Out of Lisdoonvarna on the R477 road, you are heading for the coast. As you drive along the coast the vistas are Luna like. Spectacular landscape of endless grey Karst Limestone Pavements, large “erratics” placed sporadically breaking the flat views, the surface worn from the harsh winter weather creating crags and pools with a hint of green foliage popping through here and there and now and then the glimpse of a purple orchid or Mountain Avon.
You eventually come to Fenor. It’s really a crossroad with some homes, a caravan park and a couple of farm houses. Here the sand has built up and the coastal terrain changes temporarily to sand dunes. The secluded beach is small and flat, well known for surfing and surfing.
At the crossroad in Fenor, if you head up the Caher Valley for about two miles, the cascading Caher River runs next to the road, you will come to a small, hidden garden, “Caher Bridge Garden”. This is privately owned by Mr Carl Wright and represents a personal life project. The cottage, his home, was completely rebuilt by Carl. This garden has been constructed entirely on top of the natural limestone terrain and he has maintained its natural state. He told me he brought in 20 tons of topsoil and created the earthen content by containment on top of the natural stone base. Natural Willow and Laurel are the main wooded foliage and by clearing some of this created natural walkways that make up the core of the garden. Stone features, colourful displays of flora, ponds and water features add atmosphere, the sounds of wildlife, flittering butterflies and darting dragonflies made this most stunning garden a space I just wanted to sit in. The garden may only be visited by appointment, but maybe take a chance and arrive. Carl may have a tour coming into which you could fit in. I found this a very inspiring experience and a tribute to Karl on what he has achieved single handed over many years.