Garnish Island, Ilnacullin – is an island garden located in the southwest of Ireland in the bay of Bantry. It is famous for the form and colour of plants that change constantly with the seasons. It is open from the beginning of March to the end of October, and the only way to get to this charming island is by ferry transfer from the main pier in Glengarriff in County Cork, it is also worth noting that the ferry fee does not entitle us to visit the island yet – payment admission is charged upon arrival on the island. During the short cruise we will be able to admire the tiny island with a wonderful colony of tame seals.
The island itself has an area of 15 hectares (37 acres) and is known to gardeners and lovers of trees and shrubs around the world. There are plant species that are unique to this climate and this is due to the unique microclimate that is on the island, thanks to the warming ocean and the effects of bay current, the climate is subtropical here in some respects, which promotes the growth of ornamental plants from many parts of the world.
On the island there are also various constructions such as the Martello tower (from 1805), the Greek temple with the clock tower, as well as the Italian temple and tearoom.
The beginnings of the gardens go back more than 100 years, when the first trees were planted there, but the garden itself was designed a little later by Harold Peto, who was rented by Johan Annan Brce and his wife Violet, who bought the island in 1910, and they were native residents of Belfast. In 1953 their son Roland handed the island over to the Irish people.
It is worth going there on a sunny day to be able to take a walk along the alleys and admire the beautiful views such as the one diverging from the Martello tower.