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Tullow, Carlow, Republic of Ireland
Ms Pauline Dowling
The Altamont Gardens, regarded as the jewel in Ireland’s gardening crown, lie in the countryside of County Carlow. The romantic 16-hectare estate, which is just nine kilometres from Tullow, includes a combination of native and exotic plants.
This heavenly 16-hectare property combines formal and informal gardens featuring a variety of flora. Visitors will have a wonderful experience at any time of the year, as different plants flourish throughout the spring, summer and autumn, and the trees show off their lovely silhouettes during the winter.
The Robinsonian-style gardens are home to native species as well as exotic ones like Swamp Cypress, Red Oak and Giant Redwood. Strolling through the tranquil area, visitors will also find a lake, river walk and the Walled Garden.
The state took over the operation of the property in 1999, upon the death of its owner and long-time caregiver, Corona North, who frequently travelled in search of plants for the gardens.
An unmissable highlight of a visit to Altamont Gardens is the Walled Garden situated within the grounds of the estate and run privately by gardener and nurseryman Robert Miller. The area consists of the Corona North Commemorative Border and Altamont Plant Sales and Nursery. The Corona North Commemorative Border took over a year to design, build and plant, and was opened in 2000 to honour Altamont’s late owner, Corona North. Many of the plants in the border were donated by friends of Corona and fellow great Irish gardeners.
These donated plants and thousands of others grown at Robert Miller and then-business partner Assumpta Broomfield’s nursery make up one of the largest borders of its kind in the country, and tell a story of Irish horticulture woven into a seamless living tapestry. A visit is a must for any seasoned or novice gardener looking for inspiration or simple enjoyment.
Guided tours (to be booked in advance - for snowdrop week and rose week) are available for €2 per person, but general admission is free. There is restricted access for visitors with disabilities.