Gardening Group

The gardening group had a lovely visit into the Belfast hills to an allotment tended by Margaret McFarland and her daughter Julie.

We had tea and cake while looking round the vegetables and flowers and not a weed in sight.

So much work has obviously gone into the planning and planting of this lovely area. Everything seems to grow much bigger on these lofty heights.

Margaret had arranged for us to visit a dahlia grower whose blooms were beautiful and we saw a cabbage that he had drown which would have a job getting through the kitchen door.

We are grateful to Margaret once again, she has been a great supporter of the gardening group.


The Gardening Group’s penultimate visit of 2017 was to Doreen Wilson’s garden at Ballyrogan Park, outside Newtownards.

While Doreen has lived at this location for 37 years much of her garden is only 12 years old after buying extra land from a neighbour  extending her garden to about one acre. It is obviously a labour of love as both the garden and the vegetable garden were exceptionally well maintained, not a weed in sight.

The garden contains some very unusual specimens or unusual varieties of more well known plants. Roscoea, a tuber with purple iris-like flowers is one such example. Also Hydrangea Paniculata the white/pink Vanilla Fraise and the white/green Limelight were if full bloom and laden with huge flower heads. Doreen had several unusual varieties of crocosmia including Masoniorum, Star of the East and Gerbe d’Or. Doreen grows many of her plants from seed and cultivates her own cuttings, the entire garden is worked organically, no pesticides or fertilisers are used.


Despite some very heavy showers we managed to see all of this very beautiful and well maintained garden and were treated to a lovely tea with home-made goodies to round off a very interesting afternoon.

Caryl Love has been the leader of our Gardening Group since it started about 3 years ago. Each year Caryl organised trips to a huge variety of different gardens using her local knowledge to source beautiful gardens many on our doorstep, often tucked away is very stunning locations. Organising such a large group of members hasn’t been easy and on behalf of all our members I would like to express our thanks to Caryl for all her hard work and patience as she hands her gardening gloves over to a new leader

P. Coey

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