Mrs Jessie Mahaffy’s Garden


I have been very blessed to visit Mrs Jessie Mahaffy’s Garden on a number of occasions. The garden is one of twenty one gardens featured in The Donegal Garden Trail.

It is now lovingly tended by Belinda Mahaffy – Jessie’s daughter.

The garden is described in this year’s brochure as:

“First established in 1972 by Mrs Jessie Mahaffy, a relative of William Robinson and granddaughter of the forester at Lissadell, Co. Sligo, Blackrock is a garden constructed upon rock.

A charming rockery sits above the farmhouse.

A grassy corridor winds between a shrubbery and one of the garden’s shady borders to a small cottage garden planted with perennials. All of the planting is interspersed with free-seeding aquilegias, foxgloves and yellow Welsh poppies.

Various lilies are also a feature and ferns abound in the wetter shady areas.

This delightful cottage garden has a timeless quality about it, slowly evolving over the years and carefully tended and planted with flowers from gardener friends near and far.”

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The garden has a wonderful collection of roses including New Dawn, Good Luck, Albertine, Louise Odier, Shot Silk and Rambling Rector (yet to flower),  featured below with Japanese anemone:


I assisted Belinda with weeding a shady border, while a young crow serenaded us and the sweet perfume of honeysuckle wafted through the air. Bliss!


The front garden is bathed in the shade of this beautiful Portugese laurel:

It provides perfect conditions for astilbe, foxgloves, ferns, honeysuckle and saponaria to thrive:

The garden is open for visitors on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July, and by appointment in summer (2-5.30).

All donations go to Lifford Community Hospital and Medicin Sans Frontiere.

Brigid P. Gallagher is a retired natural medicines therapist, passionate organic gardener and author of “Watching the Daisies- Life lessons on the Importance of Slow,” a holistic memoir dedicated to the art of mindfulness and healing from a debilitating illness.

She lives in Donegal, Ireland –  an area of outstanding natural beauty.


  1. i have not been to such a garden, it looks so well planned and the walk must have been so lovely, the sun seems to be very bright. your pictures and narrative are just perfect! i learned the names of a few new plants from this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It all looks so bright and healthy and green!! What a lovely way to spend a morning wandering through such a lovely place. Brigid. So glad you shared it with us. I know how much you enjoy a beautiful garden! hugs from here!

    Liked by 1 person

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