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Posts Tagged ‘“Altamount Gardens”’

A garden for taking your time and just wandering, Altamont Garden in County Carlow is still little known. There were few there to enjoy this quiet and relaxing garden with us. It’s a blend of formal and informal gardens located on a 100 acre estate. It deservedly ranks in the top ten of Irish gardens and is often referred to as ‘the jewel in Ireland’s gardening crown’. I’m glad we saw it before the busses start to arrive!

Lawns are bisected by sculpted yews sloping down to a large lake surrounded by rare trees, very old trees (some 500 years old), rhododendrons and shrubs. A profusion of roses, old fashioned and modern, lilies and herbaceous plants scent the air. A fascinating walk through the Arboretum, Bog Garden and Ice Age Glen with its canopy of ancient oaks leads to the majestic River Slaney.

Unfortunately for us, the wet weather made it impossible for us to do the river walk – it was closed. This would be yet another wonderful garden to visit in the spring time – anytime it is special. 

The decaying manor house at Altamount adds an air of mystery to these lovely gardens.

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No-one lives here now except for a couple of peacocks.

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The path from the house leads to a formal garden of roses and lillies.

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Many of the roses were rain damaged but some were still pristine.

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The large bloomed ‘Common Primrose’ had seeded itself in many places.

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A wide variety of geraniums are used to great effect in the gardens.

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At the bottom of the garden is an extensive lake covered in water lillies and surrounded by mature trees and bushes.

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Down by the lake we found this baby robin – willing to sit still for its portrait.

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Even more varieties of geranium were used by the path near the lake… this one is spectacular. It’s A’s favourite. Can anyone name this one?

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Beyond the lake is a walk through a small aboretum.

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Some of the trees are very old indeed – up to 500 years old- and huge!

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The forest track arrives eventually at the other end of the lake.

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It was here that we found the only dogwood that we have seen in any of the gardens we have visited so far.

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From there we walked back up to the house across the wide lawns.

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Beyond the house is the walled garden filled with perennials.

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One side off the garden is biased towards red flowering plants, the other towards blue.

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There was one plant that neither of us had ever seen before… Monarda didyma; the herb Bergamot.

Thanks Ross, Donata and Michelle for the name. We’re so pleased to have such learned horticulturists as friends!

Don’t worry – there will to be more plants to be named as we start to write up all the gardens we have seen!

We are both good on colour, texture, shape and beauty of the flowers we photograph – but not so good on names!

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All but one poppy had been wind and rain damaged. This was the survivor!

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The walled garden ends in a small pond and many more geraniums are used.

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Another variety of geranium – all of them beautiful.

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Where the vegetable garden would have been in days gone by there is now a very well stocked nursery selling plants – if only we could have bought some!

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After almost three hours of happy wandering in this lovely garden – it began to rain… and so it was time to go and find somewhere for a very late lunch.

This is but a small sample of the plants and views that we had in this large and well kept garden. It belongs now to the people of Ireland and amazingly entry is free. We’d recommend it to any one living in Ireland or coming to Ireland.

J and A

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