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Jackie's Journal

Jackie's Journal

Last Post 6 days 11 hours ago

Kittybane Garden 14th May 2017

15 May 2017 20:37:29

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After we had visited Margot's garden, she kindly organised a visit to her friends Daphne and Andrew on Sunday, who live in Kittybane house near Strabane. 

This garden sits on a country hillside overlooking the River Foyle and the Donegal mountains. 

We were met by Daphne, who used to be active on this website some years ago, and her lovely husband Andrew. Daphne gave us a guided tour of her wonderful garden. Linda had decided that maybe this time she would 'sit' this one out and maybe just read and let us 'get on with it' But Daphne told her to maybe clear her head and go for a walk around the garden herself.............Well!!!! Linda met us along the way and her reaction just said it all. She said to me 'have you been up to the top yet?' I said no, why? 'Well wait until you see it'!! That was the first time I have actually heard Linda be enthralled about a garden. In fact, Daphne said later that the biggest compliment she got was that Linda walked around the garden AND loved it. 

But let me say, this garden just took my breath away. I just wasnt expecting to see such beauty on the side of a hill. A steep road up to a beautiful house and the garden seemed to surround the house! Daphne started the tour by showing me the stunning views overlooking the River Foyle and the Donegal mountains, pointing out the individual mountains across the water. She said that every half hour the view changed with the weather and believe me she wasnt wrong. It went from sunshine, to mist, to clear to rain all in a matter of minutes!

We continued on up through the garden, meandering  through fantastic plants, shrubs, stunning Rhododendrons and trees of all shapes and sizes. The garden has a lot of rock underneath and very little soil so you can see stunning rock formations, walls that have been built using these rocks and slate which really add to the beauty of the garden. Meandering paths lead the way up along the garden, showing off the amazing tapestry of perennials that have been planted by Daphne and she knows each one too! She also has amazing Acers, each one even more beautiful than the other!! Then we finally got to the top of the garden, where there is a lovely seating area and 1000's of native Bluebell's and their scent was amazing. From this advantage point the views are even more stunning than further down and it was in fact here we found Linda sitting on her own admiring the view! 

After a little break here we then came down the other side of the garden and it was a continuous ooooh and aaahhh as we went along. A lovely stream also adorns the garden and then we were taken to a stunning cottage garden. There was just so much to take in.  We were very lucky with the weather then, but all of a sudden the wind whipped up and the hailstones appeared and we had to race inside. 

Here we were invited to sit and have some lovely afternoon tea, with sandwiches and dessert. It was just amazing. 

Daphne's garden is just stunning. She said she is out there every day and I can see why, I would NEVER want to come in. Andrew said he is the 'labourer' lol, but usually that is always the way. Daphne was so welcoming to us and she was just lovely as was Andrew, they really made us feel at home. 

Then it was time for us to 'hit the road' home. 

It was a fantastic day out and one I will remember for a long time. To think I never met Daphne or Andrew before and they were so kind to us. Thank you for the lovely plants too. 

I will upload an album of Daphnes garden as I know she wouldnt mind one bit. I am sure you too will just love it as much as we did!

Had to take it easy now today after that weekend, the journey was long and hard but so worthwhile!!


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Eilish Eilish 15 May 2017 21:04:41

Another great journal and pics Jackie. Two fabulous Donegal gardens.


JoanG JoanG 15 May 2017 22:05:20

Yes, another gorgeous garden.  There's something magical about a mature garden in the country, though we can only guess at the amount of work that must go into it. Thanks for sharing the photos with us Jackie. 


Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 15 May 2017 22:49:08

A great description of your visit to Daphne and Andrews garden and the photos were most welcome. Northern Ireland gardens are some of the best in the country.


accsean accsean 15 May 2017 23:33:49

What a beautiful garden. You should get a job as a roving reporter, Jackie. I'd say you were like the cat who got the cream with the weekend you've just had.


Jackie Jackie 15 May 2017 23:35:53

Thanks again ladies. 

You know when you live in the city you really don't realise the beauty of our countryside. We have minute gardens, but love them all the same. But this is just a different way of life and it really shows how different gardens can be. I get great enjoyment from my small garden but when I saw Daphnes I was totally blown away. It resembled something out of a magazine. Just amazing. 


Jackie Jackie 15 May 2017 23:36:54

Ha ha. Thanks Sean. Yes a really great weekend. 


Fleurette Fleurette 16 May 2017 10:38:54

I have just written a thank you here, on behalf of Daphne, known on this site as Kittybane, but the comment is being rejected, and it is not too long.  

So, Jackie, on behalf of Daphne, a huge thank you to for your amazing journal.  

I shall put a journal of my own, when time permits.  ( still in the treadmill, Jackie). 


Jackie Jackie 16 May 2017 19:25:25

Thank you Margot!


Liztai Liztai 16 May 2017 23:44:53

jACKIE you have a great gift of description - next best thing to visiting the gardens myself


sallysarah sallysarah 17 May 2017 07:56:11

Two great Journals along with two wonderful sets of photos.  Loved the cute little gate under the arch in Daphne's garden.   Thanks for all the work entailed to get Journals and photos up for us to see.   Amazing gardens with so much colour!!  Thanks again, Jackie, for letting us into the gardens through your Journals and photos!!!!


Jackie Jackie 17 May 2017 07:58:51

Ha ha Elizabeth I doubt that but thank you. 

Sally it's easy to write about something when it's so beautiful. I'm glad you enjoyed them both as much as we did. 


Myrtle Myrtle 17 May 2017 16:00:51

Great journal Jackie, i agree this garden is special, i had the pleasure of a visit a couple of years ago and experienced the same warm welcome.


TheH (Hazel) TheH (Hazel) 19 May 2017 00:13:13

Two lovely journals Jackie! Sounds like you had a lovely trip and so nice to have a chaffeur too! I particularly liked that you remarked on the beautiful perfume of the native Bluebells :-) The Spanish invaders have no scent! 

Donegal is a long trip - I'm hopeing to head there next month but unfortunately I probably won;t have the chance to do any garden visiting! 


Jackie Jackie 20 May 2017 08:14:25

Myrtle it really was special. 

Hazel a very long journey!!! And yes Linda is terrific, nothing is too much for her....Not sure I could repeat it though....I'll need to stay local in future or buy a private jet! ....now where's that Lotto ticket!!!! 


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