But the actual age of big parts of the Bamboo Park is much older, its history began with the Old Garden, now open to the public and adjacent to the
Writing in 1910, Wyndham Fitzherbert noted that Lady Ardilaun had established a garden at Glengarriff on a "delightful spot sloping down to the water". Some years earlier,
Fitzherbert reported, a house had been planned to accompany the garden, but this had never been carried out and the place had become "somewhat of a wilderness". It was however, "most
beautiful" and could easily be transformed into "a charming garden". Fitzherbert mentioned rare rhododendrons, both species and varieties, and the largest Crinodendron hookerianum he had
ever seen, twenty feet high, twelve feet through and covered in July with seed pods from its highest shoots to the base.
The garden described by Fitzherbert was located in the townland of Reenmeen
East on lands subsequently bequeathed by Lady Ardilaun to her godson, Captain Simmy White, and sold by him for housing development. It seems probable that elements of Lady Ardilaun's garden survived and
prospered in the still outstandingly beautiful gardens of Monks Harbour.(in Nigel Everett, Wild Gardens, The Lost Desmenes of Bantry Bay).