Shakespeare in a walled garden.

I’ve seen several Shakespearean productions en plein air, but there is no doubt that the most fitting is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, with its star-crossed lovers wandering in woodlands inhabited by fairies. So the sylvan setting of Ardgillan Castle, north of Dublin, seems to me a wondrous setting for the play on Friday 1st August.

Ardgillan Castle

Ardgillan Castle

This battlemented C18th country house, with its acres of parkland stretching down to the sea, is magical in its own right, with views along the east coast north of Dublin as far as the Mourne Mountains.

The walled garden Ardgillan Castle, Co Dublin

The walled garden Ardgillan Castle, Co Dublin

The setting is the Walled Garden – a Victorian styled kitchen garden, with arched gateways and high stone walls, clothed in old roses. Today the walled garden is subdivided into five compartments:

The Ornamental garden with a wide range of semi-tender plants and a pretty rockery with lots of colour in spring and early summer, and rows of perfectly trained espaliered fruit trees.

The Ornamental garden, Ardgillan Castle

The Ornamental garden, Ardgillan Castle

The Irish garden with its collection of Irish plants or those named after Irish collectors.

The Four Seasons garden always ensures something of interest.

The Vegetable garden, or ‘potager’, stunningly laid out in complex box-hedged compartments.

The potager, Ardgillan Castle

The potager, Ardgillan Castle

The Herb garden, my favourite though a little wayward, rarely ventured into, so a haven for butterflies and bees, and aromatic on a summer’s evening…

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2.1.255-60)


A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Ardgillan Castle, Co Dublin. Friday 1st August. 7.30pm

13 thoughts on “Shakespeare in a walled garden.

  1. What a wonderful place, and all of it overlooking the sea… ah how marvelous! Beautiful photos, Lorna, I love those last three especially! And I love that quote from Shakespeare too, so magical! 🙂


  2. Pingback: The Gardens at Ardgillan Castle. | Jardin

  3. Sounds fabulous. I’d have loved to have gone to Sense and Sensibility in Wells House in Wexford on 22nd July, the weather was fab for it too but that was a busy week! a long time since we’ve gone to a play outdoors.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s