1. CELTIC WALK
This is the main central axis of the Sensory Gardens and get its name from the heavily planted yew trees which border each garden. A distinctive feature at the entrance of the walk is some fine examples of Carlow Fence. Granite kerbing lines the edges of the walk and crushed granite paving surface allows ease of access for wheel chairs. Visitors can walk under our roof garden further down the Celtic walk
2. PATIO GARDEN
The patio garden is purposefully set up adjacent to the entrance. Providing the ideal retreat with seating under the sale shades canopy. Most of the extensive paving here was kindly donated second hand from Carlow County Council during redevelopment work in Tullow Street. A large circular pond gives a nice back drop in the rear, with water cascading down a series of copper cups. Raised beds with alpine plants envelope around the pond. There many fine examples of herbaceous planting around the perimeter. In this garden you will also get your first taste of the many impressive free standing limestone features.
3. GAMES GARDEN
This consists of three areas all interconnected by walled walk ways, with planted metal arches consisting climbing roses and wisteria. Clever planted pouches have been formed in other walls with raised beds to top of walls. A paved area has been laid in a chequered pattern to form a giant sized chess board. Impressive carved limestone tables and benches provide the perfect setting for playing giant size jenga. Two lawn areas are also includes with picnic benches to relax in and soak up the atmosphere.
4. SCULPTURE GARDEN
On entering this garden you can view two limestone sculptures carved in situ, organic shapes reminiscent of Ying and Yang. On either side you can capture the imagination of the artist with peas in the pod and fallen conkers from the tree. To the rear is a clever water feature with two large limestone slabs in their raw state from a local quarry and water dropping from the peak into a massive carved limestone bowl.
5. PEACE GARDEN
The main feature in this garden is wooden pergola set brick piers offering home for the many climbing plants e.g. honeysuckle, ornamental vine and thornless blackberry. Water is again a feature here with a stainless steel ball on a free standing stainless steel base. A granite ball is also featured with water oozing from hole at the top into a cobbled base with paving surround its own semi-circle shaped seated area with metal arched entry. Raised beds are also featured with herds and alpines. Pony tail grasses droop onto the lawn in the small green area. This garden like others is well sheltered with the surrounding beech hedging.
6. WILLOW GARDEN
Living willow has been impressively woven to form arches and a pergola as well as seating fit for a King and Queen. The appearance of this garden dramatically changes from season to season. Other features are a granite statue of a scholar with book in hand and an old style pump with a trough adding to the tranquil atmosphere. This garden can be a haven for wasps in autumn as they get high on the aspirin from the willow. This one occasion you let nature take its course!!
7. MEDITERRANEAN GARDEN
The sandstone paving here has a central sun shape, bordered with an arrangement of large and small terracotta pots planted up with a mix of herbs such as sage, rosemary, Korean mint and thyme. Also there is a selection of summer flowering annuals which include cosmos, dahlia, tomatoes and alpine strawberries. At the end of the garden you can view a clever water feature with three stainless steel spouts mounted in the limestone wall, with water disappearing into a cobbled rough below. Railway sleepers form a rusting edging to perimeter with beech hedging to enclose the space.
8. FORMAL ROSE GARDEN
Formal beds are laid out in a half moon shape with extensive use of buxus hedging in this large garden with interconnecting limestone gravel paths. Each bed has its own variety of rose and is under planted with thousands of daffodil bulbs for string colour. The impressive stainless steel circular feature is a time tide ring, giving the month of the year at 12 noon when the sun shines through its eye. Water clings to the outer of the ring in a very impressive fashion. The garden is well protected from high winds being full surrounded by beech and yew hedging.
9. WATER FALLS
Designed by Gordon Ledbetter. The amazing garden consists of a series of waterfalls which flow into a large fish pond with many varieties of fish; also in the pond are some beautiful water lilies in various colours. Other plants are meadow grass and a variety of trees and shrubs to provide interest and colour throughout the year. Look out for magnolias for spring blossom, maples for autumn colour and hardwoods for summer interest. A wooden viewing area cantilevers over the water and allows access for all. Before leaving this oasis you can take a wander on paved pathways and walk under a raised water fall and touch the cascading water.
10. THE PAVILION
This offer a much need shelter at the end of the gardens and affords a fantastic out look to the waterfalls and the health and wellness garden through its large plate glass window. It is also a home for features during the many special events in the gardens. This area is very popular haven for own disability group just to sit and soak up sights and sounds.
