Visit to Kilcoan Gardens
The gardening group went to kilcoan Gardens in Islandmagee on Monday 10th of September.
It was a grey and damp day and not very promising but what a wonderful and inspiring experience it was.
The winner of the gardening group quiz, Doris Nugent, met with us at the garden and accompanied us on the garden tour and came with us for lunch later in the bentra restaurant.
Cherry Townsend the owner and creator of the garden is full of enthusiasm and passion for her subject and her knowledge is endless. She knows every single plant in her garden, where she bought i ,when she bought it, the botanical name, the common name, best conditions for growing and so on.
As she spoke about these plants it was clear that she regarded them as her family, referring to some of them as little thugs who have to be kept under control and others who are delicate and dainty and just look so pretty!
Many of the common names were amusing and unforgettable for instance the Dingle Dangle tree, or the beautiful Golden Fleece – crocosmia. Can any of us remember the proper name for the Dingle Dangle Tree? !
Cherry answered every question with patience and in detail, and left all of us feeling that if we only had a tiny portion of her energy, and knowledge, all of our gardens would be so much better.
She has created a very large border filled with hot colour flowers which she has called her Prairie border. The interesting thing about this extensive border is that it was done without any digging. She has sent us details of how she has gone about this and recommends it as a truly successful and easy method. [See Links below]
Self-service tea and coffee together with scones and traybakes was available in the barn.
Cherry also runs courses for wreath making at Christmas, and for autumn wreath making with dried autumnal foliage and she is a regular contributor to Radio Ulsters gardening programme.
we all agreed that we had a fun and interesting morning in Kilcoan, with Cherry, who is truly a great plants woman as our guide.
Picture Gallery: Photographs and comments by Anita Yeung