Open Gardens for 2013

It is regretted that dogs cannot be admitted even on a lead and that National Trust Membership Cards are not valid for entry to private gardens open under the scheme.

Admission £3

Open Gardens 2013



Saturday 11 and Sunday 12th May              from 2 – 5pm

Mr Sam Harrison, “Beechgrove”, 12 Castle Avenue, Castlewellan, Co.Down, BT31 9DX.

A plantsman’s garden developed over a period of 30 years. Year round interest is maintained with its wide range of colourful and unusual plants. The garden is arranged in peninsulas of trees and shrubs which jut onto the lawns, providing attractive vistas and shelter to many specimen plants. Features include a fishpond, summer house, island beds and a woodland walk. Selected seating enhances the benefits of the scented plants. The garden is wildlife friendly with birds and butterflies in abundance. Mostly suitable for wheelchairs.

Location: Located within Castlewellan Forest Park. The garden entrance is the first road on the left (approx. 200 metres) inside the main gates. Castlewellan Forest Park is signposted in the centre of Castlewellan town.

Plant Stall/Teas

Saturday 18th May          from 2 – 5pm

Mr John and Mrs Margaret Kennedy, ‘The Linn’, 20 Ballymenoch Road, Holywood,Co.Down,BT18 0HH.

A delightful mature garden of over two acres, with views overBelfast Lough. This is a plantsman’s garden containing many unusual trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, alpines in troughs and a wide selection of ferns. There is an arboretum and a glen which has been developed with sympathetic planting, together with a semi-wild area.

Partly suitable for wheelchairs.

Location: FromBelfasttake the A2 to Holywood. At the third set of traffic lights turn right intoBangor Roadand immediately left into Croft Road. After about 0.75 miles turn left intoBallymenoch Road. From Bangor take the A2 to Holywood. At the first traffic lights after the Ballymenoch Country Park turn left into Bangor Road and immediately left into Croft Road. After about 0.75miles turn left into Ballymenoch Road.

Plant Stall/Teas


Saturday 15 and Sunday 16th June         from 2 – 5pm

Mr and Mrs Alastair Davidson, The Manor House,15 Main Street, Eglinton, Co.Londonderry, BT47 3AA.

An interesting garden surrounding the Manor House with a good selection of shrubs and perennials. There is also a triangular herb garden and a sunken vegetable garden. Suitable for wheelchairs.

Location: From theA2 Londonderry/Limavady Roadtake Coolfinney Road to Eglinton. The Manor House is almost directly opposite the T junction entering Eglinton.

Plant Stall/Teas


Saturday 22 and Sunday 23th June          from  2 – 5 pm

Dr and Mrs Colin Tindall, 77 Magheratimpany Road, Ballynahinch, Co.Down, BT24 8PA.

Delightful 25 acre garden. Includes a cottage garden, rockery, and woodland with shade loving plants. There is a wonderful collection of trees, planted by Colin, and a wildlife pond. Partially suitable for wheelchairs.

Location: South o f Ballynahinch A24. 200 yards past the Millbrook Lodge Hotel turn right onto the Ballymaglave Road towards Spa. Turn left onto the Magheratimpany Road. Timpany gardens are on the left hand side.

Plant Stall/Teas


Saturday 29 and Sunday 30th June             from 2 – 5pm

Mr Ken & Mrs Dawn McEntee,7 Main Street, Hillsborough, Co.Down, BT26 6AE.


An interesting town garden at the rear of the old Barrack House, which runs down to the original high stone walls of Hillsborough Castle and is divided into three different areas, leading to a formal pond in a hidden garden. Amongst the mature planting is a Gunnera manicata beside the pond, a magnificent Cornus controversa – the Wedding Cake tree – and a ‘Rambling Rector’ rose. Suitable for wheelchairs.

Location: Main Street, Hillsborough opposite the parish church. Sunday car-parking on Main Street and in town car park beside the church.

Plant Stall/Teas



Saturday 6th. July                   from 2 – 5pm

Misses Mary and Kathleen McKeown, Hill Cottage, 40 Duntybryan Road, Draperstown, Co.Londonderry, BT45 7HL.

