In June we took a trip across the Liffey to North County Dublin, visiting St Anne’s Park Raheny to enjoy a guided tour of the gardens, finishing in the gloriously flamboyant and beautifully scented Rose Garden. After lunch in the Tir na nOg Cafe, it was back on the coach again as Nigel took us onwards and upwards towards Howth Head.

Nuala Doherty and Conall O’Caoimh’s garden, Ardan in Wyndgate Road was first on our agenda. A multi-roomed garden on half an acre it featured stunning herbaceous borders, a rose garden, a rock outcrop and even managed to accommodate a water garden and a woodland area.

Next up was David and Janet Jeffrey’s garden in Thormanby Lawns displaying flourishing fruit and vegetables, a propagating area and some tender specimens in a south facing plant house.

Finally, we visited the Howth Allotments in Cowbooter Lane. Founded by Lorna and David Hopkins the 54 allotments featured a wide variety of planting schemes with free range pigs, hens and bees. Those of us who ventured right up to the top of the hill were also able to enjoy the salt sea air and the wonderful view.  With a selection of home produced sausages, pate, elderflower wine, etc. to buy and refreshments available, we finished our perfect day out sitting on the side of Howth Hill drinking tea and chatting.

Pamela Aitken