Knockrose Garden

My recent visit to Knockrose Garden, nestled on the Dublin/Wicklow border in ‘The Scalp,’ was an enchanting experience that transported me to a bygone era of peace and tranquillity. As I stepped onto the grounds, I instantly felt the frantic pace of the 21st century fade away, replaced by a serene and healing atmosphere that embraced me with open arms.

The traditional farm buildings dating back to 1750 immediately caught my eye, and the historical significance of the ‘Pale Ditch,’ marking the boundary of South County Dublin, and the majestic Scalp woods demarcating the rugged Wicklow Mountains created a sense of connection to the region’s rich past.

The tastefully renovated Calm House and Garden Studio exuded a rustic charm that perfectly complemented the surroundings. The Calm House, available for hire for Micro Wedding Ceremonies and intimate events, exuded an aura of intimacy and warmth, making it an ideal venue for cherished gatherings.

Knockrose Cottage Garden is situated 500 feet above sea level and sheltered by the towering heights of ‘The Scalp.’ The moment I stepped into this oasis of scents and colors, I was enveloped by a joyous sensory experience. The diverse array of flora in full bloom delighted my senses, and I found myself entranced by the vibrant hues and fragrances that filled the air.

A fascinating aspect of Knockrose Garden is its location on a tri-vortex of ley lines. This unique phenomenon seemed to infuse the garden with an energy that offered visitors a feeling of protection and inner peace. I found myself at ease, allowing the stresses of everyday life to melt away, and embracing a more mindful and meditative state.

The Garden Studio, available for rent, provided an inspiring space for creativity and self-expression. Whether it be creating and exhibiting art, sharing knowledge, or simply enjoying a cup of tea after exploring the garden, this cozy sanctuary offered a perfect blend of inspiration and relaxation.

Trish and Tom Farrell have created a haven at Knockrose Garden, where time seems to slow down, and nature’s embrace invites you to reconnect with your inner self. The passion and care they put into preserving the history and beauty of this place are evident in every corner. It’s a destination that not only celebrates the charm of the past but also serves as a sanctuary for those seeking solace and renewal.

My visit to Knockrose Garden was truly unforgettable, and I would highly recommend this hidden gem to anyone yearning for a respite from the bustling world and a chance to immerse themselves in the splendor of nature’s wonders.

Orlaith x

Carlow Garden Festival: A Gardening Paradise Beckons

Prepare to immerse yourself in the verdant wonders of County Carlow as the highly anticipated Carlow Garden Festival opens its gates to gardening enthusiasts at the end of July. Organized by Carlow Garden Trail, this esteemed annual festival has earned a reputation as one of Ireland’s premier garden events and will delight visitors from July 29 to August 5.

Marking its twenty-first year, this week-long extravaganza boasts a lineup of eighteen acclaimed gardeners and garden designers hailing from Ireland and the UK. They will offer an enticing array of activities, including specialist talks, captivating garden tours, and informative workshops. Among the esteemed guests are renowned figures such as Nick Bailey, presenter of BBC’s Gardeners’ World, the talented gardener and writer Alasdair Moore, and the esteemed BBC presenter, gardener, and writer Alys Fowler.

The festival will unfold across various stunning locations throughout Carlow, showcasing the region’s natural beauty. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore remarkable gardens such as Huntington Castle in Clonegal, Shankill Castle in Paulstown, and Hardymount Gardens in Tullow, among others.

The Carlow Garden Festival, scheduled from July 29th to August 5th, promises an unforgettable experience for gardening enthusiasts. Delve into a vibrant program of events tailored to delight green thumbs of all levels of expertise.

Robert Miller, chairperson of the Carlow Garden Trail, unveiled this year’s program, emphasizing the increasingly vital role gardening has played in our lives, particularly during the pandemic. Gardening is renowned for its ability to reduce stress, enhance mental well-being, strengthen our immune systems, build physical resilience, and improve memory.

Miller expressed his excitement about the festival, stating, “Visitors to this year’s event will have the opportunity to gain practical information and invaluable advice from renowned gardening and horticultural experts, many of whom are visiting from the UK and would otherwise be accessible only through a TV screen. From beginners to seasoned enthusiasts, there is something for everyone, blending traditional gardening values with a focus on biodiversity to create an ideal garden space.”

Adding to the festivities, attendees can indulge in two evenings of delectable long-table suppers, delightful afternoon teas, and tantalizing evening meals along the picturesque Carlow Garden Trail, providing the perfect culinary complement to the horticultural delights on offer at the Carlow Garden Festival.

Book your tickets here

Perennials for Container Gardening

Container gardening has become a popular choice for modern urban dwellers and individuals seeking a connection with nature. While annuals have traditionally dominated container gardening, there is a growing trend towards incorporating perennials, which offer long-term beauty, ecological benefits, and sustainability. In this post, we will explore the art of designing, creating, and using perennials in modern containers while incorporating ecological practices to enhance both the aesthetics and the environmental impact of our gardens.

