We have wanted to visit Brigit’s Garden in County Galway for over a year, and a sunny morning last week we decided that it was time. It is a special place, inspired by Ireland’s Celtic past and partially designed by Mary Reynolds who is our favourite Irish garden designer. She believes just like we do, that it is time to go down a different path, one where we start giving back to the earth instead of always taking. You can read more about Mary and her work here.
We started out early and would have arrived at our destination 20 minutes before the garden was set to open. We stopped by Ross Lake and were happily surprised to find a walk through ancient woodland down to the water. Moss-covered stones and beautiful glacial boulders gave the forest a magical and calming atmosphere. It was a true pleasure to walk slowly down to the lake and sit for a while on one of the many pontoons put in for fishing.
A very special place to linger but soon it was time to head on to our main destination. At the centre of the garden is a thatched roundhouse and around it you can walk the four gardens that take you through the cycle of the year.
The Samhain garden that represents winter is a peaceful and still place for reflection and rest. Birch trees are planted around a pond and a beautiful sculpture of a woman is resting there.
Imbolc heralds the beginning of spring and the garden consists of fruit trees, meadow blossoms and four swing seats to delight children and the young at heart. There is also a sunken garden with a triple spiral carved into the paving representing the stories surrounding Brigit.
Next is the Bealtaine garden that takes the visitor from May through the lush green months of summer, it is full of the promise of life and abundance. You can hang your own special wishes on the wishing tree here.
The last of the four is the Lughnasa garden, a celebration of the harvest and a place full of healing herbs in spiral beds.
We also explored the one kilometre long sun trail which took us through meadows, the fairy village, Lochán, ancient and new woods and a reconstructed stone chamber.
After our walk we enjoyed a very tasty goat cheese and beetroot terrine along with a delicious polenta orange cake in the café next to the gift shop.
There is also a children’s playground, sustainability zone and a poly tunnel where the produce is used in the café.
We spent over five hours in the gardens and we can highly recommend a visit. We came away feeling relaxed, happy and ready to work in our own garden with renewed energy. Now we are hoping to find the time for a visit at a different time of the year, maybe in the middle of winter…
Please visit the Brigit’s Garden Web site for more information on all the garden has to offer.