On the north bank of the river Boyne, lies an historic house with one of the earliest examples of a walled garden in Ireland, said to have been laid out in the 1720s by Dutch artist Willem van der Hagen, father of the Irish school of landscape painting.
One’s first impression of the façade is bemusement; this Dutch style, steep roofed with dormer windows and rendered façade with brick-edged windows, is quite unusual in Ireland, predating the ubiquitous Irish Georgian country houses. It was constructed in the 1660s during the Restoration of Charles II to the English throne, with further improvements made in the early 18th century.
The interior rooms are splendid and testament to the taste, style and wealth of Sir Henry Tichbourne, who was given this land, confiscated by Cromwell from the Plunkett family, relatives of St Oliver Plunkett . The House has remained in the hands of the Tichbourne family ever since, often passing through the female line.
A flock of geese wander through the simple grounds surrounding the house, which sweep down to the banks of the Boyne. In keeping with traditions of the era, the walled garden is a little distance from the house.
One enters through an arched doorway, with the first glimpse of the spectacularly long herbaceous borders.
Over the lovely old wall, one can catch a glimpse of the family Church.
Martagon lilies, poppies, salvias, Japanese anemones … there is much to keep the interest of the plant spotter in these terraced herbaceous borders, then past box-edged beds to a rustic summer house.
This is a very labour intensive garden, designed when labour was plentiful, but there is still much to charm the visitor, as the terraces fall away to the potager, fruit trees and beyond, the river Boyne.
The House remains a family home and is open to the public at certain times in the summer. B & B is available in the House.
More details here.
I just adore the summer house. It is so rustic and charming
Many thanks Honey. I loved it too… though it was looking a little unloved with the wheelbarrow propped inside!
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Lovely! That rustic summerhouse is really adorable…
Thanks Julie. There’s an even nicer one, but a bit run down, in another part of the garden. Love the rustic look too!
Wonderful post and photos! Thanks!
Many thanks, I’m really glad you enjoyed it.
What a lovely tour, thank you for Sharing! I posted it to my Pinterest page Gardens I want to see and touch, with a link back to your blog : )
Thanks Laurin, glad you enjoyed the tour & posted it on Pinterest. : )
Wow, what a lovely place, yes I can imagine that it still requires much labor to keep it so beautiful.
Yes, the upkeep of these old houses plus the gardens can be quite a burden for those who inherit them.
Still, it makes a visit more interesting, less like visiting a museum.
Another beautiful post! I love them all.
In this post, I esepcially like the gate, the walled garden, and the summerhouse. Do walled gardens allow the gardening season to last longer?
Thanks very much Cynthia.
Walled gardens offered plants greater protection from the elements (and often deer/rabbits if they were fully enclosed). The warm walls also allowed more exotic fruit to be grown espaliered on them.
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Aha! I wish we could do that here. The fact that we have no walled gardens around these parts must have to do with the winter weather. Methinks the walls would crack.
oh how I wish we had gardens like that today…they really knew how to build the:-) Thank you for the tour-truly a delight!:-)
Robbie, thanks so much. I had an old walled garden once in England, with hollow walls which in the 19th century had hot air from cellar furnaces pumped through to allow fruit to be grown. Now I live in the city…
I live in the USA + I wish more people had gardens rather than random, generic + non native plants in their yard.( if they have plants at all!)..more for beauty( less lawn) + more for our pollinators + edibles!….I love the old gardens they just knew how to live with nature + appreciate natural beauity….I bet your garden was beautiful:-) I am sure with your keen eye, you garden in the city is beautiful,too:-) I love old-world carefree English Gardens around estates…hmmm…too beautiful for words:-) rolling hills are plus, too-lol
Thanks Robbie.. and I agree. There is always a disconnect with Nature when people lawn over, or worse, concrete their outside space. Low maintenance doesn’t have to mean an absence of Nature. The best gardens, for me, are the ones which can exist in harmony with nature.
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