Gorey Guardian

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End of an era as Bay Garden goes up for sale


Iain and Frances MacDonald in their beautiful garden in Camolin

Iain and Frances MacDonald in their beautiful garden in Camolin

The house and garden at the Bay Garden, Camolin

The house and garden at the Bay Garden, Camolin


Iain and Frances MacDonald in their beautiful garden in Camolin


The beautiful Bay Garden and four-bed family home in Camolin is up for sale with an asking price of €400,000.

The mature garden and its loving owners, Frances and Iain MacDonald, have welcomed many visitors from all walks of life over the years, but the gardening fanatics have decided to hang up their gloves and tools and close this chapter of their lives.

The couple moved to Wexford in 1981, Frances being Irish and Iain coming from England, and in 1989 they got to work on the garden, which lies on a two-acre site.

Frances explained that when they began, there was just a couple of trees, like a fallen beech and a holly tree, and taking the site 'room by room', they transformed the garden to its current glory.

Throughout the summer, garden tours have been running six-days a week by appointment and Frances hopes these will continue.

The Covid-19 lockdown gave the MacDonald's the chance to sit down and consider the future of the garden, and Frances explained that it's now time for younger hands to take over.

'Iain and I met in the Kew Gardens in England and when we came here in the 1980s, it was a working farm. The soil was fantastic but there was no garden. We thought it might take ten years to get it to where we wanted it but, lo and behold, 31 years later.

'Of course it would be nice if somebody carried on with the garden. We're both full-time gardeners and we know it takes a lot of work obviously but it's at the stage now as a mature garden that parts look after itself.

'We're not retiring, we're just moving to a more manageable home and garden and we've had a fantastic, happy time here'.

Frances said that her favourite memories of the garden include welcoming so many visitors.

'We completed the rooms bit by bit, and it usually came to a compromise but throughout Iain has done it mostly on its own. But this is an interest we share, and we've met an awful lot of really nice people doing this - when gardeners are keen, they're fanatical!

'It's just lovely when you get other people coming in and it inspires them to garden and, really, the visitors have enabled us to keep the garden,' she said.

At the end of the summer in 2016, Frances and Iain opened the garden and held a public open day for the Wexford Women's Refuge, and this is something they hold dear in their minds.

This year has been different without garden events taking place and the lack of international visitors.

'The lockdown did have an impact on how we did things, and, although we're not quite finished, we felt we have to leave the garden before it leaves you.

'Back in 1989, we were presented with a blank canvas with a lovely house as well and I think having visitors makes you maintain the garden. People have been very good to us but we are hoping to move closer into Gorey now as we get older,' she said.

The tea rooms and plant sales have proven popular over the years at the Bay Garden, which also has plenty of orchards to see, smell and taste.

Frances and Iain achieved their dream garden and home through design, planning and the great knowledge of plants that is very evident around the garden.

Tours will continue into September, and can be booked by contacting the numbers on www.thebaygarden.com.

The couple admitted that they don't intend to continue garden tours once they get settled in their new property.

The house at the Bay Garden is a compact period residence, full of character and charm, with four bedrooms and two reception rooms.

In addition to the house, there are many outbuildings and sheds, some of which have been converted for use as tea rooms and similar complimentary uses, which offer further potential for the next owner.

The property is situated just outside Camolin village and is within walking distance of all the village facilities and attractions.

The sale is being handled by James Kinsella of Sherry FitzGerald O'Leary Kinsella in Gorey or visit www.sherryfitz.ie.