Gardens of the Month

With 27 beautiful gardens to choose from, featuring just 1 garden a month on our home page was always going to be a challenge.  So instead, we will highlight 3 of our gardens here each month.  Diversity is a key factor in the West Cork Garden Trail and 3 more different gardens we couldn’t have chosen for this month.

Carraig Abhainn is a labour of love for life time gardeners Eugene & Hazel Wiseman of over 30 years. A three-acre garden in the heart of Durrus, yet an oasis of peace and serenity.  Enhanced by the woodland setting and surrounding mill stream, river and spectacular waterfall, the many tender and rare plants thrive in this mild, sheltered climate, providing continuous interest from March through to October.

Inish Beg Estate comprises 97 acres of gardens, woodland, organic pasture and farmland. The formal gardens include a large walled garden with glasshouse and fruit cages, an orchard, tree-ferns, ponds, a Cherry allée, a Bamboo grove, a sunken garden with fountain and 4 km of carriage drives and walks along shoreline and through woodlands.

Garinish Island

Ilnacullin, or Garinish Island, renowned as a unique island garden of rare beauty, is nestled into the sheltered coastal harbour of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay.  The gardens were set out in the arts and crafts style in Edwardian times and contain classical formal gardens and architecture set within natural, Robinsonian style, surroundings.

West Cork is truly the garden paradise of Ireland, bathed as it is in the balm of the Gulf Stream which encourages the luxuriant sub-tropical growth of a kind more usually associated with much lower latitudes.

Our gardens are wonderful and diverse, healing and tranquil, exciting and unmissable.

Like many of us, garden owners have had a lot of time on their hands over the past year and the outcome is that the gardens of the West Cork Garden Trail have never looked better.  In line with the recent relaxations around movement, many of our 27 gardens are now open and operating in accordance with guidelines on social distancing and hand hygiene.  You will find specific opening details for each individual garden on this site.  Whilst every effort is being made to ensure information is accurate and up to date, we advise calling a garden or visiting their own website/social media pages before travelling for the latest opening information.

The weather is a topic which is rarely far from a gardener’s lips, but climate change is something we can no longer ignore.  Many of us gardeners on the Trail are making great efforts to improve the sustainability of our gardens.  Whether it is with more naturalistic, wildlife friendly planting, or making efforts to reduce use of plastic or growing more edible crops, we all have our part to play, and we as gardeners will be happy to share our experiences.

Gardens have never been more important as havens for wildlife and biodiversity and as places of peace and tranquillity.  All these qualities are evident in the diverse range of gardens we have for you to visit, from large gardens as part of stately homes, to smaller private little gems.

On behalf of all the participants of The West Cork Garden Trail I send out a warm welcome and look forward to seeing you in our gardens.  We would like to thank our stalwart benefactors The Gwendoline Harold Barry Trust and Cork County Council, both of whom make generous donations that help to make the running of the Trail possible.

Harry Sexton, Pinetree Lodge Garden, Ballinacarriga, Co Cork.
Chairperson, West Cork Garden Trail

harry wcgt