BALLINVILLON Gardens near Durrus in West Cork have been opened to the public for the first time.
The gardens, which are located on the Durrus to Ballydehob road at Ballycommane, opened on May 1st, and will remain open for the month, until June 5th, from 10am to 5pm daily.
Ballinvillon is a woodland garden full of rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, Japanese maples and other rare plants, including many varieties not seen elsewhere in Ireland.
Ballinvillon is the old mill settlement on Four Mile Water, to the east of Durrus village.
‘Evidence of extensive pre-industrial mill workings are found on the river and this whole area is very ancient,’ explained Liz Haddon, who moved there from Sussez with her husband Dave, 20 years ago, to start a family,
‘We are hybridisers of both rhododendrons and deciduous azaleas, so the garden has many rare plants, and in addition many of our own crosses, that we are growing on trial,’ said Liz. ‘These plants are unique. The garden is of a Himalayan/woodland style and is as natural as is practical.’
The Haddons are members of the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Group and the American Rhododendron Society and the garden has been grown from scratch, having been scrub before.
There are also fine plants for sale at the gardens, and Liz suggests visitors wear strong, sturdy shoes.
The entry fee is €5 per person, and, unfortunately, as the terrain is quite rough, there is currently no access for wheelchairs or pushchairs.
Dogs are also not permitted.
For more, see Ballinvillon on Facebook.