The intrepid gardeners in IGPS Leinster were not deterred by the rainy, dull weather from going to visit a very special garden in Co. Meath. In fact, if anything, the dreary and disappointing weather increased their enjoyment, because the colours and beautiful contrasting shapes in the garden were all the more vibrant. The extraordinary copper edging of the pond (see Photo above) is a good example of the original and attractive use of materials by Paula Byrne, in creating this comparatively new garden.
Paula has designed a series of distinct garden ‘rooms’ around the house. Each has a particular character, and visitors will doubtless choose between them for their favourites. I especially liked the way in which she included tiny gardens in tubs and buckets, stuffed with sempervivums and echevirias of all sorts. I asked Paula how she kept them so happy in our damp climate, and she pointed out the very sharp potting compost keeping their fleshy leaves above the level at which they could so easily rot – and also, helping to deter the slugs, of course.
The gardens are mostly formal, with lots of well-clipped box hedging to express the design. This works very well in a young garden, where perhaps the larger trees and shrubs have not yet begun to make their presence very strongly felt. There is a good deal of such planting, however, which will doubtless mature over time. It would be very interesting to see how the garden has developed in perhaps five or six years’ time.
The group enjoyed the gardens, in spite of the rain, but the cup of coffee and home-made scones in the house was most welcome, to close our visit.
Report and photographs from Mary Montaut.