previous years.

Read More

November 25th

Autumn Display

Our volunteers have been busy bringing colour back to St Martha's Bridge this weekend.

Thank you to Beechmount Garden Centre for creating our very first autumn flower basket display.

Read More

2024 Plan

Given the success of the Autumn planters still in flower, we expect to replace these in mid-June 2024 with the summer pollinator-friendly selection and a new Autumn selection later in the year.

Visiting Pollinators

Seen at our flowers during watering times.

7 Spot Ladybird




Common Blue Butterfly

Water Conservation

Despite the close proximity of the River Boyne there is no public water supply within easy reach. 

Read More

We can't use the river water without powered mechanical assistance and therefore we obtained seven rainwater harvesting butts to bank over 1,000 litres from nearby homes. A trolley transports a small water butt and a simple gravity pump transfers water from the larger barrels. If the butts run dry we have liaised with Navan RFC to utilise their supply.

In 2022 we invested in several portable, foldable, watering canisters to provide 250Ltrs of water more easily.

We're also aiming to reduce water consumption by introducing plants that are more drought-tolerant such as the 'woody herbs' of thyme, rosemary, and lavender.

Each planter basket has a 5 litre water reservoir that reduces the frequency of watering and allows the roots to draw up water from underneath which reduces natural evaporation and speeds up the job of watering.

Containers with water reservoirs reduce water loss and frequency of replenishing.

Bridge Maintenance

We plan to clean the bridge whilst replacing the Autumn 23 display with the Summer 24 display.

In 2023, 2022, and 2018 Rochfort Property Services volunteered to clean the bridge railings with a high-pressure hose using water provided via Navan RFC

No chemicals were used due to the proximity of the river and we hope this will become an annual event to maintain the gleaming presentation of the bridge.

As part of our 2021 initiative to stop weed killer use in Johnstown we cleared the roadside and pavement by hand. Meath County Council Maintenance Department provided high-pressure water deep clean to the pavement and roadside drains.

Read More

Sustainable Development Goals

This project has connections with the following categories: