Painting and gardening are my two passions in life, and now that Summer is here and we are in high season the garden is coming into it’s own.
I remember visiting Monet’s garden in Giverney many years ago, it was fabulous, so inspirational, and I thought that’s what I eventually want to do, to
paint and garden, and I am so grateful that I have been doing just that for several years.
I see the garden as a painting, and I try to develop it as such, not quite as easy as creating a painting, as often plants might be in the wrong position for their size , colour or performance, when they begin to grow. Then they have to be removed to a more suitable position, all part of the gardening life.
Gardening on the Wild Atlantic Way is definitely a challenge, I have to battle with the salty winds that come straight from the Cliffs of Moher, which I can see from my studio window. My first job in this garden (it is my third and most challenging) was to plant lots of shelter belts, tough plants that can take the wind, and then I could introduce the more ornamental plants.
My garden covers one acre and I have divided it into “rooms”. There is the Walled garden where I grow mostly Summer perennials, and shrubs for Winter interest. There is a large pond and this year it has about forty fish, some I bought in and others that arrived magically! but they all get along together and they are breeding. The pond attracts lots of beautiful wildlife, we have turquoise winged dragon flies, finches who nest in an old water pump, and lots of bees and often strange insects and beetles.
Then there is the river garden, this is on a lower level and has a river flowing by the side. The river could not be seen when I started to work on it , as it was overgrown with brambles and every imaginable weed. Here I grow trees, ferns and various shrubs, his year I have left an area to grow wild and I’m hoping for some native wildflowers to emerge. The river garden also has the most magnificent stone bridge dating back to 1850 under which I can grow gunnera, rogersia , irises etc.
The third “room” is a garden with lawns and mixed beds. It is the most exposed, so here I grow my tough plants. The views from here are magnificent I can see the Cliffs of Moher and the Wild Atlantic Way, I can hear the Atlantic crashing in the distance, and I often paint from from here.
Being an Irish landscape/seascape painter and living on the Wild Atlantic Way and on the edge of the Burren National park gives me the opportunity to have access to the most amazing scenery. I am never at a loss for a subjects to paint. There are so many images available to me from garden paintings to paintings of Doolin , paintings of Fanore, the Burren limestone , the Cliffs of Moher, the choice is endless.
My gallery and garden are now open for visitors and and if you are in the area of Lisdoonvarna or Doolin or anywhere in North Clare, and would like to pop
in, I would love to see you. Just give me a phone call or a text on 0879303755, and I will show you around.