I recently spent the day wandering around the grounds of the Delta Sensory Gardens in Carlow. As I was driving in the area, I saw the sign and I was intrigued so I went it. I learned that the Gardens were built to provide training, residential, respite, day and multi-sensory services to adults with learning disabilities. Although the sky was a little moody, it was still quite warm and the beautiful garden was just starting to bloom.
“Walking through the garden takes you on a journey of the faculties of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch.”
Often described as “An Oasis of Peace and Tranquility”, The gardens and centre are set on a 2.5 acre site with 16 interconnecting gardens. The centre has a wide range of planted containers, pots, seasonal bedding, shrubs, plants and gardening accessories.
The first thing you see at the main entrance is an amazing water feature called The Thistle Fountain. With water spurting out of the 127 nozzles powered by a large pump, 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.
The games area which is very popular with children, 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.
In the Rose Garden, you will find an impressive stainless steel circular feature is a time tide ring. It “tells” 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 yes hedging.
My favorite sculpture in the garden was one of a man who seems to be asleep.
The garden have a series of waterfalls which flow into a large fish pond. Before leaving this oasis you can take a wander on paved pathways and walk under a raised water fall and touch the cascading water.
Some beautifully designed and manicured lawns with perfectly trimmed hedges and planted flowers.
Climbing up the rooftop garden made me wish I had a tree house. Accessible by wooden stairs, the tree house gives a fantastic view of all the gardens. With 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 area under the framed structure is planted as a fernery and other green foliage plant.
After all the walking, you can visit the restaurant and cafe on site, serving from breakfast to carvery lunch and right through to afternoon tea.
But finally it really was time to say goodbye to the beautiful Delta Sensory Gardens, but I know I’ll return again!