Courtyard Garden: Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, Dublin

irish distillers pernod ricard, fox and geese garden (1)

In the middle of an industrial estate located on the Robinhood Road, on the southside of Dublin, walled in on all four sides, lay a space that became a garden.

On a slight side note before I start, the image below looks a bit like a photo negative, now, in comparison, but as with all great garden spaces it really is the people that make them greater. I’ll come back to that bit in a minute.

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From a garden making perspective, what made this project challenging [that’s a good thing as a by the way] was the amount of manholes [around 14 or so], the limited and by hand only access in and out through the building, the portakabin, the very delightful 10 tonne approx of gravel complete with matching colour coordinated stair case…. Yummy ! and to summarise, pretty much everything that existed within the four walls that was grey.

irish distillers pernod ricard, fox and geese garden (2)

I had a picture in my head of [….looks back at the original before photographs…] people reading the walls and sitting and conversation and life happening within the space. Some who work there explained to me that wasn’t really anywhere to go with an hours lunch break and even if there was you are surrounded by other industrial estates. It is what it is I guess. But I did like the suggestion that should there be an oasis tucked within where one could go and sit for a while. A cracker of a band in their day I might add.

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And though my video making skills are really something brutal not so good, I think it gives a decent enough explanation of what I was thinking and the now complete picture.

Seating to hide many of the man holes, natural sandstone, instant height planting, rolled turf, poetry and mirrored walls, a bright red stair case, walls and portakabin painted white with a hint of blue are just some of the elements that went in.

With very recent hindsight in mind, I’m really quite proud of this garden. In part because of what it was and also for what it has become. More it is [always] because of the people that I met along the way and the journey and stories that came along with it.

The bit that I always miss however, is the bit where I might get to see people smile on their seeing the garden for the very first time. And that, that smiling bit, as I explain to my 3.5 year old daughter is hugely important. In the grown up department, I’d like to think that this garden might play a wee role in that.

To all of the 1 Team folks at Fox and Geese, no. 6 of the constitution, thank you. You were and are absolutely wonderful. 😉

Q’s [?] leave a comment below or drop me a line.

update: 26 July 2014

Got this in last night.

irish distillers, garden

It’s posted at the window of the Irish Distillers Garden.
[Very lovely people. Very Lovely garden. Big happy face. ]

It reads:


Fox and Geese courtyard Garden. ‘The Green Spot’ Est 2013

The Courtyard Garden Project is a 1 Team initiative which started early in 2013 with the aim of creating a relaxing space for all F & G employees and visitors. Initial works commernced in late 2013 with the removal of existing gravel, followed by painting. Please note the poem along the wall starts at the entrance to the garden beside the portacabin, it then reads down towards the corridor [lab entrance] and from there starts again on the opposite wall(adjoining the locker room and reads towards the red stairs finishing on the portacabin. The planting is all evergreen and should provide colour in the garden throughout the year. On behalf of 1 Team I would like to thank – The 1 Team members, Peter Donegan for completing the landscaping on the garden, Madeline for helping Peter create this space and all the ideas put forward, Michael for his support with the project, Stephen Maher for the great paint job and I especially want to thank all the helpers who volunteered their time to help. Thanks to garden naming competition winners Fred butterly and Dan Purcell. Continued maintenance of the garden will be up to the employees of Fox and Geese, so if there are any keen gardeners out there, here’s your chance to impress.
Thanks all and enjoy the garden.

Peter Donegan:

donegan landscaping

3 replies
  1. Mary McM
    Mary McM says:

    Peter,

    on the garden metamorphosis it is a catastrophic change and a real credit to you and your team. I saw the elementary works taking place and was a little uneased when I saw the red staircase at first. I should never have doubted you.

    I would like to add however that someone in Pernod Ricard in an office made a call to spend or sanction the spending of this moneys. They should receive an award from this. Or at the very minimum I wish there were more, very many more like them.

    somewhat depressed now and utterly jealous

    Mary

  2. Brian
    Brian says:

    Can you imagine if every industrial estate looked even a little like so?

    in a world gone all get the last cent out of the troika and (your favourite Pete) vincent brown, I have to agrree with Mary Mac, somene really does deserves a trophy for writing that cheque and making that call.

    The garden of course looks swell too Pete.

    I however never doubted you for one second, 😉

  3. Peter Donegan
    Peter Donegan says:

    Hi Mary,
    I wish there was more like them too 😉
    As I said in the wee vid, red in gardens has been arond for eons, literally.

    A Chara Brian,
    re every industrial estate….. wouldn’t in be just absolutely wonderful, if every industrial estate made you smile ?
    A wonderful picture. 😀

    Happy new year
    Peter

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