Categories: healthwell-beingnaturegardens

Spring is a great time of the year, the weather improves and the daylight lengthens, and as we celebrate Gardening Week in early May gardening enthusiasts will love this wee corner of the world.

The Mourne Mountains and Ring of Gullion is already something of a paradise to begin with, but over the years its spectacular charm has inspired green fingered pioneers who have worked with the landscape to carve out some sparkling displays of colour and beauty.

Check out these beautiful gardens for your next visit.

Seaforde Gardens, Maze and Tropical Butterfly House is a gardeners paradise with its historic walled garden, herb garden, collections of plants from corners of the world and a beautiful arboretum containing champion and rare species. Other highlights include the maze and not forgetting the yummy treats in the cafe.

Montalto Estate, Ballynahinch has a number of individually themed gardens to explore including an Alpine Garden, a Winter Garden, and a Formal Garden along with over 7km of stunning trails. The recently opened Lost Garden Trail provides an understanding of what the area would have looked like back in 1912, with winding pathways and diverse planting, visitors can step back in time, and experience a little of the tranquility from that period.

Tollymore Forest Park, Newcastle is one of those places you’re unlikely to forget after you visit, with lots of walking trails and garden follies. Its a beautiful place to visit, brimming with natural beauty, ingenious stonework, plus caves and grotto's to explore.

Castlewellan Forest Park, Annesley Garden is definately not to be missed, with its formal layout of paths and two magnificent fountains which provide beautiful photo opportunities and a feeling of days gone by. The gardeneque style, beautiful tree specimens, and herbaceos borders make this a great day out for visitors of all ages.

Rowallane Garden, Saintfield is a special place to visit, especially in May and the arrival of spring.  Experience mindfulness with multiple pockets of peaceful tranquality, and look out for mindfulness tips across the garden on a self guided activity.

There's also the Spring Plant Fair 20-21 May with an array of specialist plant nurseries from all over Ireland giving you every excuse to find the perfect plant for your collection.

Castle Ward, Strangford where gardeners can enjoy a spectacle of colour in the Victorian sunken garden with two distinctive designed landscapes. Stroll through the formal terraced garden and pleasure grounds or follow the path up to the temple with its Doric columns with amazing views or take a stroll along the waters edge.

The Barn Gallery and Rose Garden, Rossglass is a hidden gem along the coast road, with over one-hundred varieties of roses and a wealth of fruit trees, climbers and shrubs. Visitors can experience spectacular views across Dundrum Bay over to the Mournes and St. John’s Point Lighthouse. The gentle eco-trial takes you to a hilltop stone circle featuring sculpture and herbaceous planting while the barn itself now operates as a studio and gallery for owner and artist Bernard Magennis.

Derrymore House is an elegant thatched cottage that stands amid a picturesque landscape estate less than 2 miles from Newry.  This green oasis, overlooking the Mourne Mountains, has winding paths that pass between grassy pastures and planted woodland of the demense. This National Trust property makes a perfect stopping point between Belfast and Dublin.

So if your looking for some garden inspiration, or just a look around some lovely gardens, The Mourne Mountains and Ring of Gullion has countless floral jewels for you to admire and explore.

Montalto Estate
Historic Sites, Houses, Castles & Buildings
Picture of Montalto House, Montalto Lake and Boathouse all within Montalto Estate in Ballynahinch.

Montalto Estate in Ballynahinch is a mystical and enchanting estate, set in magnificent natural surroundings. Visitor experience includes access to the estate's beautiful gardens; historic walks and trails and an exciting play area where children can engage, explore and learn.

Tollymore Forest Park
Forest Parks
Tollymore Forest Park
Castlewellan Forest Park
Forest Parks
View of the Annesley Walk in Castlewellan Forest Park

Located on Forest Park View, Castlewellan, County Down, in a dramatic setting of mountains and sea, Castlewellan Forest Park has one of the most outstanding tree and shrub collections in Europe. The beauty, vigour and perfect shape of the trees in the National Arboretum attract tree enthusiasts from around the world.

Rowallane Garden
The National Trust
Rowallane Garden

This unique garden has grown from the 19th century beginnings of the Reverend John Moore and his nephew Hugh Armytage Moore. Their vision created a place where you can leave the world behind and immerse yourself in nature's beauty.

Castle Ward
The National Trust
Castle Ward

Discover a place of contrasts and creativity at Castle Ward, an eccentric 18th century mansion and estate looking out over the tranquil waters of Strangford Lough in County Down where visitors can explore cultivated gardens, sheltered woodland and the shoreline.

Seaforde Gardens and Tropical Butterfly House
Nature and Wildlife
Seaforde Gardens and Tropical Butterfly House

Seaforde Gardens, Maze and Tropical Butterfly House promises a truly plant rich and nature-filled experience for visitors. Situated in the historic Demesne of Seaforde in County Down, which has been a family home for almost 400 years, visitors will discover an historic walled garden that has something for everyone.

Derrymore House
The National Trust
Derrymore House

A National Trust Property, Derrymore House is an elegant thatched cottage that stands amid a picturesque landscape estate less than 2 miles from Newry.