Open Gardens 2015

It is regretted that dogs cannot be admitted even on a lead.

Please note that National Trust Membership Cards are not valid for entry to private gardens open under the Ulster Gardens Scheme.

Admission £3

CLICK HERE FOR A Colour PDF Version OF THE 2015 LEAFLET  for Garden Openings

Click here for a printable A4 of the Open Gardens Scheme for 2015

MAY 2015

Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 May 2-5pm

Mr Brian and Mrs Shirley McKnight
‘Grovehill’ 101 Dunkirk Road, Lurgan, BT66 7AR
This delightful garden started its development in 1996 when the lawns were completed, with the first planting of whip trees and shrubbery taking place that autumn. Oak, beech, lime and ash were planted. Many other features have been established including a follies garden, an arboretum, an Italian garden, a Japanese garden and an Arizona garden. There are 4.5 acres of lawns, 3.5 acres of shrubbery and trees, and a pond with ducks. Limited wheelchair access. 
Location: From M1 travelling northbound take the Lurgan interchange and  follow road to Lurgan centre. Pass Church of Ireland on right. Continue for approximately 0.75 miles to traffic lights. Turn right, signposted Waringstown, Banbridge and Gilford and proceed to main roundabout approximately 200 yards. Take B3 to Gilford. From roundabout travel approximately 2 miles. Follow sign to Waringstown, (Dunkirk Road). After approximately 0.5 miles Grovehill is on the left. Four pillars at the entrance.
Plant Stall / Teas


Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 May 2-5pm

Mr Michael and Mrs Geraldine Galloway
1 Ballytrustan Road,
Downpatrick, BT30 7AQ
This unique seven acre garden lies 4 miles east of Downpatrick in the countryside of Lecale where it was created by the late Dr Magill over the last five decades of the 20th century. He transformed a disused quarry into a large sheltered amphitheatre surrounded by trees and shrubs. The garden is noted for its collection of rhododendrons. Views into the garden as well as to the surrounding countryside are obtained from a circular path through the trees around the quarry rim. Considerable peripheral planting of native trees has been carried out. The garden is partially suitable for wheelchairs and children must be strictly supervised due to the dangerous cliff faces.
From Downpatrick follow the B1 Ardglass road. At Downshire Hospital continue straight ahead on the Ballyhornan Road. At the next crossroads after Ballyalton turn left into Ballytrustan Road and the garden is on the right.
Plant Stall / Teas


June 2015

Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 June 2-5pm

Mrs Cherry Townsend
Kilcoan Gardens, 240 Middle Road, Islandmagee, BT40 3TG
The gardens are situated within the peninsula of Islandmagee with beautiful views over Larne Lough and include a cottage garden, orchard, vegetable area and herb garden. The recently established cut flower field includes eight raised beds full of annuals and five large perennial beds all of which contain plants suitable for cut flower production. There are also several established perennial beds, a willow arch and a newly planted prairie border. Organically run, the gardens are full of a diverse range of wildlife, including many different birds and insects, with several wildflower meadows and a small pond. Mostly suitable for wheelchairs. From Carrickfergus, about 1.5 miles beyond Whitehead, turn right off the Location: A2 onto Island Road Lower and come over the Lough. Turn left at mini-roundabout and drive for 2.6 miles. Turn right onto Timothy Brae and right onto Middle Road for 0.5 miles. Garden is on the right. Plant Stall / Teas Saturday


13 and Sunday 14 June 2-5pm

Mrs Fionnuala and Mr David Cook
8 Main Street, Loughbrickland, Banbridge, BT32 3NQ
To reach this small garden, developed over 13 years and hidden from the village, you go through an interesting backyard decorated with mural paintings. The yard is full of pots and containers planted to bring colour throughout the seasons. Containers are also used to grow fruit as well as flowers. The garden itself is in three parts with trees and shrubs to provide colour and privacy. Throughout the garden there are roses specially chosen for scent and beauty. A rockery and scree garden provide diversity while sculpture and objects provide amusement and stimulation. Partially suitable for wheelchairs.
Location: Take either entrance to village from A1 between Banbridge and Location: Newry. Only blue house in the middle of the village. Parking on street.
Plant and Produce Stall / Teas


Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June 2-5pm

Dr Patricia and Dr Mike Colohan
3 Whitepark Road, Ballycastle, BT54 6HH.
The garden of approximately 0.75 acres is situated on the outskirts of Ballycastle with views towards Fair Head and the Mull of Kintyre. It was created in 2002 and areas of different interest are sheltered from the prevailing winds by hawthorn, griselinia and escallonia hedges. Lawns are bordered by herbaceous borders and heather beds. Paths lead through rhododendrons, past the herb bed to a rose garden. There is also a white garden and a productive soft fruit area. A pond can be viewed from the timber deck and the whole garden is flat with wheelchair friendly paths. Situated 0.5 miles from Ballycastle off the A44.
Location: Take A26 signposted Coleraine. Approximately 1 mile past From Belfast / Ballymena: Logan’s take right hand fork, A44 to Ballycastle. At T junction turn right and after half a mile turn left onto Whitepark Road. House on right. At Ballycastle Road roundabout take B67. At T From Coleraine: junction turn right and then left in Ballybogey (B67) signposted Ballycastle. At Derrykeighan turn right and then left (this is still the B67). Stay on this road until road sign indicates Ballycastle 1 mile. Approximately 600 yards past sign take the first left onto Whitepark Road. House on right. Take B66 to Dervock. In Dervock turn left and then right From Ballymoney: hand fork to B67 (signposted Ballycastle). At Toberdony crossroads turn right (still the B67). Stay on this road until road sign indicates Ballycastle 1 mile. Approximately 600 yards past sign, take first left onto Whitepark Road. House on right. Look out for National Trust directional signs.
Plant Stall / Teas


Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June 2-5pm

Mr and Mrs Will Hamilton Holly Gardens,
3 Ballyutoag Hill, Nutts Corner, Crumlin, BT29 4UH

A six acre country garden created out of farmland over 16 years. Features include lawns with a crescent herbaceous border, leading via a woodland walk to a pond garden with candelabra primulas. A second woodland walk which is bordered by the Clady Water leads to an iris circle, overlooked by an alpine bed. An arboretum houses a collection of rhododendrons. A winter garden and willow labyrinth complete the traditional gardens before visitors enter a contemporary space and patio created from a manége in 2013. Partially suitable for wheelchairs. At Templepatrick roundabout take A6 (towards Airport). At next Location: roundabout take first exit A57 Ballyrobin Road towards Airport. After 1.5 miles turn left onto Old Ballyrobin Road. Stay on this road and at T junction turn left onto B39, Seven Mile Straight. Stay on this road for approximately 4.5 miles and at T junction turn left and then immediately right onto Ballyutoag Hill. Garden on left.
Plant Stall / Teas


Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 June 2-5 pm

Mr David and Mrs Gillian McMurran
11 Longlands Road, Island Hill, Comber, BT23 5JS
This very attractive cottage style garden is positioned close to Strangford Lough below Scrabo Tower. It has been designed to create all year round interest with a diverse selection of trees, shrubs and perennials. The perennials have been carefully selected to provide a stunning display during the summer months. Features in the garden include different garden rooms, long gravel paths edged with herbaceous planting and a fish pond. Partially suitable for wheelchairs. Longlands Road is situated on the A21 half way between Comber Location: and Newtownards, opposite the turning for Scrabo Country Park.
Plant Stall / Teas in aid of Marie Curie


Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June 2-5pm
Mr Chris and Mrs Lynn Heffron Drumkeeragh House, 141 Drumnaquoile Road, Dromara, BT25 2LB
The farmhouse and barns are built in the Scottish baronial style. The height above sea level and prevailing winds make gardening a real challenge here, hence the inclusion of interesting conifers for evergreen cover and form. Hostas and hellebores thrive in the moist rocky ground. The garden is maturing nicely in its mountainous setting. Partially suitable for wheelchairs. Location: From Hillsborough main street towards Dromore. Bear right onto Dromore Road and then second left onto Old Coach Road. After approximately three-quarters of a mile, at Cromlyn House Vet Hospital, turn left onto Dromara Road. Go through Drumlough staying on Dromara Road and at stop sign (Dromara 2 miles) continue forward onto Hillsborough Road and enter Dromara. Go through Dromara and turn left onto Castlewellan Road at red brick bungalow just past 30 mph limit sign. Castlewellan Road merges onto Drumnaquoile Road and house is just before the first entrance to Drumkerragh Forest. Plant Stall / Teas

July 2015

Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 July 2-5 pm
Mr Victor and Mrs Roz Henry 5 Aldergrange Avenue, Newtownards, BT23 4FY
This garden was the winner of the Large Urban Garden category in the Belfast Telegraph’s ‘Bloomin Marvellous’ competition in 2014. The judges described it as a ‘vibrant paradise, tropical ginger lilies and banana plants giving the garden an exotic feel’. Roses, agapanthus, clematis, succulents and a host of other plants give colour and perfume while the pond adds wildlife interest. Mostly suitable for wheelchairs.
Location: From Dundonald follow the A20 to the roundabout at Ards Shopping Centre. Take the first exit onto Blair Mayne Road South. Turn left into Manse Road. Continue straight onto Aldergrange Park. Turn right into Aldergrange Avenue. Follow National Trust directional signs. Parking on the road.
Plant Stall.


Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July 2-5pm
Mr Hugh and Mrs Kathleen Ward Tattykeel House, Doogary Road, Omagh, BT79 0EN
A country garden of approximately one and a half acres planted with conifers, shrubs, roses and perennials. There is a sheltered sitting area, interesting features and a collection of well grown climbers on the house. Mrs Ward runs a very interesting craft studio at the house. Partially suitable for wheelchairs.
Location: Tattykeel house is approximately 2.5 miles from Omagh on the south side of the A5 Omagh to Ballygawley Road. The house name is carved in stone at the entrance.
Plant Stall / Teas

August 2015

Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 August 2-5 pm
Mrs E G Wilson ‘Dawlish’ 70 Limehill Road, Lisburn, BT27 5LR
The Bronze winner in 2014 Belfast Telegraph’s ‘Bloomin Marvellous’ competition. A country garden, which offers interesting features at the turn of every corner. A wonderful selection of conifers, ornamental trees and shrubs giving all year round interest. Partially suitable for wheelchairs.
Location: From centre of Lisburn, cross bridge towards Motorway. At traffic lights turn right onto Young Street. After 250 yards turn left onto Ballynahinch Road. Stay on this road, passing under Motorway. Approximately 400 yards from tunnel turn left onto Limehill Road. House on right. From Belfast: Leave M1 at Junction 6, A49 Lisburn city centre. At roundabout take the third exit, Lisburn. On leaving roundabout take first left onto Kensington Park. Stay on this road and at T junction turn left onto Ballynahinch Road. Pass under M1. Approximately 400 yards from tunnel turn left onto Limehill Road. House on right.
Plant Stall / Teas

November 2015

Ulster Gardens Scheme Review Evening

Thursday 19 November 2015 at 7.30pm

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. Admission: A charge of £5 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 Remember to turn over for details of our By Appointment Scheme for more gardens suitable for both individuals and groups.