Great Gardens: Glin Castle
Director and editor
We knew it was going to rain but decided against waiting for a sunnier spell: the prospect of filming the deep green landscapes and dramatic skies of Ireland’s west coast inspired us as we carried our equipment through the downpour. The DOP, Ann Evelin Lawford, paid close attention to the forecast, now hoping for more of the same.
We recorded Catherine FitzGerald’s audio at dusk as we walked down to the river Shannon through the three gardens: the pleasure grounds, the formal garden and the kitchen garden. She told stories of her ancestors that ran like fairytales. I imagined her as a child pocketing one at a time. In the 1820’s John Fraunceis FitzGerald - subsequently known as ‘the Knight of the Women’ - built gatehouses by the river and hidden follies in the woods for his lovers. In the 1890’s Lady Rachel Wyndham Quin brought the jungle of trees and plants to the pleasure garden from America and the Far East. In the 1900s her grandmother Veronica added structure to the formal garden with stone, hedges and a Persian Ironwood tree. And in the 1970s her parents, together with gardner Tom Wall, recovered the fruits and vegetation of the kitchen garden.
Catherine explained how the ancient oak forest, the river, and the walls of the castle shelter this piece of land and create the unique microclimate on which these magical gardens depend. The weather in fact changed rapidly and wildly as we filmed - from rain, to burning skies, to high winds. The days expanded, and being at Glin Castle was like falling under a spell.