Northern Ireland news

Award winning Ballymena gardener appointed as first 'Walled Garden Keeper' of Hillsborough Castle in centuries

Adam Ferguson, the newly appointed 'Walled Garden Keeper' of Hillsborough Castle. Photo: Richard Lea-Hair
Áine Quinn

An award winning Ballymena gardener has been appointed as the first 'Walled Garden Keeper' of Hillsborough Castle in centuries.

Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that manages the castle, selected 23-year-old Adam Ferguson, who won a gold medal at the world skills competition last year, to create the space - which will be modelled on an 18th century kitchen garden that once fed the building's occupants.

Mr Ferguson said: “The new Walled Garden is the culmination of a massive amount of research, planning and labour by the team. Our ambitious planting scheme will showcase a range of traditional crops which would have supplied the house, combined with modern equivalents.

"From April 2019, it will be the first part of the gardens and estate that you will see from the lower courtyard entrance. We want to create a wow moment that will captivate visitors when they arrive.”

Mr Ferguson's team will work alongside Catherine Fitzgerald, of Mark Lutyens Associates, and landscape architects The Paul Hogarth Company to shape the garden.

The five acre garden, which will be set within the grounds of the castle, part of the £20 million redevelopment of Hillsborough Castle, is expected to attract over 200,000 visitors once refurbishments have been completed.

Adam Ferguson, the first 'Walled Garden Keeper' of Hillsborough Castle to be appointed in centuries. Photo: Richard Lea-Hair

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