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. http://www.donegalgardentrail.com
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.”
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.