West Cork Garden Trail offers spectacular colour

July 3rd, 2020 11:50 AM

By Emma Connolly

An abundance of colour in the garden adjoining the Heron Gallery at Ahakista on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula in West Cork

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WITH unlimited travel now permitted in Cork, people are literally itching to hit the road and immerse themselves in surroundings beyond their own four walls, and garden gate.

But with social distancing still paramount, and a resounding emphasis placed by health experts on meeting outdoors as much as possible, we’re all on the hunt for particular style activities.

With that in mind, the West Cork garden trail is ticking every box in terms of being both a suitable, and a spectacular, attraction for Summer 2020.

The spectacular seaside setting of Dunmore House Hotel gardens near Clonakilty.

Founded in 1994, the trail of 27 gardens, is now in its 26th year and grows in appeal all the time. There are gardens from Kinsale-Bandon-Innishannon area stretching right down to the Mizen with spaces to interest the serious gardeners, the hobbyist and families of all ages.

Depending on what garden you visit, prepare to be amazed by exotic plants of the Amazon, learn about medicinal herbs or have fun withimaginative child inspired attractions. Chair of the trail is Jean Perry of Glebe House, Baltimore, which is one of the featured gardens.

Secretary is Harry Sexton of Pinetree Lodge Gardens, near Ballinacarriga, Dunmanway who said they have interest from another two gardens keen to join the trail, and added they’re anxious to improve standards all the time.

‘There’s exceptional talent on the trail, and you’ll meet people with extraordinary horticultural knowledge,’ he said. ‘Most of our gardens will accommodate social distancing, and of course, people will be in the fresh air, outdoors.’

With 27 gardens, you could pick one a week for the summer and still have some left over. Some of the gardens are already open; some are due to open next month, with others undecided.

Two of the 27 gardens featured on the West Cork Garden Trail – above – Pinetree Lodge Garden at Ballinacarriga, near Dunmanway, and – below – the river running through the Breeny Mór garden in Kealkil.

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