A charming one acre garden which is mostly hidden behind the cottage. There is a large pond surrounded by various shrubs and perennials. The upper garden takes in a gazebo and a recently erected arbour where you can sit and view the area of the garden leading down to the pond. The garden to the front of the house takes the form of a cottage garden; an extensive view of this garden can be seen while sitting in the summerhouse which is situated in the bottom right hand corner of the front garden. The garden was featured on the BBC television programme “Greenmount Gardens” and more recently in the ‘Irish Garden’ magazine.

Mostly suitable for wheelchairs.

Location: From Tobermore and Draperstown take the B41. Approx 2 miles along the road there is a bus shelter, (right hand side coming from Tobermore, left hand side coming from Draperstown). Take road at bus shelter (Duntybryan Road) and the house is approx. 0.25 miles along this road on the left. White and black cottage style house – Hill Cottage No 40 is on the wall.

Plant Stall/Teas


Saturday 6 and Sunday 7th July         from 2 - 5pm

Hugh Jackson and Judith O’Keeffe, 30A Ballynulto Road, Glenwherry, Co.Antrim, BT42 4RJ.


Transplanted Canadians Judith and Hugh have accepted the challenges of gardening in clay soil and windy conditions by planting a prairie style garden in the “shadow of Slemish”. This easily maintained garden is surrounded by stunning natural landscape. Grasses, Crocosmia, Astrantia and Cornus Alba are mass planted to form textural masses and summer flowing displays. Stone walls contribute additional texture to this rural site. Mostly suitable for wheelchairs. 

Location: A36 Ballymena to Larne, 0.5 miles east of B94 turn left onto Ballynulto Road for 0.8 miles. The garden is on the east side.

Plant Stall/Teas


Saturday 20 and Sunday 21st July          from 12 – 5pm

Mr and Mrs D. I. Page, Billy Old Rectory, 5 Cabragh Road, Castlecatt, Bushmills, Co.Antrim, BT57 8YH.

A mature garden of three acres on an historic site. To the front of the Georgian rectory is a large lawn with mature trees, an ancient well and a developing woodland garden with a small fernery. To the rear of the house is another large lawn with contrasting borders of roses, herbaceous plants and shrubs, as well as an attractive pond area. A wooden rustic fence separates the long herbaceous border from the kitchen garden, with greenhouse, herb, vegetable and fruit gardens. Beyond the lawn is a large old orchard with an ancient apple tree at its centre, as well as an experimental area with wildflowers and annuals.

Partially suitable for wheelchairs.

Location from Ballymena: Take A26 towards Ballymoney. On Ballymoney by-pass go straight on atKilraughts Roadroundabout then take 2nd right onto B66 signposted Dervock. Enter Dervock and turn left (B66) signposted Bushmills. Continue on this road, go through Derrykeighan. Approx. 2.3 miles after Derrykeighan at Castlecatt turn right signposted Billy 0.5 miles and then immediately fork left onto Haw Road. Continue to the Church, turn right ontoCabragh Road, garden is on the right.

Location from Coleraine:Take Ballycastle Road (B67). At T junction turn right and then next left,Benvarden Road. At Derrykeighan turn left, signposted Bushmills and on to Castlecatt, from there as above.

Plant Stall/Teas

Saturday 27 and Sunday 28th. July            from 2 - 5pm

Mr Liam and Mrs Nora Greene, Hampstead Hall, 40 Culmore Road, Londonderry, BT48 7RS.

A fascinating city garden in the suburbs of Derry. It comprises a Japanese garden, an Italian garden and a formal garden typical of those in front of Irish Georgian houses. Described and illustrated in Shirley Lanigan’s ‘The 100 Best Gardens inIreland’. Partially suitable for wheelchairs.

Location: Follow the signs for the city centre after crossing the Foyle Bridge. After double set of traffic lights take second right into Baronscourt. House is third driveway on the right.

Plant Stall/Teas



Saturday 3 and Sunday 4th August                         from 2 – 5pm

Mr Hubert and Mrs Eveline Milne, 248 Armagh Road, Newry, Co.Down, BT35 6NL.

This half acre garden has been developed since the early 1990s. Set in the rolling green country of Armagh, it has many points of interest. These include a woodland area underplanted with bulbs, ferns and herbaceous plants. There are two herbaceous borders and a small rockery bed with alpines and a scree area with rarer plants. At the back of the house, watched over by Lily the Donkey and various chickens, is a herb bed and more herbaceous planting. A collection of fruit bushes leads to a lower walk ending in evergreen planting. There is a corner filled with containers of plants mentioned in the Bible and further unusual containers filled with annuals, hostas and lilies. Mostly suitable for wheelchairs. Location: Situated just off the Armagh/Newry Road, the house is 7 miles south of Markethill on the left. Coming from Belfast on A1 take the Armagh exit off the A1 and follow signs to Armagh. Garden 2.8 miles.

