It’s West Cork Garden Trail time again and this year’s trail – which is funded by the Harold Barry Trust and Cork County Council – is as busy and exciting as ever.
New for 2017
There are six new gardens to be explored. On the Beara Peninsula, Garra Fado in Eyeries is joined by the superb Mill Cove sculpture garden near Castletownbere – and the exquisite, 60-acre Dereen Gardens and café near Kenmare, nestling at the foot of the Caha Mountains. Ballycommane House garden sits snugly in a valley at the top of Sheep’s Head and includes an Azorean bed and many other exotic and unusual planting which is attracting visitors from botanical gardens all over Europe. On the east of the trail, Kinalea near Innishannon and Pinetree Lodge near Enniskeane are delightful small gardens, beautifully planted and landscaped with lots of ideas for the enthusiastic gardener. The trail is also joined this year by Reen Farm sculpture garden near Union Hall, open for one week only between 7-13 August – sure to be popular for its fantastical sculpture by internationally renowned artist and owner John Kelly, all set in fields along the coastline of the 13-acre farm. Look out too for the scale model of London’s Tate Gallery – an unexpected site in the wind-swept, ocean-side landscape.
The garden trail’s founding remit is to promote growing and gardening and in 2017 the WCGT is especially pleased to include for the first time two community gardens on the trail. Dunmanway Community Garden and St Patrick’s BNS School garden, Skibbereen are just two of the region’s inspirational social gardens – check the brochure and website for visiting times. Well-loved, community-managed gardens that would like to be included in future can email email@example.com. WCGT would be delighted to hear from you.
Mizen Wild Flower Trail
The garden trail is also working in a collaboration with this wonderful new wildflower trail near the ancient European centre of learning at Rossbrin near Ballydehob. Details on the garden trail’s brochure and website and in tourist information offices.
The trail’s annual summer party is at Fernhill House & Garden in Clonakilty on June 25, 2-5pm. No entry fee – all welcome. The party will include stalls, a treasure hunt, a bicycle juice-maker and a guided tour of Fernhill’s lovely garden. There will also be talks in the hotel by Pam Warhurst, co-founder of the Incredible Edible movement, Kirstie Smith from the amazing Dunmanway Community Garden and Brian Granaghan, creator of the nationally famous St Patrick’s BNS school garden.
This year there is also a not-to-be-missed opportunity to win a Garden Café Trail ticket for two. The winners will be entitled to tea, cakes and access to five café gardens during 2017, including Fernhill House, Glebe Café in Baltimore, Bantry House and Heron Gardens on Sheep’s Head. Look out for the competition on twitter @westcorktrail , on our facebook page and the WCGT website.
Incredible Edible West Cork
As part of the award-winning Taste of West Cork Food Festival, the garden trail continues its dream of planting as many of the region’s public urban spaces with edibles as possible – a phenomenon made popular by the international Incredible Edible movement. If you know of an unloved or bare green space in your village or town – however large or small – that would benefit from clearing and planting with edibles then take up the WCGT’s challenge to give it the edible makeover it needs. Enter your plot, hanging herb basket, window display or whatever in the competition via the website – and join in a night of celebration at the Incredible Edible Bicycle Buffet in Skibbereen during the food festival. There were entries from 15 locations across West Cork in 2016 – it is hoped there will be even more this year. Businesses and premises can join in too – last year’s winners included Kalbo’s Café in Skibb and An Tobairin in Bandon. Both premises had beautiful, season-long, edible displays.
For more information please visit www.westcorkgardentrail.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Brochures are available in Tourist Information Offices or as a PDF by request via the website.