When Andrew was off work about million years ago (okay it was the the first week in August) we did lots of lovely days out and lots of days doing very little too :) But on the Thursday we decided we really ought to visit a place we had been procrastinating over for a couple of years. Benvarden is inland from the gorgeous Antrim coast way up Ballycastle way and won the best garden in Ireland award from the Irish Times in 2009 - so it is pretty darned good.
'This historic estate was built in the 1630s and owned by the Montgomery family since 1798' and you basically are walking around their kitchen garden, walled garden and small forest area. At one point you are very close indeed to the house which makes you feel a little like a stalker but hey they let you in and you have to pay £3.50 for the pleasure so I really didn't feel naughty for long.
We were pretty lucky to be there on a day when the gardeners where working. Using old machinery (for which they have a little museum) plus as there were few visitors Andy and I got to take 2 apples (the gardener told us too) and a good hoke about in the Victorian greenhouses. Happy days.
Have to say, the quality of the kitchen gardens was very good indeed and there was very little sign of disease or nasty bugs, however Andrew took great joy in pointing out things that he had grown better this year and also in pointing out all the bolted red lettuces (bottom left photo). Hahhaha, there is always a little competition amongst gardeners.
I'll show you the pretty flowers and the pond tomorrow xx