I was part of a large crowd which trampled poor Maureens Cannon perfect lawn when we visited recently with a group of community gardeners from North Donegal organised by Joanne Butler (@OurganicG)
Maureens garden, in Donegal Town, is open via the Donegal Garden Trail
Maureens garden, although small, was bursting with colour. From gorgeous perennials through to splendid containers and baskets, there was very little space which wasn't a riot of colour and interest.
enjoy the side show below
The garden of Carmel & Martin McLaughlin in Kilcar, West Donegal is amazing! A big opening statement...but this place was just wonderful. Firstly where else would you go and find a feature in a garden made of whales jawbones??. The planting scheme that Martin has designed is lush, exotic, dramatic and suited to the seaside location.
A framework of shelter has been developed by Martin, which protect the garden from the west Donegal coastal winds, and behind this shelter Martin has developed the most spectacular of gardens.
Enjoy the slideshow below....but definitely get down to visit!!!!
Recently I enjoyed a fabulous trip to another great Donegal Garden Trail with Joanne Butler (@OurganicG) and her community gardens from North Donegal. Bruckless House, located just outside the village of Bruckless in west Donegal, is a splendid Georgian country house which sits on a garden of c.2acres. Within the gardens there are many fine Magnolias, a hydrangea avenue, many fine trees, a lush perennial border and a unworked walled garden which is home to some wonderful figs.
Even on the most wettest of days, the enthusiasm that Ann Kavanagh has for medicinal plants is totally enthusing, and boy was it wet when myself and the Horticulture crew from Carndonagh visited!
But the group were enthralled by Annes stories and tales, and when Bob joined us the banter and stories kicked into overdrive.
The wonderful 3 acres of medicinal/natural/heritage/wildlife gardens that make up Ros Ban are open to the public via the Donegal Garden Trail, details for opening etc can be found here
Recently I enjoyed the company of the Marjan and Ton Bargert on a tour of their relatively new garden at Beltany View, Raphoe. The Garden is open by appointment within the Donegal Garden Trail. The Garden is a new(ish) product, having been created over the past 15 years, with new planting and additions made every year since.
There is a lovely interconnected pond system, making great use of a natural spring. As the garden is on a slope Ton has been able to create 3 different pools, connected via underground piping, with the third being a super impressive pond, full of fish and wildlife.
The garden at Beltany View is a wonderful garden to visit if you're (a) into ponds and fish or (b) if you're planning a new garden and would like to see some ideas.
The Garden is open to appointment, with contact details on the Donegal Garden Trail website
The Gardens of Oakfield Park in Raphoe are now open for the season....Hurrah!! I popped in during early April for a wee dander around to see what spring flowers and delights Head Gardener Wendy had on show...and boy was it impressive. Wee rays of colour and interest throughout the gardens, from the tulips and other bulbs to the woodland anemone and wild garlic. And great to see the swans nesting again...Connie and Gracie love Oakfield Park for a day out...and they can do what kids love doing best...exploring!
The garden of Tony Gallinagh at Backleas in Stranorlar is another of the many gardens open as part of the Donegal Garden Trail. Tony is a bit of a hero to me, his business is the Finn Valley Nurseries in Stranorlar and if I wanted to know anything about any type of tree then Tony is THE man. Tony has a lifetime spent in Horticulture, focussing on trees, so he has built up an amazing wealth of knowledge of not only trees but also landscapes. And it's this passion which is clear to see in his garden. The garden begins with formal planting at the house, then moves into a terraced shrub garden at the front (which also contains a veg garden) and then via a famine-period aqua-duct leads you to wonderful natural woodland full of Hazels and beech trees....a joyful garden to visit. Throughout the garden Tony has pieces of Bog Oak situated as focal points....and after you've seen his Famine Pot feature, heard the stories of the Aqua-duct these seem to take on a more sense of gravitas and to me reminded me of people from a past time...twas a strange sensation.
Please enjoy the simple slide show below of pictures from Tonys Garden, The Garden as Backleas is open by appointment as part of the Donegal Garden Trail.
The Garden of Lower Cranny is romantically set in the former grounds of the nearby Drumbeg House, (Nr Inver, County Donegal) some of the features of the landscape that formed the Drumbeg estate help to give this garden a wonderful setting, features such as this lake with its man made island and the tree lined driveway which would have once led to Drumbeg House is now a scenic walkway connecting the more ornamental section of Lower Cranny to a wonderful meadow walk which brings you around this lake.
Lower Cranny is a garden of a big scale, and includes Bluebell Woods, a Stream , A Dam (to regulate the water in the aforementioned lake), a Birch grove, sweeping perennial beds, wildflower meadows, old apple trees and a hedge fairy ring. A tour under the guidance of owner Joan Donleavy is most recommended as Joan connects you to the development of the garden and her personal connection and stories associated with nearly every plant in the garden. My own interest in Historic walled kitchen garden had us chatting for some time about the former walled gardens of Drumbeg House, which have been subject to demolition over the past years, but are well noted on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage
Lower Cranny is open as part of Donegal Garden Scheme 2014, location and details can be found on the Donegal Garden Trail website.
The sheer volume of colour, flowers, edibles and architectural interest in the walled garden of the 400 year old Dunmore House is a credit to Head Gardener Andy who tends to this historic walled garden as if it was his own garden. Andy is the second generation of his family to be head gardener at Dunmore and his passion for retelling tales and history from the garden is just wonderful. Chances are if you visit the walled garden in Dunmore you'll see Andy with a fork or spade in hand weeding, digging or planting and do engage him in chat as Andy loves to tell stories of every tree and every plant in the garden, he can tell you when they were planted, who picked them, where they came from...
I'm a regular at these historic gardens of Dunmore House, as its just down the road from where I live, in early June I posted these pictures from a visit to the walled garden of Dunmore House. The Garden is open 7 days a week through the Donegal Garden Trail and I urge you to try to visit over the next week or so just as the garden are peaking with summer colour....enjoy the wee simple pictures below, that give you a basic idea of how wonderful this garden is!
Gardening on Radio Foyle
A summary of each weeks gardening on Mark Patterson Show and beyond