Every plant in the garden is gearing up to make the most of the summer and there is no better way to appreciate the colourful blooms and luscious green foliage than to visit the Ulster Gardens Scheme’s fabulous array of open gardens.

The Ulster Gardens Scheme kicks off on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 May, when Lady Nicholson, Ballyalloly House, 19 Ballyalloly Road, Comber, BT23 5PN opens her garden from 2pm to 5pm, on behalf of the National Trust, Northern Ireland’s largest conservation charity.

Originally designed by the late Hugh Armitage Moore of Rowallane, this beautiful, mature garden of approximately 6 acres has a wide range of rare shrubs, mature trees, herbaceous plants and many other horticultural delights.  The lawn sweeps down from the house to a large pond at the bottom of the garden. The damp area surrounding the pond is planted with swathes of candelabra primula, azalea, rhododendron and rodgersia. Bluebells have naturalised in abundance. Head gardener Adam McMurray will be in attendance. Walking shoes or wellies are recommended and this is partially suitable for wheelchairs.

Location: From Comber, take the Saintfield Road; turn right after one mile on to the Hillsborough Road and right again after a further mile on to Ballyalloly Road.

From Belfast, follow the Ballygowan Road from the Castlereagh Road for approximately 4 miles, turn left on to the B178 (junction of Ballygowan and Comber/Hillsborough Road), Ballyalloly Road is third on left.

Enjoy a summer’s day wandering around this secret garden paradise and pick up a few tips for your own garden. While you are there buy some plants and relax with a refreshing cup of tea.

The organising committee is grateful to all the garden owners and very much appreciates all the hard work that goes into preparing the gardens. All funds raised by the Ulster Gardens Scheme are used for work in National Trust gardens in Northern Ireland.

Full details of open gardens are in the Ulster Gardens Scheme leaflet available from National Trust Regional Office, contact 028 9751 0721 or visit www.ulstergardensscheme.org.uk

Admission £3

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