Award-winning Wexford garden opens to the public in aid of Hope Centre
Members of the community will have the opportunity to steep themselves in the tranquillity of Japanese-inspired gardens as Ballymore Schoolhouse opens its garden gates to the public for the first time in 15 years.
Set in the foothills of Carrig Rua, Camolin Ballymore Schoolhouse gardens are award-winning gardens that feature a laburnum tunnel, a moongate, an authentic Japanese teahouse, meandering streams, intimate walkways and a spectacular view of north county Wexford. Visitors are invited over two weekends to enjoy this quiet, tranquil space as part of a fundraiser for Hope Cancer Support Services.
Garden owners Mary Webb and Michael Mosman decided to run the open days in an effort to raise funds for Hope Cancer Support Services.
“We really wanted to support Hope Cancer Support Services in some way for the amazing work they do in the community. The garden is very zen. You feel very relaxed from the moment that you enter so it seemed like the ideal place to host a charity event to benefit Hope,” said Mary.
“Maintaining the tranquility of the garden along with the bio-diversity is really important to us. We see all manner of wildlife and insects including dragon flies, frogs, newts and water beetles in the refurbished ponds. Thrushes, robins, wrens, tits, swallows and bumblebees provide constant birdsong and activity! Nothing goes to waste here – all garden prunings and cuttings are composted or shredded and re-used as mulch. We’ve added to the already extensive collection of plants and trees and added a rose garden in 2021.
Maintaining the garden for the future is also a top priority, a big effort went into repairing or in some cases replacing many of the older timber structures, such as the arch supporting the laburnum tunnel, the red bridge and many of the steps and pathways throughout the garden.”
The gardens were developed by John and Sylvia Mulcahy over a 30-year period. With the help of local Clologue men, the late Paddy Ronan and Michael Leacy, who is still in charge today, they transformed the overgrown and wild site, constructing paths, stonework and ponds. A trip to Japan inspired an Asian theme in the garden that’s evident in the stone ‘moongate’, as well as the carved ‘generals’ guarding the entry to the roofed Asian double doors leading to a pathway of acer and bamboo. The Japanese teahouse with ponds, gravel beds and pathways also gives a nod to the source of inspiration.
The hard work and attention to detail employed to make Ballymore Schoolhouse Gardens what it is today led to it being awarded ‘Wexford in Bloom – landscaped gardens’ in 2006 and 2007.
Members of the public were invited at the weekend and again this coming Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4. The gardens will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tea, coffee and treats will be provided by the local Holy Trinity Church Ballymore.
Donations for Hope Cancer Support Services can be made on the gate or online here: https://www.idonate.ie/fundraiser/ballymoreschoolhouse.
The gardens are not wheelchair or buggy-accessible due to steps and sloping site. Small children need to be supervised.