Raphoe’s Rós Bán is Garden of the Year

A remarkable 1.5-acre garden in Raphoe, described as containing “more information than a library”, has been named Garden of the Year by the Donegal Garden Trail.

A remarkable 1.5-acre garden in Raphoe, described as containing “more information than a library”, has been named Garden of the Year by the Donegal Garden Trail.

Rós Bán Garden is a lush botanic collage of wildflowers, medicinal plants, forestry, and meditative spaces which has been cultivated by owners Ann and Bob Kavanagh to inspire a reverence for nature that’s been all but lost in modern times. Unexpected delights include a rectangular ogham stone on which the ancient Celtic Tree Alphabet is inscribed and an insect hotel constructed with the cavity blocks that bugs love.

“The best way I can describe Rós Bán Garden is ‘a multi-sensory experience’,” Gareth Austin, resident horticulturalist with BBC Radio Foyle, has written. “The garden is a horticultural cavalcade of medicinal plants and horticultural education.”

He said, “Without it being an overly ‘teaching garden’, it just kinda happens.”

Donegal Garden Trails made the announcement last week during a bi-annual meeting of the organisation at Dunmore House in Carrigans, itself the site of a former Garden of the Year.

Rós Ban and a number of gardens on the garden trail will remain open to visitors through the autumn. More information at www.donegalgardentrail.com.