The Lunds are opening their garden to the public for the first time this weekend after over twenty years’ preparation.
Erica and John Lund are hosting a special event as part of the National Trust Ulster Gardens Scheme - something they might never have imagined would come to fruition.
The couple moved into their Moira property in 1993, at which time the house required a significant amount of work.
“We put central heating in, plumbed and rewired,” explained John Lund, former managing director of the Glenanne Mill textile business. “The house hadn’t been touched since 1910 - apart from to install lavatories!”
There were several farm buildings and a field to the rear of the house until the Lunds dreamt up something different.
“There was an outhouse when we arrived, and John and I knocked it down, ourselves, with sledge hammers - it was quite easy!” shared Erica. “There was an orchard beside the house and half of it went up for sale. We had two small dogs at the time and I thought it would be a great place to throw a stick, so we bought it.”
The orchard is now home to a colourful collective - with raised flowerbeds, pear trees, fruit and vegetables, and a wendy house for their granddaughter.
One of the most striking features of the garden, however, is its rather unique rectangular pond.
“The pond is walled in by stones from the railbridge that used to run over the Kilmore Road,” said Erica. “We bought it from the demolition company as they knocked it down. They were delighted because we’re only a mile away from where it originally stood.”
Throughout the garden are little souvenirs of Erica’s childhood in Lurgan - including an old family statue of the famous Lurgan greyhound, Master McGrath. Whilst both her mother and grandmother were keen gardeners, Erica hadn’t expected to open her own garden for the public: “John mentioned the garden when we were at a similar event in Loughbrickland. Shortly after, a man came along to inspect the garden - followed by a committee!”
Finally, last August, the Lunds were informed that their garden had made the National Trust cut.
In addition to enjoying the colourful surroundings, visitors will have the opportunity to purchase plants from the garden - and, of course, drink tea! Volunteers from Save the Children will be on hand to serve tea and treats, adding another family tie to the day for Erica, whose mother was one of the founders of the charity’s Lurgan branch.
The Lunds’ garden will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 2-5pm, and is located at Orchard Garth, Old Kilmore Road, Moira. Entry is £3 for adults and children go free.