'Sky garden' set for Fitzgerald Park as part of upgrade



A Victorian exhibition garden, a sensory garden and Diarmuid Gavin’s controversial “sky garden” will be installed in Cork’s Fitzgerald Park as part of upgrade works beginning in October.

The Avatar-inspired sky garden won a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2011 and attracted headlines due to a row between Gavin and Cork City Council over its costs.

Council plans for the Mardyke Gardens include “an iconic contemporary garden”, the restoration of the Fr Mathew Memorial Fountain, a sensory garden and a fruit and vegetable garden housed in a Victorian-style glasshouse, with no mention of Gavin’s sky garden.

The garden concept included a sky pod centrepiece hanging from a crane some 30m above the ground, but former Cork mayor Terry Shannon said it was never planned to “hang” in Cork. “We were never considering that it would hang – it was always going to be on the ground in Cork,” Mr Shannon told Cork’s 96fm yesterday.

He said Gavin was paid a total of €90,000 for the sky garden – €60,000 in fees and a further €30,000 for materials.

The sky garden will be relocated to Fitzgerald Park as part of a €3 million upgrade of the Mardyke area.