Derreen Garden is enchanting. Covering 60 acres on the peninsula between Lauragh and Kilmakilloge on the Beara peninsula, the garden was laid out 150 years ago with sub tropical plants from around the world. Paths wind through the mature woodland, framing views of the surrounding Caha mountains and the sea.
Down here on the Beara peninsula the landscape can be bleak. From a distance, all you see are the rocks and folds of the mountains. But closer up, sheltered places around the coast are lush havens bursting with gardens, trees, flowers. Its like a mashup between the rugged north-west landscape of Scotland and the lush vegetation of Devon.
I was here early one May morning and spent a blissful few hours gently wandering, meditating and just breathing in the atmosphere. It was such a perfect day – complete calm, blue sky, and hot sun by late morning. I particularly love the grove of New Zealand tree ferns. There is a timeless energy and an atmosphere here which feels like ‘the land that time forgot’, surrounded by massive Cedar and the rhododendrons in their beautiful blossom – whites, reds & yellows.
I’ve been here on other days – sleet in March, October rain with vivid flashes of sun against dark clouds – and I’ve always found it a wonderful place to be. Especially if you love trees!
The wee cafe with home baking is welcome, too.