11. IRIS O’BRIEN HEALTH AND WELLNESS GARDEN
Designed by Paul Martin. On entering the garden you walk down into a dining area complete with stainless steel barbecue, herb walls, granite floor and a floating table level with the pool. Upon first view, looking down the garden along a canal cutting through two contemporary walls, harp lines allow the visitor to be drawn down to the far perimeter and retro brick paths disappear behind screens. As you travel the path, you can gaze along the water and enjoy the colour pallet which changes from greens to whites to blues. Attention to detail is the main thrust where contemporary materials are used in a classical way to create a unique garden and an amazing atmosphere.
12. THE WOODLAND WALK
This is a quiet contemplative walk. It is planted with a mix of large broadleaf trees and under planted with shrubs, ferns and hellebores which give an understory of green with spring bulbs giving a colourful ground cover. We also allow some wild plants to colonise and mix with the cultivated planting plan. Keep an eye out for our friendly insect man with his extended family – this feature was kindly made and donated by Eamonn Doyle, which is one of his creations in the gardens. On the walkway bordering on to the next garden is colourful willow panel fence which has been treated with turps and linseed oil.
13. STOLEN CHILD GARDEN
Created by Mary Reynolds. Delta Centre is indebted to the creativity of Mary Reynolds for this natural wonderland. The vision of a romantic wild Irish landscape is projected in a place of magic and faerys. This garden is an example of a new approach; the land is allowed to be full and lush with plants that may be seen as weeds in a modern garden setting. Using wild plants in a structured and simple way shows us their subtle beauty. This garden is not a plant hunter’s paradise but an altogether different concept of an Irish garden. Look out for a very unique grass sculpture at the end of the garden and also some tree sculptures by Martin Monks. Mary’s original inspiration came from the Yates poem “The Stolen Child”.
14. THE ROOF GARDEN
This impressive A Frame structure was purchased in an auction at the Chelsea Flower Show and has found the perfect home as a central figure in our Sensory gardens. The wooden boxes on the roof are lined with rubber and are planted with sedum grass, which is a colourful grass that does not need cutting. The roof garden is accessible by a wooden stairs and the loft area gives the visitor a fantastic vantage point over all of the gardens. The area under the framed structure is planted as a fernery and other green foliage plant. Visitors can walk under via a gravel path and view our latest sculpture piece of a fern carved in a limestone slab.
15. FIVE SENSES GARDENS
Designed by Rachel Doyle. On entering, a wooden bridge spans two quirky ear shaped ponds complete with goldfish. Different tactile surfaces are used, including timber, steel, stone, marble and glass. Visitors can sit and inhale the relaxing scent of nacreous and lavender planted at two levels. Lots of vegetables, fruits and herbs are available to taste. The most stunning feature of this garden is the Kugal – one tonne of pink marble floating on a cushion of water, on a limestone base and colourful blue glass surround.
16. 19/2016 MEMORIAL GARDEN
This garden is surrounded and sheltered by a living wall of bamboo and commemorates 1916/2016. A simple layout with a distinctive limestone carving displaying the signatures of the 1916 proclamation. An eternal flame sprouts out from the centre of the sculpture. There is a reflective circular pond in the centre of the garden which is encased in an oval shaped lawn area. The opposite corners of the garden have beautifully carved limestone seats set on 100 year old limestone paving. There are seven trees planted in memory of the martyrs.
17. Circle of Life
This garden was designed by Elma Fenton gold medal winner at Chelsea. She was tasked with the challenge not only to design a garden but also incorporate an ease of flow with a suitably paving area to the gardens sensory building. The garden is a spiral shape created with vertical douglas fir sleepers with mature hornbeam trees, under planted with colourful sorbaria ‘sem’ shrub and spring flowering bulbs muscarii (grape lyacinth) and also alliums. Located to the rear of the garden is blown colour glass shapes (turbans) perched high on tall stainless steel rods set out in an arch shape, in a bed of green and brown coloured glass paving.
18. THISTLE FOUNTAIN
This an amazing water feature at the main entrance to the gardens located outside the sensory building. Water spurting out of the 127 nozzles powered by a large pump forms a perfect thistle, but watch out if the wind is blowing you might get a bit wet!! There are some great contracts of colour in the paving around the fountain, with tobermore heather paving and clever use of limestone cobble semi circle strips.
19. Musical Fountain
You are not finished oohing and aahing yet, we keep out biggest surprise until the end of your tour. This is a magical water fountain in its own special room within the garden building. Water dancing to the sound of music set of with inter changing coloured lights in a dark room setting, great for the soul!! Acrylic mirrors on the walls add to the scene and reflect the magic on to the floor. Now you say to yourself I will be back!!
20. Eco Roof Top
A large section of a low pitched roof to rear of Sensory Building was constructed with an eco roof. This consists of a ply base, high density insulation and three layers of special felt with sedum grass sown on top. Low maintenance very resilient and changing colour with different season. This affords the building greater energy efficiency and visual appearance. The douglas fir weather board back drop on walls provide a present contrast.