Gardening – February 2021 – Issue 306

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Portrait Of A Garden

John Curran visits the County Meath home and garden of Jock and Mary Wilkinson.

Somewhere between the hill of Tara and the hill of Skryne is a garden like no other. In it stands an old house where generations of Wilkinsons have lived, and Jock and Mary have brought up their three sons Nigel, Neville and Harry, now adults, there. They are a generous and sociable couple who love gardens. In 1975 local friends Jim and Jill McAleese started up a group of like-minded garden enthusiasts, which includes the Wilkinsons, called the ‘Dig It and Dung It’ which became a vehicle for enjoying one another’s gardens in a sociable way, and for garden visits throughout Ireland and England. In 1981 the group visited Highgrove, and later gardens in Sussex and Yorkshire. Among their number is Jim Reynolds, whose iconic Butterstream garden in Trim has now passed into legend.

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