Plant Stall/Teas


Saturday 10 and Sunday 11th August                from 2 – 5pm

Mr Malcolm and Mrs Carol Davidson, 41 Sandholes Road,  Cookstown, Co.Tyrone,  BT80 9AR.

This is a country garden, approx. one acre in size which has been developing and maturing from 2007. Flower beds have been established with the use of large stones as surrounds. The beds comprise of shrubs, perennials, herbaceous plants, roses and unusual trees which all combine to ensure interesting planting. Ponds, water features, seating areas and walks all add to this most tastefully landscaped garden. Partially suitable for wheelchairs.

Location: From Cookstown follow Church Street (A29) towards Killymoon Road. At the roundabout take the third exit onto

Sandholes Road. From Dungannon follow A29 towards Cookstown. At the Cookstown roundabout take the first exit onto Sandholes Road.

Plant Stall/Teas


Sunday 18th August                 from 2 - 5pm

Mrs Gladys Fisher, GubluskBay, Ballinamallard, Co.Fermanagh, BT94 2LW.

A delightful extensive garden with views acrossGubluskBay. There is a walled garden with a circle of pleached lime trees, a herbaceous border, a Carpinus archway, and a parterre. The four acre lawn has shrub beds, a collection of trees, a pond with a bridge, and there is also a Well that flows intoGubluskBayand beyond to Lough Erne.

Location: From Enniskillen take the A32 Irvinestown Road, at Trory roundabout bear left and follow the road signposted B84 and Airport. Continue on past the Airport and the house and garden are on the Enniskillen side of the Manor House Country Hotel.

Plant Stall/Teas



Saturday 7 and Sunday 8th September                from 2 – 5pm

Hugh Jackson and Judith O’Keeffe, 30A Ballynulto Road, Glenwherry, Co.Antrim, BT42 4RJ.


A rare opportunity to re-visit a garden to enjoy the seasonal changes. Transplanted Canadians Judith and Hugh have accepted the challenges of gardening in clay soil and windy conditions by planting a prairie style garden in the “shadow of Slemish”. Grasses, Crocosmia, Astrantia and Cornus Alba are mass planted to form textural masses. The character of this easily maintained garden changes completely during the autumn and winter as the red twig dogwood foil with the waving grasses and other seed heads. Stone walls contribute additional texture to this rural site. Mostly suitable for wheelchairs.

Location: A36 Ballymena to Larne, 0.5 miles east of B94 turn left onto Ballynulto Roadfor 0.8 miles. The garden is on the east side.

Plant Stall/Teas


Saturday 14 and Sunday 15th. September            from  2 – 5pm

Mr Noel and Mrs Karen Harrison, Tubber na Carrig, 24 Tubber Road, Kircubbin, Co.Down, BT22 2RR.

A historic small farm and demesne of 30 acres, 11 of which is in garden and woodland. The 1780’s house which was extended in 1840 has been restored along with much of the garden. The restoration of the garden is on-going however to date kitchen, walled and sunken garden have been created together with a lake and the easy short woodland walks. A Ha Ha affords uninterrupted views from the front of the house to the farmland. AJapaneseGardenis planned in the near future.

Partially suitable for wheelchairs.

Location: Take the A20 from Newtownards towards Portaferry, passing the National Trust’s Mount Stewart garden, continue through Greyabbey.

After 3.4 miles as you come into Kircubbin turn left into Blackhall Street which becomes Tubber Road. House is on the left hand side. Follow Ulster Gardens Scheme signs.

Plants Stall/ Teas and Produce available.


Ulster Gardens Scheme Review Evening

Thursday 21 November 2013 at 7.30pm

at the Old Courthouse, Antrim.

Join members of the Ulster Gardens Scheme Committee and garden owners for our very popular annual review, when we look back at another successful season’s garden visiting on behalf of the National Trust, and enjoy a light supper.

An admission charge of £5.00 per person will be made, to avoid a drain on National Trust funds.

Pre-booking is essential, as numbers are strictly limited.

Contact The Old Courthouse on 028 9448 1338 to ensure a reservation

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