Friday 23 August 2019

Garden is slice of The Isle of Innisfree

As part of this year's special 60th birthday celebrations of the Yeats International Summer School, a miniature lake isle garden has been built right outside the Yeats Building on Hyde Bridge.

With the popularity of the WB Yeats poem, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, renowned around the world, the Yeats Society chose it as the idea for this miniature garden.

The poem which was published first in 1890 in the British newspaper, The National Observer, has become one of Yeats' most recognised and iconic poems.

Chair of the Summer School committee Dr Brendan McCormack explains that it allows visitors to Sligo to have a little understanding of the beauty of the Lake Isle itself, especially as they may not have the chance to visit it.

He said: "It's a perfect way to mark the 60 years of people travelling from across the globe to Yeats Country."

The boxed garden, on three levels was designed and built by Men's Shed Sligo.

The separate levels create the sense of an island and the boxes are stained wood, to blend with the garden.

The plants and flowers in the garden were landscaped by Naomhán Early and offer a mix of native, semi-wild and cultivate flowers, shrubs and a tree.

He included rowan, holly, hazel and arbutus shrubs and added periwinkle, ox-eye daisy, geraniums and primula flowers.

Men's Sheds participants brought the final touch to the garden with a handmade beehive and a miniature cabin 'of clay and wattles made' and these were added to the garden at the official launch last Thursday.

The ribbon was cut by sponsor Aisling Kelly, whose love of WB Yeats is manifest in the name of her business - WB's Coffee House, situated right across from the WB Yeats statue.

The specially made garden plaque was designed and sponsored by Barton Smith Sports.

Aisling cut the ribbon and declared the garden "open for locals and business people alike."

Sligo Tidy Towns are also sponsors of the garden, as part of the great work the voluntary organisation does to enhance the Sligo town environment.

Chair Peter Tiernan and committee member Lucy Brennan were delighted to see the garden complete and adding to the efforts made by so many people around the streets of Sligo.

This is the first collaboration by Yeats Society Sligo with Men's Shed Sligo and Sligo Tidy Towns.

Society Director Susan O'Keeffe thanked them for their involvement and support as well as the vital support of the sponsors and landscaper Naomhán Early.

Men's Shed Sligo now has 16 members, with its premises behind the Bishop's Palace, opposite Sligo Cathedral.

Chairman James Darwin said that he and his colleagues were delighted to be asked to be involved.

"We loved the challenge of building something different and it's lovely to create something that so many people will see and enjoy every day."

Men's Shed members are involved in a huge variety of activity across the community and offer a space for gardening, wood turning, music and arts & crafts.

New members are always welcome to join in.

The project is supported by Sligo Leader Partnership.

Sligo Champion