I grew up in Donegal, in a wildly rural part of Ireland. My parents were self-sufficient, growing their own vegetables, keeping goats for milk, hens and ducks for eggs and a pig for meat. My father had left journalism, selling his cottage in Somerset for a new life in Ireland – and a fishing boat! He would swap fish for lamb with our neighbours. I’m now living in a very different environment at Killruddery, but good fortune keeps me surrounded by, and close to nature. We rear animals and home-grow vegetables to provide nutritious, wholesome food for our family and a community of members & visitors to the estate.
I am “Lady Ardee”, a heraldic title which I was bestowed upon my marriage to Anthony 16th Lord Ardee. I’m delighted to be part of the three generations of Brabazons who currently live here; we are forever connected to a long line of ancestors who have called Killruddery home since 1618. Together we manage the estate’s sustainable and bio-diverse Gardens & farm.
Over the last decade, we have been working to transform this estate into a heritage visitor eco-attraction. These magnificent 17th century formal and informal Gardens provide a space where people can come together, commune with nature, meet friends, eat well, drink and also shop for special things in our newly renovated Horse Yard.
I have spent years exploring various traditional arts, crafts and skills. My interests are still very much rooted around our kitchen table; my hands are in the garden and my inspiration comes from horticulture and nature lovers. I continue to develop nature conversations with leading people in the areas of sustainable gardening, cooking and making, offering information here on my blog and also through workshops, talks and happenings in this wondrous Irish country estate.
My blog is, in part, a place where I can treasure the wisdom of those I meet along the way.