Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The windows are in!

The new dining area - lots of glass!
The windows are in ahead of schedule, and what a difference it makes! Standing at the fabulous big glass window at the far end of the new dining area you get a wonderful view across the gardens. Can't wait to get on with the landscaping so that visitors sitting in the cafe will feel surrounded by flowers.

The promise of spring...

The new Visitor Centre is really taking shape, and there is SPACE! And still a lot of mess. With all the rain the last few days we have been paddling around, inside as well as outside.

Meanwhile the daffodils are blooming between the machinery and the piles of timber. I like daffodils, they are tough as well as beautiful. Their strong green shoots push up through frosty ground and mad February weather to bloom regardless. Wordsworth said it all:

'And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils'

Crocuses in the spring garden
The hazel catkins are out too, and the crocuses. Spring is here and summer beckons, and it's great to see the gardens coming to life again.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The walls go up

Celebrating Brigit's Eve in the Roundhouse was magical. Despite the build it felt really important to mark Imbolc/Brigit's Day, so we escorted everyone to the Roundhouse under a perfet half moon. It was a lovely evening of cross-making, drumming and Brigit ritual, perfect soul-food after the chaos of building!

The building is shooting up, and feels in tune with the cycle of the seasons - foundations laid in the winter, sudden growth in the spring and due to be ready at Bealtaine in early May. The wooden frame, complete with steel girders to support sliding doors, is suddenly there. We can get a sense of the spaces inside and it's going to be great! Meanwhile Noel and the guys are removing and re-shaping much of the old building around us- every day another wall or a bit of roof disappears, but so far our little office remains an oasis.
Paul (Munster Joinery) & builder Noel discuss windows

Someone asked me yesterday if I was going away for a couple of months while the building is in progress. Hmm, about as likely as a blue moon! The timescale is tight. We are planning a festive re-launch weekend on the May bank holiday, 5th-7th, so there is a huge amount to organise for that, plus the new shop, new cafe, new staff, events for the summer, marketing, marketing and more marketing... And decisions have to be made every day. Today it was the colour of the window frames, which way the sliding doors should open and priorities for upgrading the website, among others. We are all busy, but it's great to see things happening.

So - some dates for your diary:
Easter weekend - the Gardens will re-open on Easter Saturday, 7th April, but without the Visitor Centre
May Bank Holiday weekend 5th-7th May - razzmatazz, re-launch, craic agus ceoil!