A NEW sensory garden is being created at Cope Foundation in Montenotte, Cork.
The project is a collaboration between the charity and Trigon Hotels. Cope Foundation is the hotel group’s charity partner for 2021.
The garden, which is located on the previously unused ground next to Beech Hill Garden Centre, will include features and plants that stimulate the senses through touch, sight, scent, taste and hearing.
Volunteers from both Trigon Hotels and Cope Foundation have agreed to tend to the garden.
Raised beds have been constructed and have already been filled with herbs, plants and flowers.
There are plans to further develop the garden in 2022 by adding water features and more vegetables and herbs.
Kathleen Linehan is the Strategic Director of HR Trigon Hotels, she says the garden is a really exciting project: “It is important to us that we develop long-lasting relationships with our charity partners.
“We want to raise much-needed funds for Cope Foundation and Ability@Work but we also want to support them in other ways as well as learning new skills together. The idea for the garden came from our shared interest in growing our own food and gardening.
“We were delighted to be invited to visit Beech Hill Garden Centre and Roots cafe in Montenotte and during our walkabout, we spotted a patch of ground that looked perfect for a sensory garden.
“It was wonderful to spend a day outside planting with volunteers from both organisations.”
Shane O’Sullivan is a student at Cope Foundation and took part in the planting day, he said: “I really enjoyed the planting and meeting the people from Trigon Hotel. I hope the plants and seeds we planted will grow well and I will look after them” Jo-Anne Higgins is the Communications and Fundraising Manager with Cope Foundation, she added: “Various lockdowns curtailed our progress but we were able to finally put our plan into action during the autumn.
“We cleared out the space and replaced the raised beds making them ready for the Trigon Hotels team and horticulture students to fill them with plants to delight the senses.
“Our expert horticulturists from Beech Hill Garden Centre coordinated the planting day and are kindly overseeing the various initiatives.
“We have also planted some micro vegetable seeds in the Garden Centre’s polytunnel and we are looking forward to watching these grow. We have big plans for spring when we can further develop the sensory garden, plant more vegetables and herbs together and use these to create delicious dishes.”
Denis Mangan is a horticultural tutor with Cope Foundation, he said: “Horticulture is a hugely popular subject in our Further Education and Training Programme and has always played an important role in Cope Foundation’s skills development work.
“It is great to have the opportunity to grow together with the team in Trigon Hotels - we are learning from each other and having a shared interest in plants, herbs, and vegetables means we are doing something we all enjoy.
“We all had a very pleasant morning when planting up the new sensory garden at the Beech Hill Garden Centre.
“Our ongoing activities will be of tremendous benefit, allowing for opportunities to engage in physical activity and social interaction.
“We at Cope Foundation are looking forward to a busy sustainable spring with the growing of fresh healthy organic produce with the Trigon Hotel team.”