Tuesday, 5 June 2007


This week I had the pleasure of being shown around the old Stationmaster’s house and garden owned by Renee and Billy McCracken on the outskirts of Newtowncunningham. The garden has lovely features such as the water tower used to fill up the old steam trains and an orchard full of all types of fruit trees. Renee runs her well-established business Moyle Grove Drapes (which supplies and sources wallpaper, soft furnishings and fabrics, roller, venetian and vertical blinds), from a purpose built workshop in the garden. Renee can be contacted on (074) 9156157

How old is the garden?
We were the first people to move in after the station closed. So we have been working on the garden for thirty years. We are on phase 10!

What is your favourite plant?
We raise a community begonia from corms every year. These are bright red, upright single specimens that can grow up to three feet tall and are planted out like potatoes.

What is your favourite feature in the garden?
The birds.

What is your favourite season and why?
Midsummer, for the beautiful array of colourful containers and baskets.

What work gives you the most pleasure in the garden?
Sitting and relaxing!

Any irritations in the garden. How do you cope?
There’s too much work! Low maintenance planting helps.

What is your best gardening tool?
It has to be the spade.

Top Tip for spring?
Keep on top of the weeds. Mulching with wood bark is an effective way of keeping them at bay.

Any plans for the future?
Lots of plans. Including replanting the front garden and introducing more fruit trees into the orchard. My husband, Billy Appletree has to live up to his name after all!


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