Gardening: Sheltering from the storm in Donegal

Seamus O’Donnell’s garden is an oasis of calm in the northern countryside

A wind-shaped hawthorn: autumn is one of the best times to visit Cluain na dTor, when a magical low sunlight ignites the planting

Exposed, windswept, desolate: just some of the words one might use to describe the farmland that nurseryman Seamus O’Donnell took on some 30 years ago. Determined to create a sheltered haven, he began a massive effort to disable the destructive winds that whip and blast this part of Donegal by planting thousands of trees.

Now, even when storms rage around the surrounding countryside, the heart of the garden is calm and still. “You could have ...