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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 County Carlow. The romantic 16-hectare estate, not far from Tullow, features a mix of native and exotic plants and makes a great destination for a family outing.
The heavenly 16-hectare gardens of Altamont in County Carlow combine formal and informal gardens with 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 striking 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 and a river walk.
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 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.
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. 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 essential for any seasoned or novice gardener looking for inspiration or pure enjoyment of a classic Irish garden.