ardnagashel – who will care for the remaining beauties of the arboretum?

leaving_ardnagashel_dec2014We moved out. Just a bit of cleaning tomorrow. We wonder: Who will look after the seriously endangered place? It was home to the first Irish woman botanist Ellen Hutchins and her brothers who started the arboretum with extremely rare trees. It was home to the Kaulback family, who continued the work with enthusiasm, money and many dedicated gardeners.

appartment_ardnagashelWe met with the “girl” who spent her happy childhood in Ardnagashel this summer. She is seventy now and cannot believe how an owner of such a precious place can let it decay to the point of no recognition. Destruction by complete negligence. Negligence due to an appalling unawareness of the significance of the place.

trailer_ardnagashelIn about 50 hours the Ellen Hutchins Year will start. We will remember her life, her work and her death in February of 1815. We will remember the birth of Richard Hutchins (her great-grandnephew) in April of 1915. But there is hardly anything left of their legacy. A priceless botanical gem, a part of Irish heritage is nearly gone.

Ardnagashel_white_rhododendron

view from the abbey to ardnagashel

Ardnagashel Eliane ZimmermannRecently we went to see the grave of Audrey Kaulback and enjoyed the lovely views from her resting place (of 19 years) on The Abbey Cemetery in Bantry towards her beloved home in Ardnagashel.

Ardnagashel Eliane Zimmermann

She would be so proud of her more than wonderful Magnolia campbellii var. Mollicomata which opened it’s blooms a few days ago. It is the most beautiful early flowering tree on the estate and is so tall that you can hardly take photographs of the gorgeous butterfly-like pink flowers – just with a very good zoom lens. She probably planted it in her early days in Ardnagashel – when her life was still full of joy. (Magnolia © by Antje Wendel 11/03/2013)