There are the days when you feel no light at all; when you feel no joy in anything you do; when your hopes are challenged. On such days, you have to unplug from anything that drains you, and focus on anything that feels good. What a better place than a beautiful garden to forget your worries and bring you into balance. Especially if it is a garden where something is always flowering, most of the year.
Situated just minutes drive from Waterford city border, Mount Congreve gardens are one of my favorite places to visit in early spring when Azaleas and Rhododendrons are in bloom. They say that there are more than two thousand Rhododendrons in this collection, and also six hundred Camellias, six hundred conifers, three hundred Japanese cherry and Acer cultivars, and more than a thousand herbaceous plants, including rare fuchsias, begonias, orchids, and almost extinct varieties of cyclamen. Some of these plants are so rare that they have been an object of theft as the thieves take cuttings to grow and sell. The staff presented Ambrose Congreve on his hundredth birthday with a Wollemia, a rare tree that was only known through fossil records, and was discovered in 1994.
Ambrose Congreve died in 2011 at the age of 104. He was inspired to plant a garden when visiting the Rothschild Garden at Exbury in Hampshire, England in 1918. Mount Congreve Gardens won numerous awards, including 13 gold medals at Chelsea Flower Show. Ambrose Congreve died of a heart attack while attending this annual show.
The Congreves had their gardens open to public every Thursday, free of charge. Children under age 12 were not admitted. Currently the Gardens are open from Thursday to Sunday.
This video that I found in Youtube was filmed in 2010.
Skilled and devoted horticultural staff maintain the gardens in perfect form, and also run a wholesale nursery – you can buy a potted plant here. They say that in Mr. Congreve time, music was played in the grounds to entertain the gardeners.
Victorian greenhouse produced tropical fruit for the table.
The 18th century Georgian Mansion was designed by the architect John Roberts who also designed both Cathedrals in Waterford and Moore Hall in Co. Mayo. The house is empty and closed to the public as its content, including the Mount Congreve Library collection assembled in the 18th century, were sold by public auctions – Christie’s in London and Mealy’s in Waterford in 2012. Ambrose Congreve left the estate in trust to the Irish State, and the ownership of the house will transfer to the State in 2059.
The gardens will come under State ownership in 2032.
I attached my car key to show the scale. This is Rhododendron falconeri.
Just cannot stop pressing the shutter 🙂
You can see these Magnolias from the Greenway tracks. I already used these two photographs in my previous posts.
Chinese Tea House.
Wisteria. There are at least fifty of them.
In my next blog post I will share more photographs of this early spring walk.
Thank you for bearing with me ❤
Have a great week!
I was sad that I fell so far behind but felt blessed with the awesomeness of so many bright flowers to view. Thank you tremendously, Inese. hugs xo 💖 🕊
Robin, I fell behind even more, and there is nothing i can do about it at this stage 😦 I have energy enough to put up a blog, but not enough to comment. This year is very challenging, but hopefully everything will be all right.
Your captures of the Rhododendrons and Azaleas are stunning, Inese. 💕
Thank you Dina!
Beautiful photographs, Inese, of a fabulous place.
Thank you Jean. If you have a chance, come and visit. They open from Thursday to Sunday.
Thanks, Inese, I’ll have to try and get there before we move.
Oh, has that old house already metamorphosed into a lovely home? So wonderful!
Well, only the top half, Inese. Downstairs still looks like a condemned building, so we’ll be living in the two upstairs rooms while we work on the rest of the house.
Very wise. No rush, one thing at a time.
What a beautiful garden Inese – I wish there was one like that near me. Your images are stunning!
Thank you so much, Syd! There is so much to see, and I probably don’t know a half of the species of the trees planted there.
This is such a gorgeous post, dear Inese… Enjoy the beautiful season over there (Winter in my hemisphere, sigh!)…. have a lovely weekend 🙂 ❤
Thank you so much dear Aquileana! Hope your winter is as lovely as our summer ❤
Yes, Mount Congreve is truly special. Thanks for the lovely post.
Thank you so much! Just walked around to enjoy the spring. Planning to make another post, a midsummer one.
There’s nothing like a garden in bloom to ease one’s soul, and spring displays can be amazing. Have you been there in late summer or fall?
Thank you Dave! Yes, I have visited the garden in fall. The garden looks spectacular at any season, which has always been the goal of its creators. I have read a story about maple trees. Mr Congreve planted them to create a ribbon of red color that would only become visible when the trees mature. He was a man with a vision, looking into the future.
What vibrant gardens Inese, I’m sure they left you filled with light 🙂
Thank you Andrea. Amazing place, a balm to the soul.
I have that feeling now, after my virtual tour. 🙂 💕
Gorgeous photos! I’m traveling in your country right now and wishing I could just stay forever.
I am so sorry that you traveled Ireland and I was not in condition to talk to you. Sometimes unexpected happens. I hope everything went well – at least the weather was all right.
We had a lovely visit! I’m in love with Ireland. What a wonderful country filled with welcoming people. Are you feeling better?
Getting there, thank you. A very challenging year, indeed.
So what places have you visited? Bunratty? The Cliffs of Moher? Lahinch beach?
All of the above. We also went to Muckross House and toured the Ring of Kerry. Old Head Golf Club was a highlight–absolutely gorgeous. We went to Dingle. Saw the Poulnabrone Dolmen in the Burren. Just so many wonderful places in too few days.
So delighted for you! You have seen so much, in such a short time. Great that you made it to Kerry. I didn’t expect you to get that far 🙂 It was difficult to plan anything not knowing what schedule you would be on.
I will visit your blog soon. This is a challenging year..
You just concentrate on feeling well. Oh, and taking great photos.
Thank you 🙂 Taking photos is ok. Sitting at computer is not ok 😦
Beautiful. Worries will dissipate in this place indeed.
Yes Imelda, it is so true. Thank you for your comment!
Beautiful. I would like to go like Ambrose – at a flower show.
Seems like it was orchestrated by celestial powers.
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