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The Garden Gate

img_1830Frogswell is a garden on the edge in the most literal sense – situated on the Western margin of Europe close to the coastal mountains of Connaught, in the damp maritime climate of Ireland’s Far West.

It lies on the border between rabbit and hare territory, between crow and raven territory – a border noisily disputed at certain times of year.

Over the hill, hedgerowed pasture gives way to open bog and moorland, highly-prized beef cattle to wandering mountain sheep.

Image .. with gate

From the skyline fence the view extends south-west beyond Saint Patrick’s holy mountain to the mountains of Connemara, and west to the Nephin Beg range, stretching to the Atlantic coast.


An important internal edge is the dividing line between black fossil bearing limestone with a topping of glacier pebbles from the last Ice Age, and the lower-lying peat layer which has accumulated over the last 5000 years. To be explored in the Spaces .. Section.

To start out to cultivate any space is to begin a negotiation between the tamed and the wild, and in this marginal setting that negotiation is particularly sensitive. The section on Evolution looks at how that dialogue has played out over the garden’s twenty-plus years of life.

Sustainability is a key principle here for design and planting. That means

planning – and planting – for long-term viability

using local and renewable resources

balancing the productive and the ornamental.

Values and choices like these are explored in the Fifth Dimension of the site.

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