Theme : The Green Fingers Tour of Local Gardens
Greyabbey Physic Garden
In medieval Ireland, Abbeys invariably had their own gardens – orchards, kitchen gardens and a physic garden. Filled with plants which are useful in the treatment of illness, such a garden was a valuable asset to a monastery infirmary. In Grey Abbey you will find an excellent reconstruction – small beds assembled into simple but elegant design enabling the precious medicinal plants to be cultivated and cropped from all sides.The Cistercian monks who would have lived here were largely vegetarian and keen to live by their own labour therefore a vegetable garden can also be found.
||Tuesday to Saturday 9am -6pm & Sunday 2pm - 4pm
||Saturday 10am - 4pm
Almost every style of gardening is represented in the magnificent gardens of Mount Stewart.
This diversity of style and plants from every continent were ingeniously combined by Edith Lady Londonderry (1897-1957) to produce a garden of outstanding quality and character.This is definitely a garden not to be missed with explosions of colour and blooms throughout the year.
Paths from the formal gardens wind into the surrounding woodland, inviting you to explore the planting around the five-acre lake. Giant evergreen oaks, bays and even an olive tree lend a Mediterranean air.
||Jan - Dec
||10am - Sunset Daily
||10am - 4pm Weekends
||10am - 6pm Daily
||May to Sept
||10am - 6pm Daily
|Nov to Feb
Take a moment to relax and wander along a winding footpath among the flowers and shrubs, discover a secret pond, or stretch out on a hammock in the pine grove. Over the last thirty years the garden has been planted and nurtured in what was once an open two-acre field, it is now a tranquil retreat and home to many kinds of wildlife. The garden was chosen to represent Northern Ireland in the BBC Television series "Gardening Britain" and has been written about in newspapers and magazines. Over the last six years it has been opened to raise funds for the National Trust and other charities.
The natural ten acre lake, which stretches out in front of the house, is home to many ducks, moorhens and swans, as well as the occasional heron. You may find it pleasant on a warm day to step into the rowing boat and drift among the yellow native water lilies. The Garden is open to the public for a small donation to charity.
During the summer season there are various well established private gardens around the Ards Peninsula which participate in the Ulster Garden Scheme. One such garden can be found at Ballykeigle Road, Comber and is open throughout the year by appointment – contact Mr & Mrs Millar 028 9752 8025. It is described by the National Trust as a ‘delightful three quarter acre plantsman’s garden developed over the past 20yrs’.
For more information on the Ulster Garden Scheme and related events please ask a Tourism Advisor or contact Rowallane, 028 9751 0721. Why not finish off your tour by popping to one of the local garden centres to pick up a few plants or shrubs to take home.
Dickson Nurseries Ltd
42a Milecross Road, Newtownards, 028 9181 2206
Donaghadee Garden Centre
34 Stockbridge Road, Donaghadee, 028 9188 3603
Scrabo Garden Centre
47 Ballyhenry Road , Comber, Newtownards, 028 9187 2369
233a Donaghadee Rd, Newtownards, 028 91820872
Walker Robert & Co
90-92 Frances St, Newtwonards, 028 9181 3971
You may also see lots of signs outside private homes inviting you to stop and have a browse at their blooms and pots.
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