Saturday, 22 May 2010

Hillsborough Garden Festival 2

My personal favourite among the show gardens at this year's Hillsborough Garden Festival was the memorial (above) to John Cushnie, one of Northern Ireland's best-known and best-loved TV and radio gardening personalities, who died suddenly before Christmas. Over the years John was my sister Claire's right-hand man in terms of promoting and steering the garden festival - and indeed of imbuing it with his particularly infectious enthusiasm. I didn't know John particularly well but I always found him to be charming and approachable, and I know how much Claire and everyone associated with the festival misses him. The cottage garden in his memory was designed by Jackie Harte and John Reid, and landscaped by George Morton and Elaine Cunningham.

The festival gets bigger and better every year and mum and I had a ball. At one point we stopped for sandwiches and coffee on a shaded patch of grass behind another of the show gardens, which turned out to be 'A walk around the Ards Peninsula' by Ards Borough Council: a micro-circumambulation of the peninsula (which encloses Strangford Lough on the east) including a micro-lough which I couldn't resist:-

While we were picnicking, BBC Radio Ulster's Cherry McIlwaine (centre) was in conversation twenty yards away with Bob Flowerdew and the delightful Bunny Guinness:-

I'm so full of admiration for my sister, who puts it all together every year, I can't say.
blog comments powered by Disqus