Taking six years to complete, the Delta Sensory Gardens were officially opened in 2007 as the first of their kind in Ireland. The gardens are part of Delta Centre which was established in 1990 as a centre for adults with disabilities. Delta Centre was developed by a group of concerned parents who saw the need for such a service in the Carlow area. The Sensory Gardens were created as a therapeutic outlet for those attending the service and it was also a means of creating much needed additional funding to help with the running of the centre.
The gardens were initially created on land that was leased from the HSE. Funding was raised through the support of local people, organisations and businesses including support from Fas now Pobal/Department of Social Protection. Funding was also received from dormant accounts, Leader and, more recently, the County Carlow Development Partnership CCDP with the development of our new cafe. The development of the gardens would not have been possible without the help of some well renowned garden designers who very kindly gave their time and expertise for free. Our thanks to Gordon Ledbetter for the overall design, Mary Reynolds for the design of the Stolen Child Garden, Rachel Doyle who designed the Five Senses area, Elma Fenton for the development of the Circle of Life garden and Paul Martin for the design of the Health and Wellness area.
The gardens are located as part of Delta Centre to the rear of Strawhall Estate, which is accessed off Cannery Road near the Athy Road roundabout in Carlow Town . The gardens are set on 2.5 acres of land with 16 interconnecting, themed areas which are accessible for people of all abilities. There are currently six local people employed in the gardens plus a manager.
The main building in the gardens houses a reception, toilet facilities, indoor fountain room, activities room and meeting room, plus a new cafe and craft area extension nearing completion.
There are many plans for the future of the Delta Sensory Gardens including a new cafe, a craft display area and the relocation of the garden centre.
Halloween and Christmas are very busy times at the Delta Sensory Gardens with our annual Halloween and Christmas events. These events have proven to be extremely popular with visitors. We hope to expand our annual events on an ongoing basis to offer a bigger and better experience to our visitors during these special times of the year.