Circa 70 people attended the review evening in the Old Court House in Antrim for the Annual Review of the Open Gardens.
Past Years 2015
These gardens are open by appointment in aid of the National Trust for Northern Ireland. Money raised by this scheme will be used to fund projects in National Trust gardens which otherwise might not have been financed. This scheme is in addition to the established Ulster Gardens Scheme of fixed day openings.
Admission to all gardens £3.00
17 Drumnamallaght Road, Ballymoney, BT53 7QX.
An interesting garden with unusual plants, scree, crevice garden, stone troughs, herbaceous border, pond and a stream. Plants for sale.
Tel: Mrs Dorothy Brown for an appointment and directions to the garden on 028 276 62923
April – end September
11 Sallagh Road, Cairncastle, Ballygally, Larne, BT40 2NE
A two acre plantsman’s garden situated on the Antrim Coast and consisting of a number of paths winding through maturing woodland. There are several small ponds and it holds an extensive collection of herbaceous plants, bulbs, shrubs and trees, many of which have been propagated by the owner. Large collection of Hellebores. Parking limited. Not suitable for children. Partial wheelchair access. Location: From A8 Belfast to Larne Road, turn left on B148 for Cairncastle at new Millbrook roundabout. After approximately 4 miles, leave B148 at ‘Old Dairy’ (yellow cottage), and fork left onto Sallagh Road. House is 0.75 miles on right, below road. Alternatively: From A2 Coast Road at Ballygally, from rear of Ballygally car park turn left and drive approximately 1.75 miles to T junction. Turn left again onto B148 and then, shortly after, sharp right onto Sallagh Road access.
Tel: Mr and Mrs D Ledsham for appointment on 028 2858 3003
April – end October
177 Malone Road, Belfast, BT9 6TB
A half-acre garden with a marvellous collection of rhododendrons. Good collection of other shrubs and herbaceous plants designed for easy maintenance, pond and bog garden. Location: Proceeding out of Belfast, the garden is on the right hand side after the Balmoral traffic lights and before Malone Hill Park.
Tel: Dr and Mrs S A Hawkins for appointment on 028 9068 2274
May – June
59 Richmond Park, Stranmillis, Belfast, BT9 5EF
The garden of the BBC Gardener of the Year 2001 is an imaginatively designed naturalistic city garden that combines a vibrant mix of perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees set within a formal layout.
Location: Travelling from the roundabout at Stranmillis College and going along the Stranmillis Road towards Malone Road, Richmond Park is the second exit on the left. Number 59 is on the left hand side.
Tel: Adrian Walsh for appointment on 028 9020 8623
August – end October
7 The Woodlands, Warrenpoint, BT34 3WL
The garden is on a slope, terraced with two patios, garden house, ponds, water feature and sitting areas. Informal style with all types of plants including perennials, shrubs, fruit trees (apple and cherry), soft fruit, climbers, vegetables etc. A small gem. Not suitable for wheelchairs.
Location: From Newry take the dual carriageway to Warrenpoint roundabout, take first left to Golf Course. 100 yards past golf course entrance turn right. Number 7 is facing road on right.
Tel: Mrs E Murray for appointment on 028 4177 4238
End May – August
77 Magheratimpany Road, Spa, Ballynahinch, BT24 8PA
This delightful 25 acre garden includes a cottage garden, woodland with shade loving plants and a rock garden. There is a wonderful collection of trees and a wildlife pond. Partially suitable for wheelchairs.
Location: South of Ballynahinch A24. 200 yards past the Millbrook Lodge Hotel turn right on to the Ballymaglave Road, towards Spa. Turn left on to Magheratimpany Road and Number 77 is on the left hand side.
