We usually visit gardens by day but there’s one series of gardens that simply must be seen during the winter darkness and they’re at The Delta Centre in Carlow.
If you wish, you can take a map or follow a trail game that can help you find your way along the pathways that weave their way through the themed gardens. Alternatively just meander around and try not to trip up as your eyes dart from the skeleton trees to tall sculptures that entice you to touch and feel their varied textures, however cold your fingertips might feel on a winter’s night.
Whilst the interconnecting multi sensory gardens will fill you with inspiration during the rest of the year, during the cold December evenings they’ll leave you with a sense of wonder that once experienced, will never be forgotten.
The Delta Centre provides training and multi sensory services to adults with intellectual disabilities and all funds raised there help to support their services. As such there’s a small admission fee to the gardens of €5 for adults, €4 for concessions with children free and they are open until 7.00 pm for the Christmas light show and Craft Fair.
When you’ve finished wandering around outside and can’t wait any longer to warm up, you can pop into the very reasonably priced Christmas craft shop that’s bursting with garlands and decorations before heading into the café for hot drinks and sticky cakes to round off your evening.
I last visited the multi sensory gardens in December 2008 with two young girls aged five and eight – five years later their memories are of fairy like enchantment.
This time around my visit was with two groups of community gardening adults who have informed me that not only did they thoroughly enjoy the experience, they can’t wait to go back for a daylight trip to see the spring daffodil display.
For more information about the Delta Sensory Garden light show, check out their website here and apologies for the photo quality which really don’t do it justice!