Designing a container garden with perennials involves blending aesthetics and functionality. Here are some key considerations:
Choose the Right Perennials: Opt for perennials that are well-suited for containers, such as compact varieties or those with shallow root systems. Select plants with contrasting colours, textures, and heights to create visual interest.
Thriller, Filler, Spiller Concept: Employ the popular “thriller, filler, spiller” approach to design container arrangements. Place a tall and visually striking perennial as the centrepiece (thriller), surround it with medium-sized complementary plants (fillers), and let trailing varieties cascade over the edges (spillers).
Consider Seasonal Interest: Select perennials that offer interest throughout the year, including blooming flowers, attractive foliage, or vibrant autumn colours. This ensures your container garden remains visually appealing across the seasons.

To promote sustainability and minimize environmental impact, consider the following practices when creating your perennial container garden
Recycled Containers: Repurpose old containers or choose eco-friendly alternatives such as planters made from recycled materials or biodegradable pots.
Sustainable Soil Mix: Create a well-draining and nutrient-rich soil mix using organic compost, peat moss, and vermiculite. Avoid using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, opting instead for organic and natural alternatives.
Water-wise Techniques: Implement water-conserving strategies like using self-watering containers, adding mulch to reduce evaporation, and installing drip irrigation systems. Collect rainwater for watering your plants, reducing the strain on local water resources.

Perennials offer numerous ecological advantages, including promoting biodiversity, attracting pollinators, and contributing to a healthier ecosystem. Where possible select native perennial species that are adapted for our climate and soil conditions. Native plants have co-evolved with local wildlife, making them excellent choices for supporting biodiversity.Include perennial flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Plants like lavender, coneflowers, and salvia are known for their nectar-rich blooms, providing sustenance for beneficial insects.

To ensure the longevity and vitality of your perennial container garden regularly trim back any dead or damaged foliage and remove spent flowers to encourage new growth. Divide overcrowded perennials when necessary, promoting healthier root systems and preventing disease.
Adjust your watering, fertilizing, and sunlight exposure according to the specific needs of each perennial species and some plants may require winter protection, such as moving containers to sheltered.

Here are some suggested designs

Vibrant Summer Palette
Thriller: Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (Tall, fiery-red flowers on arching stems)
Filler: Echinacea purpurea (Purple coneflower) and Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’ (Yellow daisy-like flowers)
Spiller: Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ (Trailing succulent with golden foliage)

Serene Woodland Charm
Thriller: Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ (Deep purple foliage)
Filler: Tiarella cordifolia (Foamflower) and Astilbe ‘Sprite’ (Soft pink plumes)
Spiller: Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate Chip’ (Low-growing ground cover with chocolate-colored foliage)

Delicate Cottage Garden Blooms
Thriller: Digitalis purpurea ‘Camelot Rose’ (Tall spikes of rose-pink foxglove flowers)
Filler: Aquilegia vulgaris (Columbine) and Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Firewitch’ (Fragrant pink flowers)
Spiller: Fragaria ‘Lipstick’ (Trailing strawberry with pink flowers and edible fruits)

Mediterranean Inspired
Thriller: Agave parryi (Dwarf agave with spiky rosettes)
Filler: Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ (English lavender) and Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’ (Prostrate rosemary)
Spiller: Thymus serpyllum (Creeping thyme with small purple flowers)

Remember to adapt these schemes according to the specific light conditions and climate of your location. Experiment with different combinations and personalize your container garden to reflect your unique style and preferences.

Airfield Estate Gardens

Ardan Garden

Ballintubbert Gardens and House

Ballycommane Garden

Ballyedmond Castle Garden

Ballymaloe Cookery School

Ballyrobert Gardens

Bantry House and Garden

Belvedere House Gardens & Park

Benvarden Garden

Birr Castle Demesne

Blarney Castle and Gardens

Burtown House and Gardens

Colclough Walled Garden

Collon House

Coolaught Walled Garden

Coolwater Garden

Dawros Gallery & Garden

Dower House

Dromana House and Gardens

Festina Lente

Fota House – Victorian Working Garden

Gash Gardens

Glenarm Castle Walled Garden

Glenavon Japanese Garden

Hester Forde Garden – ‘Coosheen Garden’

Hunting Brook Gardens

Irish National Stud and Gardens – The Japanese Gardens and St. Fiachra’s Garden

Johnstown Castle, Estate, Museum and Gardens

June Blake’s Garden

Kilfane Glen and Waterfall

Kilgar Gardens

Killruddery House and Gardens

Killyreagh Garden

Kilmokea Country Manor and Gardens

Kilravock Garden

Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden

Lodge Park Walled Garden

Loughcrew Gardens


Mount Stewart House and Gardens

Mount Usher Gardens

Oakfield Park

Old Deanery Garden

Patthana Garden

Rothe House Museum and Garden

Rowallane Garden

Salthill Garden

Seaforde Gardens

Seanabea Cottage


Strokestown Park Gardens

Tourin House & Gardens

Tullynally Castle Gardens

Tyrrelstown House Garden

Woodville Walled Garden

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