Tel: Dr and Mrs Colin Tindall for appointment on 028 9756 2812
May – September
73 Cahard Road, Ballynahinch, BT24 8YD
This is a garden of over an acre set amidst the drumlins of County Down. The property, which apparently dates from the late 1790s, was acquired by the owners as an almost derelict farmstead in 1974. It is approached by a drive through an acre of trees planted in 1989. The garden itself comprises separate areas for growing fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants. The largest of the ornamental areas has a pergola and a water feature, and is planted with a wide range of trees, shrubs, climbers, herbaceous perennials and ferns. The fruit and vegetable gardens are the only areas readily accessible to a wheelchair.
Location: Roughly equidistant from Ballynahinch, Crossgar and Saintfield.
Tel: Richard and Lyn Mackender for appointment and directions to the garden on 028 9751 1255
Mid May – August
14 Drumnaconnell Road, Saintfield, BT24 7NB
A fourteen acre country garden with shrubs, trees, holly wood, birch grove, bluebells etc. Good views over County Down. All maintained organically.
Location: From Saintfield take the Ballynahinch Road, turn left just past the 30mph sign, left on to the Drumnaconnell Road, second dwelling on the left up a quarter of a mile laneway.
Tel: Mrs S Taylor for appointment on 028 9751 0232
Mid April – September
7 Mount Charles North, Bessbrook, Newry, BT35 7DW
The garden is in the delightful 18th-century village of Bessbrook. A connoisseur’s garden with a superb collection of alpines and clematis, cleverly planted with herbaceous plants and shrubs.
Location: From Belfast take the A1 for Dublin then take the A27 turn-off for Newry. At the roundabout take the 3rd exit under the bridge (signposted A28 Armagh). At the 2nd roundabout take the 2nd exit (signposted A28 Markethill/Armagh), after 50 yards turn left onto Kidd’s Road (signposted Craigmore/Bessbrook 2). At Crossroads at Millvale Arms turn right onto B133, after 0.6 miles take first left past Vauxhall Garage, Bessbrook B112. 0.3 miles past the Gospel Hall turn left through the iron gates at railings.
Tel: Mr and Mrs W McKelvey for appointment on 028 3083 8006
May – August
‘Glenkeen’, 12 Dunevly Road, Portaferry, BT22 1NB
This is a 12 year old, informal, half acre garden with a variety of interesting plants. The delightfully colourful garden includes soft fruits and vegetables and is wildlife friendly with bee hives. Woodturning studio, doll’s houses and local crafts for sale. Open 10am to 4pm during Creative Peninsula Week with refreshments available during the week.
Location: From Newtownards take the A20 main Newtownards to Portaferry Road. Approximately 6.5 miles from Kircubbin turn left into Dunevly Road (opposite Lough Cowey Lake sign) Number 12 is just over 1 mile on the left at a U bend. From Portaferry take A20 road towards Newtownards. Dunevly Road is just over 2 miles on the right.
Tel: Ann and Mike Miall for appointment on 028 4277 2418
Groups limited to 15 people May – end September
43 Ardmillan Road, Killinchy, BT23 6QW
Sitting amidst the drumlins of County Down, this garden has wonderful views over Strangford Lough. It has a natural rockery, a new pool and benefits from native planting with emphasis on the promotion of habitat for wildlife. Not suitable for wheelchairs.
Location: From Comber take the A22 towards Killinchy. After approximately 3.5 miles (immediately after passing through Lisbane) turn left onto the Ardmillan Road. The bungalow is 1 mile on the right before Ardmillian village. From Killyleagh take the A22 towards Comber and turn right into Ardmillan Road.
Tel: Ruth and Gordon Buckley for appointment on 079 1356 2512
Groups up to 40 people May – July
‘Forth Cottage’ Garden, 67 Lisnacroppin Road, Rathfriland, BT34 5NZ
This is a country cottage garden, the gardener being the third generation of the family to garden here, on about one fifth of an acre, set in farmland near Knock Iveagh. It is divided into different areas each with their own theme. The old part of the cottage is on the roadside, with the front planted for all year round interest. There are stone troughs planted in crevice style and a dry gravel led walled garden. A field type lawn area with beds surrounding, and a wild area, planted for food for insects and butterflies. Parking limited.
