On June 24th, some IGPS members drove in convoy to Clonohill House and gardens, home of Enda Thompson Phelan. As this is also the home of the Laois Angling Centre, many anglers could be seen plying their trade on one of the huge lakes not far from the house!

Enda greeted us warmly, served up a beautiful lunch and then brought us on a tour round all the different areas of the garden, with her iPad in tow – which  she used to great effect, showing photos of plants out of bloom e.g. her lovely Halesia -.

Starting in the woodland area, Enda pointed out plants that do well in shade including Beesia. We then moved along a narrow pathway called Jacob’s Walk after her late father – Jacob. This was edged with interesting plants to the front of the house to be dazzled by a great stand of Delphiniums, wonderfully staked! We admired a terrific selection of large hostas and miniature ones too, all virtually untouched by snails.

Gleaming white birch trees framed the view of the Laois countryside and the herd of Jacob sheep, while people were intrigued by her robot grass cutter which is not put off by rain from doing its job.

We then walked to the weed free walled garden, to see another selection of choice plants including Mitraria, paeonia roses, blue poppies, Ramonda, and Tropaeolum. Here a seat in a spot of shade is Enda’s hiding place, where she finds peace from the hustle and bustle of her busy life.

We enjoyed Enda’s no-nonsense approach to gardening. She has favourites like her trilliums, and phormiums are her pet hate at present. She obviously loves her garden and has put a lot of work into her choice of plants. We appreciated all the time she gave us and wish her continuing success with all her enterprises.

Her garden is part of Laois Garden Trail.

(Text and photos courtesy of Margaret Fitzpatrick)