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See a sample issue of The Irish Garden!

September 2008

To see a sample of the current issue of Ireland's best-selling gardening magazine, click the image below.

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Picture perfect!

Sandra O'Hagan's club visits a member's garden.

I'm sure that living with a perfectionist must be quite difficult, everything being just so and nothing out of place. But if that person also had an exquisite eye for colour and a design background to boot then you'd definitely want to go and see their garden. So when like my good friend and fellow club member John suggested that the garden club come for a visit, we all jumped to form an orderly queue.

I never tire of seeing John's garden even though I am there more than at anybody else's. Every improvement he makes is a triumph and the attention to detail is impeccable. It is a small space with its fair share of the usual obstacles - oil tank, septic tank and, most demanding of all, access only through a wheelbarrow-wide side-gate. The later making the various projects he has completed a real labour of love.

The new slate steps that take you up from the house onto the neatly clipped lawn are three times wider than the concrete ones in place at the start of the summer. They draw the eye into the garden and make for a lovely vista. The small stone pond, guarded by a lion's head peaking out of ivy, looks like it has been there forever and the old tiles dotted around the heavily shaded ground are a nice touch. Every bed has been edged with precision and John's lawn always looks pristine.

The flowers borders are shaped to entice exploration. The essential work area, notoriously tricky to disguise in a limited space, was cordoned off with a lavish door complete with ancient key, one of many little touches to be admired here and there. Everything has a purpose, a small pond in a shady spot where not much will grow, an arch softens a tall concrete wall and the handcrafted willow fence that hides the compost heap from view.

Every last corner is utilized, often with a very different feel, which is quite a difficult thing to achieve in such a small garden, and it is very understated. A tiny courtyard has lush planting, an assortment of planters and seating for two. Overall everything works brilliantly and is a real joy. Membership of the Barryroe Garden Club, comes with a special privilege because you get to see John's picture perfect garden, we are the lucky few!




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