Text courtesy of Patricia Kernohan and images by Barbara Kelso
On July 7th The small walled garden in Pogue’s Entry held its open day.
Owned by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and in conjunction with the IGPS, it has been developed and maintained with the planting of many Irish Heritage plants.
Situated in an historic corner of Antrim town centre, within the now gated alleyway, lies the 18th century cottage and childhood home of William Alexander Irvine. Despite his humble beginnings Irvine made his mark on the world as a successful minister of religion and author. His famous book My Lady of the Chimney Corner pays tribute to his mother.
The alleyway leads to a cobbled courtyard with a cottage-style fruit and vegetable garden and walls adorned with espalier apple trees under-planted with thyme. A 140 year old birch tree stands proudly. The long double borders are filled with swathes of herbaceous perennials such as day lilies, a selection of agapanthus, Astrantia, Veronicastrum, and evergreen shrubs and trees.
At the back of the garden, where shade pervades, a newly acquired Irish Heritage plant (IHP) Aucuba japonica ‘Ashmount’ with yellow-speckled narrow leaves has been added. Other notable IHPs are Pulmonaria ‘Blakes Silver’ highlighted against the sulphur yellow flowers of Potentilla fruticosa’ Longacre Variety’. Some beautiful Irish Heritage roses namely Rosa ‘Narrow Water’ and ‘Rambling Rector’ have also been planted.
A steady stream of visitors, both IGPS members and the public visited and were offered refreshments and an informal tour of the garden. The visitors enjoyed eating blackcurrants and the Irish black- podded pea,‘Josh Toombs’.
As a result of the successful Open Day we were delighted to welcome three new volunteers, while Yvonne Penpraze, volunteer coordinator, shared pots of home-made blackcurrant jam from the fruit in the garden.