‘Life begins the day you start a garden’. For the past 35 years, this proverb has rung true for many who have stepped foot in Deelish Garden Centre, one of the most reputed nurseries in the country for specialising in rare and unusual plants.
So many of West Cork’s gardens are blessed with specimens from its impressive plant collection and, just before Christmas, on Saturday, December 7, many of these loyal customers and friends turned out in force to mark a new and happy chapter at Deelish Garden Centre.
An impressive new building now stands on the footprint of the old and Bill and Rain Chase, who started the business in Skibbereen in the 1970s, have officially taken a step back, handing over the baton to the next generation of green-fingered family members, their son Noah and his partner Maya Wild, originally from Kerry, who also runs her homeopathic practice at Deelish.
Well-known gardener and author Joy Larcom performed the official opening of the new building with a speech made by Maya, prepared by family friend and writer Cormac Lally followed by a talk from specialist rose and heritage apple grower John McNamara. It was an enjoyable and informative day for all in attendance.
If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of visiting Deelish, you’ll recognise Noah from the gardening pages of West Cork People. A regular contributor, Noah shares his knowledge and experience of growing using sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. Right now he’s getting ready for the next growing season with onion sets, garlic, asparagus, horseradish, multiple varieties of shallots and over 30 varieties (three tonnes) of seed potatoes in stock. There is also lots and lots of bareroot and potted soft fruit to choose from.
The new – almost carbon neutral – shop means that there is room for even more stock this year. The range of gardening tools has increased: Deelish stocks Fiskars, a specialist range of high quality, lightweight tools from Finland, which because of their ergonomic features help make the job much easier. The garden centre also carries Fruithill Farm high quality tools and equipment, made to last a lifetime.
An agent for Steeltech Sheds for a number of years, so impressed was Noah with the quality of their product, that he chose the company to supply the new shop building for Deelish, which has been highly insulated and fitted with solar panels and an infrared heating panel by Paddy Rose of Advanced Heating and Energy Systems Ltd. “300 watts produced from the solar panels just trickles out from the heating panel and heats the entire building,” explains Noah.
The Irish agent for Chase Organic Seeds, Deelish is now carrying a larger range of their seeds. The larger shop allows much more room for organic sundries such as insecticides, fertilisers and composts, bird care products, solar lighting and pottery.
The increase in stock should see an increase in customers so the area outside has also been expanded to allow more room for car parking.
Noah grew up in Deelish and has worked at the garden centre on and off since he was a child. Before moving home to take on the family business fulltime, he studied horticulture at the Eden Project in Cornwall and also in Northern Queensland, where he worked on organic fruit farms and a fern nursery for two years.
Passionate about propagation and indoor plants, he is continually working to build up their collection in the heated conservatory at Deelish. Other favourites include Rhododendrons and Magnolias and quite a few Daphnes and Eucryphias.
Plants can be ordered by the pallet load, which offers a very economical way to start off your garden. A pallet of plants costs €70 delivered nationwide, which can fit up to 100 plants per pallet.
Deelish Garden Centre is situated on the banks of the River Ilen, one mile west of Skibbereen town on the old Baltimore road ~ fully signposted from the N71.
Open Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm, Sunday and Bank Holidays, 2-6pm. Phone 028 21374.