At Ardgillan Castle

The Irish Garden Plant Society held its Annual General Meeting at Ardgillan Castle last Saturday and we attended. The plan for the day was to enjoy a talk from the head gardener after the meeting, followed by lunch and a guided tour of the gardens. However, circumstances intervened and spoiled the plans and we had to leave immediately following the meeting. Fortunately, we had time to have a quick walk around the garden.

Ardgillan Castle and grounds are in the hands of the local authority, Fingal County Council, and provide a fabulous amenity to the people of north Co. Dublin with great space for walking as well as giving access to excellent gardens. There is an artist collective in residence at the castle with regular exhibitions. A range of events are organised through the year and one may even be married there! If you would like to read of the history and background of the castle and park, I suggest you visit their website which is very well presented and very informative:

Some general views of the walled gardens:

The castle is undergoing renovations at present and the facade was hidden under scaffolding at the time of our visit but the gardens were open, welcoming and very enjoyable though I spied an excellent specimen of an ash tree I particularly like, Fraxinus retusa var henryana, but was unable to gain access to it as it was within the construction area. The name commemorates Dr. Augustine Henry, an Irish doctor who worked for many years for Chinese Imperial Customs Service and was responsible for bringing the wonderful wealth of Chinese plants to the attention of Western horticulturalists sending as many as 15,000 dried specimens back to Europe for identification and record. I have a smaller specimen of this tree in the garden here.

And, to finish, some plants of interest:


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