The UGS Web pages have now been updated to reflect the 2017 Open Gardens and the Gardens Open by Appointment.
Ulster Gardens Scheme 2016 Open Gardens
All funds raised help support
National Trust gardens in Northern Ireland
Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May 2–5pm
Mr Richard and Mrs Beverley Brittain
31b Carrowdore Road, Greyabbey, BT22 2LU
As seen on BBC Northern Ireland's Greatest Gardens, this three acre garden is in a reclaimed quarry with natural woodland, ponds and small bridges. Meandering moss paths lead to different areas, including a small vegetable garden and a fruit garden. There is a Summer House perched on the top of the quarry, albeit painted blue! Many benches and viewing areas are located within the garden. Planting consists mainly of foxgloves, primulas and camellias, plus a mixture of native and ornamental trees.
Diarmuid Gavin described the moss garden as, 'enchanting' and Helen Dillon described the garden as, 'absolutely heavenly'. Partially suitable for wheelchairs. Children must be supervised at all times.
Location: From A20 Newtownards to Portaferry Road turn left into Mount Stewart Road towards Ballywalter. After approximately 2 miles turn right into Carrowdore Road towards Greyabbey. The garden is about one mile on the left hand side.
Plant Stall / Teas
Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 June 2–5pm
Mr Mervyn D N Singer
‘Gremford’, 59 Mullafernaghan Road, Dromore, BT25 1JZ
A country garden of more than two acres developed over a 25 year period from a green field site. Mixed planting provides all year round colour. Highlights include the Summer House with a stream and pond, secluded area with gazebo and scree planting. Partially suitable for wheelchairs.
Location: From A1 dual carriageway between Banbridge and Dromore leave onto Skeltons Road signposted for Blackskull and Donaghcloney. At crossroads go onto Mullafernaghan Road. After one mile the house is on the left after Skeltons Cut.
Plant Stall / Teas in aid of Cancer Research UK
Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June 2–5pm
Mr and Mrs J Rafferty
The Mill House, 140 Ballynashee Road, Glenwherry, Ballymena, BT42 3EW
This serene five acre country garden was featured in BBC’s ‘Greatest Gardens’ with Helen Dillon and Diarmuid Gavin in 2015. Woodland plantings of beech, oak, spruce and silver birch are linked by stone paths, approximately half-a-mile in total, with seating at points of special interest. The paths have recently been extended through a small copse of silver birch under planted with mostly woodland plants including magnolias, azaleas, hydrangeas and hundreds of candelabra primulas. The shady riverside walk defines the area between the Glenwherry River and an old mill race
which feeds two ponds. The larger pond, approximately 0.5 acre, has an island and a boat jetty and is surrounded by raised beds on two levels filled with an eclectic choice of plants. From the top of the rhododendron walk, with over 140 rhododendrons, there are wonderful views across countryside designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Location: The garden is situated on the Ballynashee Road, half a mile from the main Ballymena/Larne Road (A36). Approximately 10 miles from Ballymena and 10 miles from Larne. From Ballyclare take the Colin Road (B94) to the Five Corners pub. Take second road on the right (Sawmills Road). Drive approximately one mile to crossroads and turn left onto Ballynashee Road. Drive 2.8 miles to bridge, garden is on the left. From Broughshane, take Rathkeel Road (B94) towards Ballyclare. After approximately 6 miles at T junction turn left onto A36. After approximately 3 miles turn right onto
Ballynashee Road. House on right. (Please park on Ballynashee Road.)
Plant Stall / Teas
Saturday 25 June 2–5pm
William and Daphne Montgomery
Grey Abbey House, Greyabbey, Newtownards, BT22 2QA
Situated on the Ards Peninsula, Grey Abbey House has been in the possession of the Montgomery family since 1607. The micro climate provided by Strangford Lough means that a wide variety of trees, shrubs and plants flourish in the gardens. As well as the parkland landscape there are two orchards containing unusual varieties of apple trees, a working walled vegetable garden, herbaceous and shrub rose borders, and a southern hemisphere garden. Partially suitable for wheelchairs. Dogs are welcome, on leads.
Location: The village of Greyabbey is situated half way down the western shore of the Ards peninsula, 3 miles from the National Trust House and Gardens at Mount Stewart, 7 miles south of Newtownards and 11 miles north of Portaferry. The ferry from Strangford to Portaferry goes every half hour during the day, on the hour and half hour from Strangford, and quarter to and quarter past the hour from Portaferry. The entrance to Grey Abbey House and Gardens is through the square on the main street between the Wildfowler Inn and school.
Plant Stall / Teas
Sunday 26 June 2–5pm
Colleen and Nick Lowry
Blessingbourne Estate, Murley Road, Fivemiletown, BT75 0QS
‘Blessingbourne Country Estate, where the Manor House majestically overlooks Lough Fadda’. The tranquil location is complimented by a back drop of mature woodlands and delightful gardens featuring a terrace, lawns and borders with sunken garden. There are large mature Yew trees and Holm oak standing at the front of the house. Learn about the rich historical past of the estate and view the memory garden currently being developed to commemorate the American Army who were based at Blessingbourne during the Second World War. Take a walk around the 4km walking trails, discover the remnants of Mary Montgomery’s Rock Garden and beautiful Rhododendron walk. Partially suitable for wheelchairs.
