It is pretty rare that we find anything surprising here at Ballywalter Park, but last week I discovered a series of garden photographs. The Mulhollands do not other wise strike me as having been sentimental over their employees, but this magnificent photograph shows the garden team in 1910 or thereabouts. This will have been in the day of the 2nd Lord Dunleath. His wife was Nora Ward, granddaughter of Viscount Bangor and she loved the garden, she was a keen photographer, she had exhibition poultry, she created the rockery in the Pleasure Grounds where she kept flamingos, black swans, emus, we even believe she had monkeys. She was also interested in alternative medicine and she imported her sparkling mineral water from Ramlosa in Sweden.
The photos above are of a person we don’t know – on the right – together with Henry, 2nd Lord Dunleath, in the walled garden. The fact there are so many photos of this chap and BD’s great grandfather indicates that he was a very important person. You wouldn’t waste good film on a nobody. The lovely thing is we can have a really good look at the Walled Garden behind them and on the right. It almost looks like there is an orchard.
On the photo below it looks less like an orchard, but that is no bad thing.
As you can see I’ve taken the poles away from the top of the Pergola. I did this on the advice of Henry Shaw from DARD. He felt it ruined the most important view down the Pergola, which is the view of the doors to the main range of glass houses. I really agreed and I think putting the poles there is more an attempt to make it look less formal than anything else.
This important man was also given a chance to play a round of golf on the private 9 hole golf course at the front of the house. In attendance is a future Lady Dunleath, looking striking in a black beret. I think I might adopt this for the winter, I saw berets in Paris at the weekend and that it’ll be all the rage next autumn and it’ll help keep the rain off my locks!
In the background of the last photo you can see the roof of the sawmill, it has collapsed now and we are not big enough to need our own sawmill.