The Small Girl and I enjoyed a lovely ramble around Fitzgerald’s Park this morning. The centre of Cork city is quite run down and grey but the park has risen above the recession and become an oasis of green loveliness. The Lord Mayor’s Pavilion, just inside the gates, belongs in a fairytale. There are art classes for children held inside.Diarmuid Gavin’s Sky Garden, which won a gold medal at Chelsea Flower Show, was incorporated into the park last year. It caused considerable controversy. Some Corkonian’s were sorry to lose the traditional display of summer bedding plants. Others were appalled at the cost. Diarmuid Gavin, it was reported, was disappointed that his plans weren’t strictly adhered to. My own kids were gutted because their favourite climbing tree was cut down.
You can’t please everyone. I absolutely love it. I think it’s a wonderful combination of frivolity and elegance. The silver balls are great fun to photograph. Notice Small Girl got cold and stole my cardigan. The pod makes a nice sheltered spot to drink coffee and share a giant cherry bun.I love this planting.We always stop to admire The Boy. Can you see the heron on the edge of the fountain? And the silver ball in the distance? We were very excited to get a peek at the new playground. It’s opening in August.Even on a grey day, the rose garden is gorgeous.The park is home to the Cork Public Museum. It’s a small museum but that can be a good thing, especially for children. Displays range from Ireland’s oldest pick and shovel up to Roy Keane’s signed jersey. They have a nice exhibition at the moment on Cork And The Great War.Head and shoulders above it all remains the big fella, Michael Collins. He does look at bit cross.You probably wouldn’t visit Cork just to see the park but, if you do find yourself in Cork, you’d be mad to miss it.