Location: From Belfast take the M1 and continue onto A4. At Ballygawley roundabout continue on A4 towards Enniskillen. Go through Augher and Clogher and enter Fivemiletown. At roundabout turn right onto Murley Road, signposted Fintona B122 and Omagh. Stay on Murley Road (B122) and look for Ulster Gardens Scheme signs. From Maguiresbridge take A4 and enter Fivemiletown. Follow signs for Clogher and Belfast A4. At T junction turn left onto Murley Road. Follow UlsterGardens Scheme signs.
Plant Stall / Teas
Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July 2–5pm
Miss Gillian Downing
3 Brooklands Park, Manse Road, Newtownards BT23 4XY
Mrs Doreen Wilson
Tuffley Lawn, 14 Ballyrogan Park, Newtownards BT23 4SD
3 Brooklands Park: A compact, wildlife friendly garden with the emphasis on trees, shrubs, roses and herbaceous perennials grown to attract birds, bees and butterflies. The garden has been planted to give year-round interest and kerb appeal. Partially suitable for wheelchairs.
Location: From Dundonald follow the A20 to the roundabout at Ards Shopping Centre. Take the first exit onto Blair Mayne Road North. Turn left into Manse Road. Continue until you reach Brooklands Park on the left. Parking on the road.
14 Ballyrogan Park: Although the original house and garden are 35 years old, it was only in the past 10 years, when the owner retired, that much gardening has taken place. Trees and hedges were planted as a shelter belt from the cold frosts that roll down from the Craigantlet Hills and the strong westerlies that blow up from Strangford Lough. Largely a country garden with a wide variety of herbaceous plants, some unusual shrubs including ‘Emmenopterys henryi’ and a productive vegetable garden with a small overflowing greenhouse. There is a pergola planted with wisteria and a walkway with a variety of roses leading to a secret Summer House. A small sheltered pool in a courtyard is surrounded with pots of pelargoniums which should be flowering in July. This is not a designer garden, as more plants are acquired more lawn is surrendered. The garden is managed completely organically and the owner is a fanatical composter. Partially suitable for wheelchairs.
Location: From Dundonald take the A20 and turn left onto the Belfast Road (past Old Mill coffee shop). Turn right into Ballyrogan Road and first left into Ballyrogan Park.
Plant Stall at Brooklands Park / Teas at Ballyrogan Park
Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 July 2–5pm
Mr John and Mrs Erica Lund
Orchard Garth, Old Kilmore Road, Moira, BT67 0LZ
This one acre garden has never before been open to the public. Created over the past 20 years, the garden is an attractive melange of lawn, shrubs and herbaceous plants. The owners have transformed a field and have replanted an orchard and provided a shelter belt of native trees. A pond, with fish and other pond wildlife, was created out of an old railway bridge which had stood on the Kilmore Road in Lurgan. An old family statue of Master McGrath presides over the pond and spacious terrace. Vegetables
are grown in raised beds and there are splendid herbaceous borders. The garden is full of colour and variety with garden seats to provide rest and the opportunity to enjoy bird life in an individual and special place. Partially suitable for wheelchairs.
Location: Exit M1 at Junction 9 and take A3 into Moira Village. At top of village take the Old Kilmore Road exit off roundabout. The garden is one mile from the roundabout and there is parking in an adjoining field.
Plant Stall / Teas
Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 August 2–5pm
Professor and Mrs James Nixon
48 Ballydorn Road, Killinchy, BT23 6QB
In a favoured position on Strangford Lough, between a windswept drumlin and the tidal Dorn, the artist Katherine Nixon has created a diverse range of chemical-free ‘little habitats’. These include a forager’s greywacke foreshore; the stack-yard of the original farm with hay barn, stable and potager; a sheltered courtyard garden; a five acre, wetland and wildlife sanctuary with well, pond, copses, two meadows and perennial plantings. These sustain wildlife and pollinators such as James Nixon’s black native Irish bees. There are breathtaking views from the highest point. During the month of August an exhibition of work by invited artists will be held in the studios and garden. (Tel: 028 9754 3336 for art exhibition appointment). Wheelchair access to most of garden.
Location: On A22 Comber to Killyleagh Road turn left into Beechvale Road at Balloo House. Go through Killinchy Village onto Whiterock Road. Having come round Whiterock Bay northwards from Killinchy, continue past the red lightship ‘Petrel’ and park on the roadside/field.
Plant Stall / Teas
Ulster Gardens Scheme Review Evening
Thursday 17 November 2016 at 7.30pm
The Old Courthouse, Antrim
Join members of the Ulster Gardens Scheme Committee and garden owners for our very popular annual review, when we look back at another successful season’s garden visiting on behalf of the National Trust, and enjoy a light supper.
Admission: A charge of £5 per person will be made, to avoid a drain on National Trust funds.
Pre-booking is essential, as numbers are strictly limited.
Contact The Old Courthouse on 028 9448 1338 to ensure a reservation