I was delighted to have passionate plantsman Pat Murphy give the Donegal ETB Fetac Level 5 Horticulture Students a tour of the fabulous gardens of Harveys Point Hotel, located just outside Donegal Town on Lough Eske. Pat has been Head Gardener at Harveys Point Hotel for 9 years and cares for the gardens as if they were his own, with a range of plants and attention to detail normally seen in a plantsman garden! We were visiting the grounds, not just to admire the plants but also understand more about matching landscape to the use, and also to learn more about the role of a gardener in such an establishment.
as we walked about Pat was able to tell backstories to his choices of plants, but also give a great insight into the role of the gardens as part of the Harveys Point success story (. Phrases such as 'We cut the lower limbs from these trees to that users of the Reading Room would have a better view of Lough Eske', 'This hedge was lowered so that there 2 rooms would have better views of the lake', 'This small areas of colour was introduced to create a pleasant view for these 4 windows', 'We use Seaweed fertiliser to make the grass greener for the summer wedding photographs','Its difficult to maintain but I think colour in winter is important, as it adds to the visitors experience walking around'....a great example of how gardens and grounds are managed to add value to a property/experience.
and in addition to all of these many acres of gardens, Pat also grows all the seasonal bedding for Harveys Point Hotel and plants all the window boxes and hanging baskets for seasonal colour in a large polytunnel located nearby....Pat is one busy man!
Gardening on Radio Foyle
A summary of each weeks gardening on Mark Patterson Show and beyond