On Thursday afternoon, a group of us decided to explore Sneem independently after Bat Burns, our tour guide for this trip, gave us a quick overview of the town after a short Irish history lesson back at the Sneem Hotel.
We’ve seen many interesting things in the village so far, but I would have to say that in terms of creativity, the one thing that stood out to me in this area the most was the whimsical “Garden of the Senses” near the town’s bridge. Not only are the garden’s flowers and trees beautiful, but there are unique findings there you do not see everyday to say the least.
For instance, some of the trees in the garden have faces and other designs carved into them. Also, there are mazes and arches made from the other plants within the garden such as bushes and the branches of trees. Within the arches are hidden spots containing little seats made from tree stumps. Being in the garden made me feel like I was in a fairytale or Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland – all that was needed was the Mad Hatter. I can just imagine being a little girl in Sneem hiding away in the garden to have tea with my china dolls and teddy bears.
It wasn’t until I was out of the garden that I started to think about all the work that must have been put into the design and execution of it as well as who might have done it. Just remembering what the garden looks like and reviewing the photos I took of it makes me wonder, “Who made them?” “How long did it take?” and “What made them think to do such a marvelous thing?” It takes not only a very creative person to carry out a garden such as that, but also a very patient one as well. The attention to detail seen in the trees and the garden as a whole reveals that it must have taken the artist or artists a long time to achieve the desired results.
Seeing the extraordinary talent displayed in that garden reminds me of Christy Brown in My Left Foot. Brown, despite his physical challenges, had the amazing ability to use his left foot to paint masterpieces which enabled him to not only support himself but make him famous worldwide. It most certainly must have taken him a long time to finish each piece, but just like all the time and effort it took to complete the Garden of the Senses was worth it, I am certain that Brown believed that all it took to complete a painting was worth it too.