Above: Heron Gardens
The West Cork Garden Trail is 21 years old this year. On May 31, there will be a day of celebrations and a double-chance to meet Ireland’s most famous gardening celebrity. In the morning, Diarmuid Gavin will be at Garra Fado gardens near Eyeries on Beara, discussing all things gardening – and at Bantry House at 4pm in the afternoon for another gardening chat and Q&A. Tickets for the Bantry House event can be bought online at www.westcorkgardentrail.com — and on the day at Garra Fado in Eyeries.
WCGT spokesperson Miriam Cotton says “We’re delighted that Diarmuid is helping us to celebrate our birthday. Over the years, so much work has gone into making the trail what it is – it’s terrific to have this acknowledgement of the trail’s contribution to summer life in West Cork.”
Great Value Season Ticket
For keen gardening enthusiasts – and for parents looking for an affordable way to entertain children during the summer holidays — the WCGT has also announced its new season ticket scheme. “The gardens are not expensive to visit – generally around €5 for entry,” says Cotton “but for anyone who would like to ‘do the trail’, they can now buy a ticket that gives access to 11 of the gardens for just €35 – or €55 for a family ticket which includes free entry for children under 13 – parents need no longer worry about how they are going to fill those long summer holidays!”
Some of the gardens have excellent cafés such as Heron Gardens on Sheep’s Head, Glebe Gardens in Baltimore — and don’t forget to try the delicious homemade apple tart at Bantry House. Or eat al fresco with a picnic overlooking some of the most amazing scenery West Cork has to offer. Check the website for individual garden opening times and dates before setting off on trips.
Season tickets available online via the website only.
Throughout summer there are many events and activities taking place in the gardens so put the following dates in your diary now – don’t miss out! From pirate treasure hunts, to attractive vegetable gardens and dry-stonewalling, the WCGT is going to be very busy this year.
May 31 Garra Fado, Eyeries 11am; Bantry House 4pm – Diarmuid Gavin on all things gardening. Enquiries/Tickets online via the website.
June 7 The Ewe Experience, Glengarriff, 10am-6pm – Charity Day in aid of Rural Animal Welfare.
June-August Inclusive Inish Beg, Nr Baltimore. Return boat trip including garden entry, €20, children under 13 free. Wednesdays: 10.30am from Baltimore pier – return 2pm. Sundays: 2pm from Baltimore pier – return 5.30pm.
Daily at Inish Beg, all year round: The Pirate Trail – find the hidden pirates who are lurking in the woods at Inish Beg — suitable for children three-years-old and upwards. Garden visitors get a map of the estate and children get a sheet showing pictures of the 10 pirates. Children who find at least four can tick them off, pinpoint where they found them and if correct they get a lollipop. Keeps the kids happy while Mum and Dad enjoy the walk, vegetation and scenery.
June 16 Heron Gardens, Sheep’s Head 11am – ‘How My Garden Grew’ with Annabel Langrish.
June 17 Glebe Gardens, Baltimore, 11.30am – Beauty & Bounty – growing an attractive vegetable garden.
June 17 Inish Beg, Nr Baltimore, 11am – Garden tour with Head Gardener, Tony O’Mahony
June 20 Carraign Abhainn, Durrus – Charity Day.
June 24 Inish Beg, Nr Baltimore 11am – ‘The Challenges of an Organic Walled Garden’ with Tony O’ Mahony
June 25 & 26, September 5 & 6 Rosewood House, Lough Hyne – 2 day Dry-stone wall course. €130 including lunches and refreshments.
Coming Soon – Garden Trail Holidays
WCGT is also working with a number of hotels throughout West Cork towards establishing special garden trail holidays – a way for visitors to experience some of the best of West Cork hospitality while enjoying one of the great outdoor experiences that the region has to offer. Information about these holidays will shortly be available on the garden trail website but for now, WCGT is delighted to confirm that participating hotels include Fernhill House Hotel in Clonakilty, Liss Ard Hotel near Skibbereen, Casey’s Cabin in Baltimore, Rolf’s Country House in Baltimore and Inish Beg House & Gardens near Skibbereen.
For further information email email@example.com or visit the WCGT website at www.westcorkgardentrail.com.