Location: Take the B10 Rathfriland Road, exiting from the A1. Go 7.5 miles, then take a right turn up a steep hill onto Lisnacroppin Road. After 2 miles on Lisnacroppin Road, the garden is on the right. Parking on right after the cottage. From Rathfriland go 2 miles on the B10 and turn left onto Lisnacroppin Road.
Tel: Mrs Helen Harper for appointment on 028 4065 1649
Maximum group of 10 people June – Mid August
Old Barrack House, 7 Main Street, Hillsborough, BT26 6AE
The garden runs down to Hillsborough Castle walls and having begun with piles of ash and wall to wall dandelions it has evolved over 20 years into a romantic garden, designed and planted by Dawn. Together with Ken they planned layout and maintenance of three ‘rooms’ which include a tea terrace next to the old listed greenhouse and a grassy orchard surrounded by shrubbery and herbaceous planting. The secret garden at the bottom is frequented by birds bathing in the pond and squirrels hiding acorns while the neighbouring heron tries to steal the fish. Ken feels the garden is full and complete while Dawn cannot resist buying another special plant and constantly adding to the collection.
Location: Main Street, Hillsborough opposite the Parish Church. Dawn and Ken live in the Old Barrack House - the only house with Wisteria across it.
Tel: Dawn and Ken McEntee for appointment on 028 9268 2329
June – September
‘Hampstead Hall’, 40 Culmore Road, Londonderry, BT48 7RS
A fascinating city garden in the suburbs of Derry. It is comprised of a Japanese style garden, an Italian garden and a formal garden in front of an elegant Georgian House. A new area is under development. Described and illustrated in Shirley Lanigan’s ‘The 100 Best Gardens in Ireland’. Partially suitable for wheelchairs.
Location: Follow the signs for the city centre after crossing the Foyle Bridge. After double set of traffic lights take second right into Baronscourt. House is third driveway on the right.
Tel: Mr Liam Greene for appointment on 028 7135 4807 (evenings)
Groups only May – end September
28 Killyfaddy Road, Magherafelt, BT45 6EX
This is a mature garden of over one acre densely packed with a wide range of trees, herbaceous plants and a small hardy plant nursery. There is a pond and bog garden, fruit and vegetables, greenhouse etc. It has featured in BBC Television’s ‘Secret Gardens’ and is described and illustrated in Shirley Lanigan’s ‘The 100 Best Gardens in Ireland’. Partially suitable for wheelchairs.
Location: Killyfaddy Road is second left off the Moneymore Road from the centre of Magherafelt.
Tel: Mrs A Buchanan for appointment on 028 7963 2180
Fox Lodge, 20 Leckpatrick Road, Ballymagorry, Strabane, BT82 0AL
A two acre garden with mixed plantings suitable for the soil conditions. Woodland plants, peat beds, a scree area, a large heather garden and linked pools with a bog garden are all in informal settings. From early April, when there are swathes of daffodils in bloom, this is a garden to leisurely wander through and enjoy.
Location: The garden is close to Ballymagorry, 3 miles from Strabane, 10 miles from Londonderry on the main A5. Coming from Strabane, turn right onto Leckpatrick Road at the top of the hill after Ballymagorry. The garden is a quarter of a mile from the main road.
Tel: Mr and Mrs B Mooney for appointment on 028 7188 2442
April – July
Tattykeel House, Doogary Road, Omagh, BT79 0BN
A country garden of approximately 1.5 acres created over a 25 year period, planted with conifers, shrubs, roses and perennials. There is a sheltered seating area, a Japanese influenced area, interesting features and a collection of well grown climbers on the house. The garden was featured on the BBC television series ‘Greenmount Gardens’. Mrs Ward runs a very interesting craft studio at the house. Partially suitable for wheelchairs.
Location: Tattykeel House is approximately 2.5 miles from Omagh on the south side of the A5 Omagh to Ballygawley Road. There is a sign at the entrance gate.
Tel: Mr Hugh and Mrs Kathleen Ward for appointment on 028 8224 9801
May – July