Secret Gardens – growing strong

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Since it began just over five years ago, the Secret Gardens of Sligo initiative has grown very strong.

Secret Gardens: Annette Coleman, Martina Flynn pictured with Margaret Fowley, Fran Butler and Veronica Conway, staff of the North West Hospice.
Secret Gardens: Annette Coleman, Martina Flynn pictured with Margaret Fowley, Fran Butler and Veronica Conway, staff of the North West Hospice.

Each year since it’s inception, the Secret Gardens has raised money for a number of charities throughout Sligo.

Rosemary Kitchin, one of the founders of the Secret Gardens told the Sligo Weekender how the idea came about.

“A number of us came together and decided that we would like to share our gardens. Rather than charge people to come along and see them we decided that the best thing to do would be to ask people to make a donation to charity,” she explained.

Last year alone the Secret Gardens raised over €7,000 for charity. A number of charities close to the participants hearts have been benefactors.

“Over the years we have had several different benefactors as well as the North West Hospice we have had the Kidney Association, the Sligo Cancer Support Group and the Jack and Jill Association among others,” Rosemary said.

Most of those who open their gardens for the initiative do so for two to three years, so those involved in the Secret Gardens of Sligo are always on the look out for new people to get involved.

As well as the new for new gardens each year, Rosemary feels that it keeps it interesting for the people who are going along to look at the gardens.
“We are always on the look out for new gardens because we feel that it makes the Secret Gardens more interesting.

“As well as this, most people like to give it a go for two or three years. If people did want to get up and running with it they would need to get to a good garden centre for advice and plan from there,” Rosemary said.

Preparations for this year are well underway. Several new gardens as well as some that have appeared before will be on display- all in the hope of raising money for various charities.

“This year we will have three or four new gardens and there will be one big, well known garden but at this moment we cannot reveal anything,” Rosemary said.
Be sure to keep in touch with developments in the Secret Gardens of Sligo at www.secretgardensofsligo.com

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