Spend some spe­cial time at Fota

Irish Examiner - Property & Interiors - - IN THE GARDEN - by Char­lie Wilkins

OULD you like to give your best friend an un­usual gift? A rare or un­usual plant per­haps, rather than a gift voucher for lunch? I have al­ways be­lieved that the gift of a plant is like no other. You can­not eat it, use it up en­tirely, or store it away for a rainy day. It may, like an early sum­mer pe­ony dis­ap­pear un­der­ground for much of the win­ter, but, like a good friend it picks up again in spring and acts as if win­ter has never been. Gar­den­ers con­stantly give gifts. If there­fore you want to pur­chase some­thing re­ally

Wspe­cial for your friend re­serve Sun­day Apr 21 for the 2013 Fota House Plant and Gar­den Fair. This fair, which takes place in the world-renowned Ar­bore­tum and Gar­dens of Fota House, Car­rigt­wohill, Co Cork is now, I be­lieve, the big­gest such event in the coun­try and 70 to 80 spe­cial­ist nurs­eries are ex­pected to at­tend this year.

Vis­i­tors will be able to pur­chase rare trees, shrubs, alpines, herba­ceous and wa­ter plants at rea­son­able rates. Retailers pro­vid­ing gar­den fur­ni­ture, pots, sculp­tures, or­na­ments and tools will also be in at­ten­dance.

So visit and en­joy the Fota Fair and all the buzz and ban­ter it brings. It opens at 11am and con­tin­ues to 4pm. Cater­ing fa­cil­i­ties will be avail­able at Fota House and on site through­out the day. Other at­trac­tions in­clude the hold­ing of a com­pe­ti­tion for most at­trac­tive stand (which was won in 2011 by Hill­side Nurs­eries, and in 2012 by Deel­ish Gar­den Cen­tre Sk­ib­bereen) and an op­por­tu­nity for those at­tend­ing to walk around the beau­ti­ful gar­dens and ar­bore­tum or visit the newly ren­o­vated Fota House to see the col­lec­tion of pic­tures, which rep­re­sents the third most sig­nif­i­cant pub­lic col­lec­tion of Ir­ish art in the State. The en­try fee of € 8 in­cludes park­ing and as in pre­vi­ous years, vol­un­teers from Fota House and from the Friends of Mary­mount Hospice will as­sist with stew­ard­ing and the run­ning of the Fair. A sub­stan­tial do­na­tion will be given to this very wor­thy char­ity. With the beau­ti­ful back­drop of the Ar­bore­tum to the rear, and the open coun­try­side in front of Fota House, the set­ting prom­ises to of­fer a truly spe­cial day out for all gar­den­ers and gar­den lovers.

Upto 80 spe­cial­ist nurs­eries are ex­pected at Fota House Plant and Gar­den Fair.

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