Getting there is not straightforward.
But for plant and gardening enthusiasts who yearn for a peek inside Comillane Gardens, a private botanical garden and nature reserve on Cape Clear Island, there are two more opportunities coming up, starting next weekend.
The Gardens, developed over two decades by Michael and Emma Prime, will open to the public on Saturday, August 28th, 2021 from 12.30pm to 5pm and Monday, September 6th, 2021 from 1pm to 5pm.
It’s a bit of a trek, but ultimately very much worth it; first, you hop on the Cape Clear Island Ferry to the island from Baltimore. After disembarking, take the island taxi or minibus to Comillane Gardens, or allow 50 minutes to walk (there are some steep hills, so bring water).
The garden is on the dry side of the island and specialises in cacti and succulents from the Andes and the mountains of Mexico, which are able to thrive in the windy, relatively dry and sunny climate.
“Xerophytic bromeliads, such as the giant Puya chilensis, are a particular speciality,” say the experts at the West Cork Garden Trail.
“A good portion of the 14 acres is a nature reserve, with native maritime heath habitat, and spectacular views of Roaringwater Bay and beyond. A permaculture orchard of Monkey-puzzle trees is another feature.”
The entrance fee is €5 for adults and €3 for kids under 12. Tea, coffee and cakes will be served in the gardens on the day. Find out more about how to plan your visit here.