IGPS member and plants woman Lorraine Small has taken on the challenge of restoring the one acre Walled Garden at Helen’s Bay, County Down. Barely one year into the project the garden is already supplying some of Belfast’s top restaurants and selling at local markets. David Cameron runs an independent market gardening business from the walled garden and brings a wealth of experience having spent two years working at Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons garden in Oxford.
Members of the Northern sub-committee were treated to a visit to the garden in July where they sampled some of the organic vegetables including yellow beetroot and heritage black podded peas.
Lorraine says “ We are fully organic but I want to go one step further and include Irish Heritage fruit and vegetables. We already have a collection of Irish apple trees and some Irish Heritage vegetables but we are always looking out for more.”
Although a lot of work remains to be done after years of neglect, Lorraine hopes to open the walled garden and the adjoining house garden for an IGPS garden visit next year.
IGPS chairperson Billy McCone writes “ This is a great opportunity to explore an area of Irish Heritage plants that has largely been overlooked. I particularly welcome the interest from the Folk Museum who have already done much to help develop the Lismacloskey Rectory garden. I believe there is tremendous potential in this project and I wish Lorraine every success.”
Photographs and text from Billy McCone, IGPS Chairperson.