August 2016 – Issue 254

Now in the midst of our summer we continue to wish for plenty of sunshine and dry days so that we can continue to enjoy our outdoor spaces. For many of us over this period, gardening is a pleasurable past-time and with this in mind we bring you our Gardening Special which is full of inspirational garden ideas and expert advice.

Read all about a stunning garden makeover, which has transformed a homeowner’s rundown tennis court into a stylish walled garden. As this shows it really does pay to bring in the experts, and we have plenty of advice from those in the know when it comes to tending to coastal gardens and preparing pots and planters.

Once you have been suitably inspired and are ready to get to work on your own garden, you can browse our selection of essential decorative pieces, including ornaments and planters as well as the essential tools that will help you along the way. We also take a look at some of the top flower and garden shows from around the UK and Ireland; bringing you highlights from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Bord Bia’s Bloom Festival and the Allianz Garden Show Ireland. On top of this, we talk to the gardeners of both Antrim Castle Gardens and Mount Usher Gardens, and they reveal some of the secrets behind these beautiful, blooming public gardens.

Travel this issue continues our gardening theme with a trip around some more of Ireland’s prettiest public gardens. While further afield we enjoy some Caribbean sunshine in Barbados.

Back in Ireland, our readers’ homes this issue take us to Holywood, Co. Down where Arty and Ruth have designed their new home around the magnificent views with the living space upstairs and lots of glass windows. Heading south we visit Declan and Morty in Dublin, where they show us their beautifully restored home that was once a very rundown property before they breathed a new lease of life into the place. Onwards to Connemara, we learn of the exciting circumstances agreed amongst friends that brought Patrick and Ros to this Atlantic facing stone cottage that they now call home.

Our reader’s kitchen this month belongs to Shona and Kevin, who enlisted the help of Alwood by Alfred Briggs to come up with a modern design full of economical storage for their Derry home.

Staying in the kitchen, why not treat yourself to some fine dining with the help of chef Cameron Carter from The Wheathill, Bangor’s newest award-winning restaurant. Cameron has given us four recipes for you to try at home, or if you prefer, enter our competition for the chance to have him cook for you!

Finally, if you have a home, or know of someone who has a home that you would like to see appear in the magazine contact editorial on 028 9147 3979 or email


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