The second part of the guided tour of which I took part, it being part of the Heritage Week, was last Saturday’s visit to Ellen Hutchins gardens at Ardnagashel. Though quite overgrown, and in the sub-tropical climate of Glengarriff, in the South West of Ireland, a very lush garden, we did see a great variety of trees.  Many of them quite new to me.  Walking under their expansive canopies one becomes aware of the magnificence of their beings, our heads were constantly held high and apart from the sounds of wow and oh, the explanations of our guide, and the whispering of the leaves, the forest was quiet – the trees majestic!

One of the most impressive species in the gardens is this extraordinary large Cryptomeria japonica elegans or the Japanese red Cedar.  Its feathery leaves are so delicate.  The red brown bark peels in vertical strips, as can be seen in the photo below.  It is said that the wood is very scented and used in manufacturing of light furniture.

These are photos of the cork tree (Cuercus suber) these trees give us the cork which is used in so very many different ways.  The small tree in the middle bottom photo has actually died from the frost one year, but the large one that is standing between many other species survives and has grown very big.  Actually cork is a renewable source as when the cork is taken from the trunk it will regrow.  It is harvested about every ten years.

This is the Myrtus apiculate, closely related to the Myrtle tree.  It was introduced as a decorative tree but it soon became a very fast growing invasive weed.  The wood looks nice and is put to use when cut down for a variety of fencing and a little bridge was made out of it too.  It is not native to Ireland.  It gets beautiful white flowers.  Below is a photo.

Myrtus apiculata

This tree has had its roots growing on its trunk, the reason why is because the soil around it was so crowded apparently by the suffocating growth of the Myrtus trees that there was no space for its roots to grow underground (we were told by our guide).

A variety of interesting looking trees of which I am not sure what they are exactly.


One of my favourites, again I do not know what its name is.  A trunk covered in moss!

Ferns were everywhere, including a few tree ferns (Dicksonia Antartica).  Ferns even growing on the branch of this large tree.

Rhododendrons grow very well in this part of the world, often giving a lovely display of purple along the roads of Counties Cork and Kerry.  But in Glengarriff one is able to grow quite exotic types of Rhododendrons, from the regions of the Himalayans.  Very large leaves (as my brothers is showing) and most beautiful flowers, whites or delicate pinks, among other colours.  Some of these types bloom already in January.  Besides Rhododendrons there are a variety of Magnolias, Ammonias, Camellias and Acacias growing in this garden.

Three other fabulous species.  The top left is a Griselinia Littoralis.  The one underneath I thought is the Cypressus macrocarpa.  The trunks of trees on the right I cannot identify – ideally I will visit this garden again and become more familiar with all the trees, something to look forward to I think.

Sequoia Sempervirens - Coast Redwood

This tree, again if I am right, is the Sequoia sempervirens (Coast Redwood tree), it was pointed out to us that it was growing here. A tree of the Cypress family.  It is an endangered species.

A beautiful and interesting walk it was, wetting our appetite for more that is for sure.  This garden also contains the Davidia involucrate or Handkerchief tree but I did not see it this time.  It has plenty of Vagus Silvatica (common Beechtrees) growing too.  As I already mentioned the climate in this part of Ireland is sub-tropical, very mild and wet winters, mild summers.  This garden is lying along the coast of the Bantry Bay.


This is a list of the trees found in the garden.  The list was compiled by John Bevan and can be found here:  John Bevan’s article

And here is a link to the WordPress site of Ellen Hutchins (Botanist) and the Ardnagashel Estate.  There is a lot to explore on the following blog link, I hope you enjoy as much as I did to explore this rich heritage.

Ellen Hutchins – Ardnagashel Estate




  1. I’m amazed by the roots growing on the tree rather than the ground. Presumably they must somehow still be doing their job!

    Anyway, reading about the cork tree prompted me to wonder why wine bottles now tend to have plastic corks rather than ones made from the real stuff. It seems such a shame not to use a renewable resource.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree Helen, personally I am always disappointed when a wine bottle has the plastic ‘cork’ because I love the feel and smell of the cork ‘cork’! And with too much plastic choking the planet it is not very clever to use them instead of the sustainable real cork growing on trees.
      Not sure, by the way, about those roots on the outside of the tree trunk and branches, I will try and find out more about that.


  2. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos of a fascinating nature walk in a sub-tropical part of Ireland – I had no idea. The “wet” part of the winter wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but the mild summers would suit me perfectly, and it certainly looks absolutely gorgeous. Sorry you couldn’t linger at Sally’s party, but it’s nice to meet you here.

    Sad news: my puppy TinkerToy found what we think is your shoe at Sal’s party, but it was pretty much chewed to bits when we found it — lotta’ dogs at that gala I wouldn’t count on getting it back – lol. Tink wishes you a HAPPY DOG DAY.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear, tell Tinker not to worry – these things happen, anyway to be honest that shoe always pinched my toes and I am happiest roaming the countryside in bare feet, so he did me a favour, one less item to worry about. Wish him a happy dog day also, here it is a beautiful, windstill and Sunday morning, the time of the week I adore. I had conversations with spiderwebs and dew so far. Isn’t nature wonderful!
      Kind regards from Agnes

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m basically a city-girl at heart, but couldn’t be if not for frequent nature-breaks. I’ve never been a barefoot girl, however, even as a kid.

        It’s still coffee-time here – early Sunday afternoon – and TInk and I will be heading off to check out the pond nearby shortly. Then we’re heading back to Smorgasbord Invitation to see how today’s part of the party is progressing. I think Sally is posting some new fun info, music, photos & links. Perhaps we’ll see you there.

        Liked by 1 person

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