The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Gardens of Ireland - Part 1


By AndrewR


I recently spent a week in Ireland, visiting gardens there. This is the first of four blogs about the ones I visited.

We started with two nights in Belfast. First on the itinerary was Mount Stewart. The gardens were created by Edith, Lady Londonderry in the 1920’s and consist of formal gardens south of the house and extensive grounds on the north side. Mount Stewart is situated on the coast of Strangford Lough, and rarely has hard frosts, allowing many tender and exotic plants to grow outside.

View of the south front

Sunken garden on the west side

I liked this restful hidden area, planted with white and blue flowers

How about this for a water feature?

Among the tender plants growing outside, I spotted watsonias from South Africa

The leaves of myostidium hortensia, the Chatham Island forget-me-not

And a mutisia from South America

Next we made an unscheduled visit to Belfast Botanical Garden. Although small, this contains a good selection of plants.

There is a recently restored Palm House

Herbaceous borders

And a ravine house – a heated greenhouse built over a small ravine in 1888, housing tender trees, shrubs and climbers.

Rowallane is a ‘small’ house with extensive grounds on poor soil, mainly among woodland. But better soil was brought in for the walled garden

This area contained some outstanding shrubs such as this hoheria from New Zealand

And the climber schizophragma hydrangeoides

In another area, a natural rocky outcrop had been planted with small plants that enjoyed the poorer soil, including a pseudowintera from New Zealand

And a large clump of eucomis from South Africa

Fortunately, visiting rules are more relaxed now

Finally in this section is Castle Ward. Although the inside of the house was quite impressive, the garden was a bit of a disappointment. Most of the extensive grounds are given over to trails for walkers, cyclists and horse riders with only a small sunken garden near the house.

The house is a strange mix as the owner liked the old Palladian style

While his wife liked the newer Gothick

Inside, half the rooms are in each style as well!

The most interesting plants here were lobelia tupa from South America

And the largest itea ilicifolia, a shrub from western China, I have ever seen

To be continued ….

More blog posts by AndrewR

Previous post: I Was In The London Olympic Marathon

Next post: Gardens of Ireland - Part 2



Lovely blog - I hate that Castle Ward house, thank heavens I don't have to live there..

Love the 'water feature', looks so serene.
And the Schizophragma and Itea, wow, must be mild there...

25 Aug, 2012


What a lovely start to your visit to Ireland.

25 Aug, 2012


Lovely blog ... look forward to next instalment!

25 Aug, 2012


Very interesting Andrew.The lake looks so serene.

25 Aug, 2012


What a lovely blog - I enjoyed the trip round the Irish gardens. :-)

I love the herbaceous border especially...

29 Aug, 2012


Love those borders Andrew, all so lush, hope our Pseudowintera does not reach the same proportions, it is very slow at the moment.

29 Aug, 2012


Really appreciated your sharing with us Andrew, I do love visiting gardens and grand houses myself and seeing ones others have visited is always a treat for me.
Lovely photo`s as well..

2 Sep, 2012

Add a comment

Recent posts by AndrewR

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Sep, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    16 Mar, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    5 Jul, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    6 Jun, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Dec, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • bjs

    Gardening with friends since
    13 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Feb, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    4 Jul, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Jun, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    16 Jul, 2011