HOME TOURIST – Delta Sensory Gardens in Co Carlow 

It’s hard to believe that I’ve only been home a week (just under actually) as it’s been a ridiculously productive trip. 

 

i loved it before spotting the owl

 
Aside from podcasting with an awesome mate (what’s that? You haven’t seen THIS?), I’ve walked the beaches in Co Sligo, cuddled my tiny nephew, showed off the beautiful village I hail from, visited with a ton of family and a few friends too and managed to find a new and amazing place to visit! 

The Delta Sensory Gardens describe themselves as “an oasis of peace and tranquility” and right so! Certainly, as I approached the Strawhall industrial estate, I had no idea of the green wonderland that was hidden within.  

  
Opened in May 2007; Delta consists of 16 interconnected ‘multi-sensory’ gardens over 2.5 acres. Every garden is  unique – with only one shared theme – that there is a therapeutic benefit to people of varying ability from all walks of life. 

Designed to appeal and stimulate the senses; there are many different landscapes for visitors to wander through; from a formal rose garden; to waterfalls; to musically directed fountains (!); to herb gardens; fish ponds and…well, you’re probably starting to get the picture. 

 

Iris O’Brien Health and Wellbeing Garden

 
We were particularly lucky to have encountered Angela at the entrance. Her clear passion for the project; extensive knowledge about the plants, gardens and related wildlife and infectious enthusiasm ensured that we headed into the gardens in the best possible mood and mindset. 

  
My personal favourite was probably the Five Senses garden. Aside from being actively encouraged to eat leaves from herbs & vegetables (!), it really opened my mind to the tactile possibilities of my own tiny garden – which up until now has focused near exclusively on edible herbs and visually pleasing flowers. 

The Stolen Child garden (inspired by the WB Yates poem) was also exquisite, all wild and magical and full of otherness

 

can you spot the sleeping giant?


We only stayed for an hour or so as I was meeting a mate that afternoon. However, Delta is the sort of place that you could pop into for a half hour to quiet the soul surrounded by nature or that you could spend a day discovering. 

I’m so looking forward to returning and discovering the wonders of the other seasons and bringing EVERY PERSON I CAN in future. 

  
Interesting Aside:

The Gardens are also the site of the Delta Centre – which provides training, respite, residential and day services to adults with intellectual disabilities. Please see here to read about how the people of Carlow came together to make this wonderful facility available. 

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