Sonairte is the type of place I like to go as a horticulturist. As a green minded person, it’s also where I go with my daughter, as a Father; horticultural qualifications not worn on my sleeve, on them days.
There’s something periodic table of the elements type simplistic about solar-powered reflector satellite slow cooking, frogs as a method of pest control and bicycle powered electricity. Kermits favourite colour aside, the setting, even when it’s not a glorious day at Sonairte, is absolutely stunning.
If you are looking for comparables, Sonairte Ecology Centre is a little The Centre for Alternative Technology crossed with River Cottage Farm, but yet Irish and still neither of the above. My visit on this occasion was a first for the garden group that I have run for the 3 last years.
The Garden Group in short: There’s no membership, there are no costs and it attracts more non gardeners than botanists. A bit different, you may say. I kind of like it that way, though some say it’s very silly of me. We’ll see… but for the now, it’s all good.
Sonairte may be many things imperfect to some, you’ll understand what I mean if you go there. That, that imperfectness though is allowed at times and here I find it suits this landscape. With your garden in mind, what Sonairte allows you to witness is en mass extremely diverse biodiversity, that in the real world works.
There are elements of Sonairte that also exist in my garden, and vice versa. They are touches that may make my space outdoors appear to some, slightly uncouth maybe, when compared with the ye olde type formal – though they always existed in pre 19th century garden design.
Domestically, garden planning in mind and far more important is that I know it is possible to take a little of the unscrupulous and allow it fit within your space outdoors, for the greater.
From garden feature ideas to growing your own and from the very thought provoking to what maybe, may surprise you to see children smile at, Sonairte really is one of Irelands hidden gems.
On a slight side note, The Sodshow garden radio microphones came along for the garden groups journey and our afternoon out will go to air this Friday and next in 2 parts. There was that much to take in.
A large note of thank you to nice guy and green buddy Trevor Sargent who was our guide for the afternoon. Also to the wonderful volunteers at Sonairte who are and were yet again just lovely. Also and by no means forgetting you who have, may and did come along.
Of Note: The first two images are courtesy genius photographer Jennifer Farley. I highly recommend a browse through her genuinely amazing photographs of the garden groups day out.