Latest Laois Event: Ballintubbert Gardens and House Open Day
Ballintubbert Gardens and House Open Day
June 6th 2021 12 noon to 5pm
To celebrate the lifting of restrictions Ballintubbert Gardens and House are flinging the gates open on Sunday June 6th from 12 noon to 5pm to welcome all into the gardens and estate. Come and spend the day in their stunning 14 acres. Wander through the formal organic gardens, run wild in the long meadow, play hide and seek in the woodlands and perhaps play skittles in the Orchard. They will be dusting off the good cups and offering teas and coffees and sumptuous cakes from the pop up tea shop.
Jenifer the head gardener will tell the story of their organic journey and what this really entails. It does involve spraying but only with nettle and comfrey tea.
Further open days on July 8th, 15th August and 26th September are also available.
Adults are €10 euro and children under 12 are free. Last visitors accepted at 3pm. Please contact Jackie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 087 3981191 to book.
A little about Ballintubbert Gardens and House
Located in a picturesque valley between the village of Stradbally and the town of Athy, Ballintubbert occupies a rich heritage in Co. Laois. The house itself was built in 1725 and this beautifully restored Georgian residence has been largely associated with literary and theatrical figures throughout the ages having been home to Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis, and actors Sir John Hurt and Sebastian Shaw at various stages.
While the house commands central stage the gardens have always been a core feature of the property and have become an experience in their own right. The ethos of Ballintubbert has always been based on clear sustainability practices. In 2020 Ballintubbert in an effort to further enhance the gardens and their impact on the environment the process of organic certification began. The aim was to be the first certified organic ornamental garden in the country.
The gardens have been developed since the 1850’s and continue to develop following the Arts and Crafts tradition, using a series of living garden rooms to create an ever-changing journey through the grounds. The gardens cover 14 acres of beautifully designed landscape and encapsulates the “garden rooms”. These “garden rooms” are arranged symmetrically around the centrepiece of the simple Georgian manor house.
Highlights of these fascinating “garden rooms” include the Robinson woodland walk and mirrored canal, the magnificent Arthur Shackleton designed garden , the Lutyens inspired Garden with its’ fountain and trademark stone walls and the Rose Garden with over 300 roses. The Herb Garden was originally developed by actor Sebastian Shaw (who played Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi in 1983) who was a self-practicing herbalist.
Jenifer the head gardener describes her light-bulb moment when she felt that organic really was an option.
“I was often asked about how we kept slugs and snails off our hosta plants which always looked really healthy with no holes in the leaves. When I investigated, I found lots of snail shells around the garden walls, so they were obviously there but our healthy population of blackbirds, thrushes and garden frogs kept them in check so they were not damaging the plants. That was the evidence that I needed, these gardens have been managed with passion and integrity for generations however this could still be done by converting it to organic while simultaneously protecting the local eco-system”.
Jenifer is a fountain of knowledge and she will be available at the open days to describe how she gardens holistically and organically in Ballintubbert and answer any questions the quests may have.