Located in Northeast Ireland, County Antrim houses a large portion of Ireland’s capital city, Belfast. The name for this county derives from the Irish name, Aontroim, which means “lone ridge”. That’s because the impressive basalt rock formations, the world-famous Giant’s Causeway. Ancient volcanic activity in the area has created an interesting soil mixture of red sandstone, white limestone, black basalt and grey clays and this is reflected in the placenames of areas in the county, including the Red Bay, Black Cave and the White Bay. Due to glacial activity in the last ice age, the County is also home to the ‘Nine Glens of Antrim’. This range is also referred to as the Garron Plateau and is one of the last untouched wild areas in Northern Ireland. It is classified as Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) due to the rare species of plants that grow here, such as moss varieties, marsh saxifrage, narrow-leaved marsh-orchid, bog orchid and few-flowered sedge.
The County sees much rainfall throughout the year, getting colder and wetter at higher altitudes. Maximum temperatures in the summer are around 14°C. The soil in this county makes propagation difficult, due to the amount of basalt in the area known as the Antrim Plateau. Gardens in Antrim therefore benefit from potted plants and composted plant beds.