My Garden of Grumbles!

Certainly in winter – and winter has continued far too long this year – my first reaction on stepping out of the car at Altamont Garden is to grumble. Now there are some who would say I grumble whenever I visit a garden but this is inaccurate for it implies that I grumble only in gardens while the truth is that I grumble all the time.

However, I have a particular and repeated grumble for Altamont in winter – it is cold! It is always cold there, I imagine. I recall grumbling one day to Paul Cutler, the head gardener at Altamont, about the overnight temperatures we had had in Waterford the previous night only to be told it had been ten degrees colder at Altamont. From that day onward I felt justified in my grumbles and now grumble with gusto.

Daffodils on the front avenue
Daffodils on the front avenue
Daffodils on the Nun’s Walk
Daffodils on the Nun’s Walk

Despite the cold and this long dragging on winter a visit to Altamont is always a pleasure. I especially like it at snowdrop time and the Snowdrop Week and the companion Snowdrop Gala have become highlight events in the Irish horticultural calendar. Indeed, Carlow Tourism has been very active in promoting gardening events in the county and the annual Carlow Garden Festival is the premier festival in the country with many events taking place in the gardens at Altamont and also in the Walled Garden. These are highlight times but the gardens are a pleasure at any time of the year.

At the lakeside 
A walk on the riverside
 The Temple with views to the surrounding countryside

Today, daffodils were the feature plant of the garden with large drifts under the beech trees on the entrance avenue, under the beech in the Nun’s Walk, in front of the house under the weeping ash and scattered casually and naturally throughout The Glen so the grey skies and the cold atmosphere were forgotten and it was a wonderful day.

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A selection of hellebores in flowers in The Walled Garden

8 thoughts on “My Garden of Grumbles!

  1. Well I don’t mind being snubbed the Wanstead as they say but the second time is a grievous blow. I know that as a pristine gardener you must wince passing all the weed ridden areas in my demesne-although I have yet to catch you doing it! Nevertheless if in the future, I hear you were next nigh or near us and didn’t call I shall take umbrage and you know what that does to my have been cautioned. !!!


  2. How could you grumble in Altamont? I do understand … it is my favourite garden and we were fortunate this year to be able to visit just before Snowdrop Week. The garden had become a favourite place to take my mother, who sadly left us , aged 99, at the end of January. I bought a hellebore in her memory which is now in our garden in Kent. I am happy to say that despite the drawn out winter the Kennedy Primroses which you recommended are doing very well here.
    Altamont is glorious at any time of year and a real treasure !


      1. Same here really but they are coming along well and I only had one fatality. They are real harbingers of Spring. Happy Easter …


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