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Visit to the Ardcarraig garden


A week ago we visited drove a few miles out of the city and visited Lorna MacMahon’s lovely garden. The garden is opened to public during the month of May for a small fee that serves as a donation for the Galway Mental Health Association.

From the leaflet we wre given at the entrance I learned a bit of the history behind the gardens. They were created in 1971 when a small plot of wasteland with granite rocks and no top soil was purchased together with a new build house, which stands there to this day. Since 1971 several other pieces of land have been purchased and added to the garden. The hazelwood and boggy fields were two of these later additions bringing the total area of the garden close to 4 acres.

Garden specializes in primroses, hostas and poppies although there are also dozens of different azaleas which look stunning this time of the year with colourful display of flowers.

The terracota sunken garden was made in 1995 and even though I was not very impressed with it, the two clematis plants there (montana and recta) are surely transforming this area into a romantic spot when covered in flowers.

A large secion of the garden consists of natural woodland. Hazel trees are the most abundand but there’s also holly, bitch, willow, hawthorn and blackthorn trees there with colourful underplanting of ivy, ferns, bluebells and anemonies.

A second house was built on the plot in 2003, further back, embeded in the garden. Designed for the views over the trees to Lough Corrib and overlooking several sections of the garden. I have to say Even though the architecture of the house is not my cup of tea, I would love a house like that purely for the views.

There’s a stream running through the woodland and onto the boggy field which you cross several times walking through the garden. It was my favourite part of the garden. Walking in the shaded woodlands with the stream running along the footpath, then crossing the stream to an opened space and a sudden explosion of colour! I am no expert in garden disign but I thought it was very cleverly done. And this idea of emerging from the narrow path sunken in darkness into an opened space with lots of light and colour is repeated throughout the garden joining the woodland to other parts.

My second favourite was the japanese garden. One can not go wrong with a japanese theme! And the fabulous umbrella-like acers. I need to get my hands on one of these!

And finally after walking around and soaking in the views we arrived in a small herb garden section where several plants were for sale. I don’t think I need to write this, you probably know it already. A lovely blue poppy and white-yellow ‘Poached egg flower’ came home with me that day.

Enjoy the walk:

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What lovely photos Jagienka, and I have to can't go far wrong with a Japanese theme!

2 Jun, 2014


really beautiful blog thank you for information and i really did enjoy the walk :-) the flowerbeds seemed so full yet each plant could been discerned :-) remarkable place to visit!

2 Jun, 2014


A beautiful place to visit. The colours just jump out at you don't they. Thanks for sharing your visit with us.

2 Jun, 2014


Thank you all, yes it's a lovely place to visit and I'm surprised this was the first time for me to go there (and I've been living in the area for over 10 years). Better late than never, right?

I am a sucker of all things Japanese and having spent 6 months in Kyoto I am a huge fan of the moss gardens. There is a GRAND plan to build a Shishi-Odoshi (bamboo water feature) for my garden, but I need to find a cheap source of thick bamboo first. So watch this space!

3 Jun, 2014


Super pics :o)

3 Jun, 2014


A very beautiful place :)

4 Jun, 2014

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