Gardener with the Irish Heritage Trust at Fota House

Gardener with the Irish Heritage Trust at Fota House
For the last eight months I've been working for the Irish Heritage Trust at Fota House
Arboretum & Gardens. It has been my privilege to take on the role of gardener in
the frameyard, working in the newly restored glasshouses which won this year's
Conservation Award from the Irish Georgian Society. Together with the wonderfully
positive reactions we receive from visitors, the award is a great reflection of the care and
passion that goes into conservation here at Fota.

While the glasshouses offer the plants inside superb protection from the elements, we're
very grateful to outdoor clothing company Regatta for keeping staff and volunteers well
protected too. They generously sponsored us with some terrific work wear and their
warm fleeces and waterproof jackets are much appreciated, especially at this time of

Although winter is just upon us, we're already looking forward to spring. One of the many
events that take place here throughout the year is April's annual plant fair. Propagation
for next year's fair has begun in earnest. We've taken lots of cuttings, including a great
variety of salvias and fuchsia, and thanks to a donation of some growing media from
Bord na Móna they're off to a really great start.

Fota is also very lucky to have an enthusiastic and dedicated group of volunteers who
help the staff care for the property and give all our visitors a really special experience.
When volunteer Anna Ahearne suggested that we turn our hand to cider-making, they
showed their willingness to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in once again. With their
help picking and pressing apples and some expert advice courtesy of Daniel Emerson
of Stonewell Irish Craft Cider in Nohoval, Co. Cork, we have produced over 200 bottles
of Fota Cider! The apples all came from our own orchard and we're currently working on
identifying the different varieties to be found there. One we have identified is Bramley's
Seedling, a variety that dates back to 1813 and is a wonderful example of our living

Putting horticultural work back into practice in the frameyard has been a great joy and
one that we can all share in now that like the rest of Fota, it is open to everybody! Find
out more by going to or Like us on

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