There are 25 landscaped gardens visitors can stroll through at Mallow Home and Garden Festival, and anyone who goes green with envy while viewing the lush lawns and bounteous blooms can get plenty tips from the green-fingered experts — with Peter Dowdall, Darren Drummond and Charlie Wilkins all on hand for seminars and guided walks.
Budding garden heroes can literally take some of the outdoors home with them, with more than five million plants on sale too.
There’s free parking and free admission for children (adult admission is €10) at the Mallow Home and Garden Festival at Cork Racecourse in Mallow today and tomorrow.
If you fancy, you can leave the car at home and enjoy a free shuttle-bus to and from Mallow Train Station, or enjoy a picnic in the park at Fitzgerald’s Park tomorrow.
Make a paper hat, grow a seedling, draw a cartoon, learn to juggle, make a Celtic bracelet — it’s a lot to do in the space of five hours, but those are just some of the activities on offer at this year’s ‘Picnic in the Park’ as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival.
The picnic in Fitzgerald’s Park in Cork City is, as the organisers say, a “children-focused event” and that is why it has organised so many free craft activities aimed at the younger generation.
As well as the events for the creative, the picnic also offers a host of musical performances, including a “picnic sing-a-round” with Nicki French Davis, the Picnic in the Park Quartet, and the Munster Ukuhooley for all ukulele lovers.
Non-musical highlights will include a historic walk through the park with Tom Spalding and Daniel Breen; story readings for kids with Martina Carroll, Ian Wild and Aidan Stanley; and the Big Balloon Sculpture by Red Balloon.
Organisers also say a big part of the picnic will be dance and movement and this will be in no short supply, with the Firkin Crane Dancing Lawns providing a day-long programme of workshops and performances.
With so much to see and do, visitors are likely to be a little peckish. Unfortunately, this year’s event will feature no food stalls. But organisers say that, for those who have not packed enough in their picnic basket, there will be a ‘Pic-Mix-Pic-Nic’ marquee at which people are welcome to select a salad mix for their very own DIY salad wrap. On the beverage front, there will be the Very Cordial Bar where people will need their own picnic cup — non-glass and non- disposable — to get a drink of orange. The Picnic in the Park begins at noon and runs until 5pm. Those travelling to the event by car are asked to park in the car parks on Western Gateway and Áras na Laoi in UCC which is being kept open. “Do not drive in Western Road and back up the Mardyke Parade because you will get stuck in your car for a long time on a hot day,” organisers said.
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