May is always a very busy month on the land. There are many seeds to sow, seedlings to transplant and plants that have a wish for world domination to keep in check. So a day away from the plot can be very uplifting and inspiring. But we would not wish to be too far from the natural world so spending such a day in a friend’s garden is a wonderful treat. We arrived for the first Open Garden Day this year at Carrick Gardens, Carrick Callow, County Mayo, armed with chocolate cake and comfortable shoes.
For many years this garden was tended by our friend and her husband. He passed away in February this year and as we walked around the land, his artistic and playful nature could still be sensed everywhere.
A garden can be a wonderful place of expression and the people that have tended to it for years leave an imprint that can be felt and enjoyed even after they are gone. In this garden you can see the work and thoughts that both our friend and her husband have put into it, and now it will evolve and change as he is no longer there. It will become a place where grief and joy can walk hand in hand and maybe that is one of the greatest gifts the land can give to us all.
This spring has been cold and the wisteria on the studio, which is normally in full bloom in May, has only green tentative buds. But the poppies, aquilegias and many other flowers delight us with cheerful bursts of colour.
The garden is situated on a steep hill. There are many levels and steps to explore, and as the plants are still mainly green and small, the structure of the garden can be seen clearly. Later in the year it becomes a cacophony of colour and form, with flowers billowing over in every direction.
In one part you have a wonderful view of a lake in the distance and we spent some time here admiring the beauty of the lawn, speckled with daisies. There is even a covered bus stop here, where you can wait for a bus that will never come.
The poly –tunnel houses tender plants longing for warmer days ahead, as well as vegetables of many kinds.
Close to the house you can find a gravelled area with a small pond and some lovely Japanese Acers. There is a very tranquil feeling in this part of the garden and we lingered here, drinking cups of tea and coffee and talked to our friend and other visitors to the garden.
After a few hours it was time to leave for home and we came away feeling calm, happy and thankful for our day spent in the sunshine and in lovely company.
If you would like to visit this garden, it will be open to the public two more days this year, on the 23rd of June and the 18th of August from 11.00-17.00. For more information please contact Rose on +353 87 3147305. In June the roses are always spectacular.