Atlantic Drive
Achill Island
Co. Mayo, Ireland
087 4149895

Achill Secret Garden
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History of the Garden

The core part of the 3 acres garden was established through the planting of Monterey Cypresses, roughly 100 years ago; they gave the much-needed shelter to the rest of the terrain.

Amongst the many (famous) artists that lived on Achill Island around the turn of the last century was the painter Mr. Alexander Williams. According to his still existing diary, he introduced a vast range of plants and trees, like the line of still existing Rhododendrons which he planted on April 17th 1907.

From 1970 the property was owned by Lady Noël and Sir Anthony Bevir. The latter had been a private secretary to Winston Churchill until 1957. Lady Bevir grew vegetables and sold it to her neighbours. The plot she had in use is still called “Lady Bevir’s Nursery”.

Mr. Roderick Heron, brother of sculptress Hillary Heron bought Bleanáskill Lodge in 1980. Mr. Heron improved the soil of the property largely by bringing tons of sand and compost on the boggy underground.

In the summer of 1997 Mr. Willem van Goor and his family emigrated from the Netherlands to occupy the house. At that stage the garden is transformed into a beautiful, romantic shrub garden and the remaining nine Monterey Cypresses in the oldest established part of the garden form a huge, dark cathedral. Being a working fine artist painter and also an expert gardener, Mr. Van Goor redesigned the property into what is now Achill Secret Garden.

His wife, Doutsje Nauta developed a vegetable and herb garden and has a full time job in consolidating the garden.




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