Members from counties Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Down and Meath enjoyed a wonderful visit to the extensive gardens of Ballyedmond Castle on a perfect summer’s afternoon on Saturday, June 1st.

Our unhurried tour was led by head gardener, Jamie, and his colleague Andrew and started with the dry terrace on the south-facing slope in front of the Castle dominated by several towering Echium, some a cross between E. wildpritii and E. pininana.

Our tour continued along winding paths through the woodland thickly carpeted with well-chosen ground cover, and then onto the stumpery, which was home to many varieties of ferns.

Next we meandered through long grass and ‘meadows’ near the shore, onto areas filled with rhododendrons, choice trees and shrubs, and easy-going perennials.

Over the past number of years as the gardens have matured they have been developed in a more informal and relaxed style, one of the most recent additions being a large wildlife pond with views towards the Mourne Mountains.

Refreshments were served in the Orangery overlooking the more formal area with a growing collection of Irish roses.

Text and photos by Maeve Bell on behalf of the Northern region committee.