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PUBLIC PLACES


My grandfather lost his sight due to a late diagnosis of glaucoma, but was still able to maintain a small rose garden by touch alone. It’s not without its risks but still amazes me to this day





finance roles, before returning to study horticulture full time as I enjoyed the outdoor work when studying for my degree. Before coming to Montalto I was a self- employed design and build landscaper.” Peter studied horticulture at Greenmount College of Agriculture and Horticulture in Antrim and was inspired by his grandfather to work in gardens.


“My grandfather lost his sight due to a late diagnosis of glaucoma, but was still able to maintain a small rose garden by touch alone. It’s not without its risks, but still amazes me to this day.” Peter is in charge of the budgets and purchasing for the gardens and ancillary areas and reports to both the managing director and operations director.


“Montalto is an enchanting estate set in magnificent, natural surroundings, and opened its gates to the public in September 2018,” said Peter. “We wanted to let the authenticity of the estate shine through instead of replicating experiences that visitors could find elsewhere.” “We were fortunate that this landscape is so full of heritage and culture and enabled us to do this. This visitor attraction is about letting people experience the true heart of Northern Ireland and offers captivating trails and gardens, a unique eating environment and a distinctive retail element, all of which work in unison to engage the visitor with a product that will both surprise and delight them.”


“There are many other features that


visitors enjoy, including a lake, boathouse, bespoke fairy tale style Witch’s Cottage and an epic children’s play area with towering tree-house. This has been designed to encourage exploration and learning through play,” he said.


“The most important thing for us is the reaction of visitors when they visit the estate for the first time. We feel that the estate offers many unexpected surprises and the entire visitor journey from our website, signage, car park, buildings, natural play area and trails is of the highest quality.” Peter has eight staff working in the gardens and can outsource work to contractors or specialists when he needs to. “We use an arboriculture consultant to help with our tree management plan, and


120 PC August/September 2019


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