THE GARDENS OF CARLOW
Address: Altamont Gardens, Tullow, Co.
Contact: Pauline Dowling/Paul Cutler
t: + 353 (0) 59 9159444
f: + 353 (0) 59 9159510
Toilets, outdoor picnic tables, large car and coach park,
restricted access for wheelchairs.
How to find us: Travelling from Carlow Town the gardens are 22 km
from the town, signposted on the main N80 Carlow - Wexford road,
3km from the village of Ballon. If you are travelling from Tullow
follow signs for the Bunclody/Wexford road (N81). Altamont Gardens
is 3km from its junction with the Wexford road (N80).
Widely respected as the jewel in Ireland's gardening crown,
Altamont Gardens are an enchanting blend of formal and informal
gardens with riverside walks covering over 40 acres. The estate
gains much of its character from the many mature trees, both
natives in the avenues and woodland areas, and exotic specimens
throughout the gardens. Lawns bisected by sculpted yews slope down
to a lake surrounded by rare trees and rhododendrons and lead in
turn to a very different garden featuring unusual shrubs and
trees. A fascinating walk through the Arboretum, Bog Garden and
Ice Age Glen with its canopy of ancient oaks and huge stone
outcrops leads the visitor to the River Slaney.
Altamont is a great experience at any time of year starting in
spring with the wonderful snowdrop collection, one of the largest
in Ireland and moving on to daffodils and other spring bulbs.
Rhododendrons, azaleas and later on the rose collection is in full
bloom in mid-summer, followed by contrasting autumnal colours and
the beautiful silhouettes of the mighty trees in mid-winter.
Altamont - The Walled Garden
Details for inclusion in separate highlighted section
Address: Altamont Gardens, Tullow, Co. Carlow
Contact: Robert Miller
t: + 353 (0) 87 9822135
How to find us: In the grounds of Altamont Gardens (for directions
An unmissable highlight of a visit to Altamont Gardens is the
Walled Garden situated within the grounds of the estate and run
privately by gardener and nursery man Robert Miller. The area
consists primarily of the Corona North Commemorative Border
planted to honor the late Corona, owner of Altamont.
Each border had its own individual theme and colour from striking
reds to cool white and blues, romantic pinks and warm yellow
glows. The scent of lavender fills the air over the summer months.
The borders are planted mainly with herbaceous perennials with
roses and trees, some with a fascinating history.
Arboretum Lifestyle & Garden Centre
Address: Kilkenny Road (N9), Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow.
Contact: Rachel Doyle
t: + 353 (0) 59 9721558
f: + 353 (0) 59 9721642
Toilets, large car and coach park, wheelchair accessible,
restaurant with wine licence. Pet shop, conference centre, mini
associated retail park.
How to find us: 9.5 km south of Carlow town near Leighlinbridge on
the N9 to Kilkenny. Well signposted.
Commitment to excellent customer service, quality products,
unbeatable choice and value for money has earned Arboretum
Lifestyle & Garden Centre the coveted title of Bord Glas Garden
Centre of the Year and the National Award for Best Customer
Service on many occasions.
Arboretum Lifestyle & Garden Centre is far more than a place for
the gardening enthusiast. It's an entire shopping experience: a
place to savour the myriad of interesting items dotted throughout
the store. Spacious and well laid out, the centre guides visitors
through elegant displays of garden furnishings, pot plants,
outdoor plants, an extensive gifts section, hand crafted furniture
and lots more. An entire day can be devoted to the visit,
wandering through the fantastic range of items available, seeking
expert advice from friendly staff or enjoying a delicious meal or
cup of coffee in the tranquil setting of the Mulberry Restaurant.
Year round the centre is a delight to visit reflecting the
changing seasons of the gardeners' world. In winter, the Arboretum
becomes a Christmas wonderland with a multitude of decorations and
gift ideas while in spring and summer brilliant colours burst from
every area of the store.
Ireland's first 5 star garden centre
Delta Garden Centre and Sensory Gardens
Address: Strawhall Industrial Estate, Carlow
Contact: Eileen Brophy
t: + 353 (0) 59 9143527
f: + 353 (0) 59 9130280
Car park, toilets, wheelchair accessible, restaurant.
How to find us: Strawhall Industrial Estate is located off Cannery
Road on the outskirts of Carlow Town close to the Athy Road
Delta Sensory Gardens are an ambitious new project, consisting of
a series of interconnecting gardens of a multi-sensory nature
covering 2.5 acres. The first of their kind in Ireland they
combine the attraction of a tourist facility with a therapeutic
focus and benefit, for people of all abilities. A combination of
both formal and informal landscapes allow visitors to meander
round at will, watch splashing fountains and waterfalls, enjoy
herbs and perfumed plants, many in raised beds (suitable for
access by wheelchair), watch fish, reflect on sculptures, or
simply sit around and enjoy flowers and foliage. The gardens
include a water and woodland garden, a sculpture garden, a heather
and conifer garden, a musical garden and a formal rose garden
amongst others. In the meantime visitors can experience a truly
amazing work in action.
Address: Tullow, Co. Carlow.
Contact: Sheila Reeves-Smyth
t: + 353 (0) 59 9151769
Facilities: Wheelchair accessible
How to find us: From Dublin - through the town of Tullow onto the
Bunclody road N81. Turn right after the Statoil petrol station.
Turn right at next cross roads - the gardens are 600 yards on the
right hand side.
One of the largest Spanish chestnuts in the country greets you on
arrival to one hectare of lawns and shrubs surrounded by
magnificent beech and oak trees. A wonderful walled garden behind
the house contains many unusual plants and flowers in the
herbaceous border. The grass paths take you past the pond with
lilies and fish to the apple tree area and a vegetable garden. A
Summer House at the end of the garden in a sheltered corner
provides a quiet area for rest and relaxation. A truly amazing
walled garden full of colour and vigour matches the owner's
enthusiasm and commitment to gardening.
Leighlinbridge - The Garden Village
Address: Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow.
Contact: John Meaney, Chairman, Leighlinbridge Improvement Group
t: + 353 (0) 59 9721593
Facilities: restaurant, garden centre, hotel, bed & breakfast,
pub, castle, historic buildings, angling, walking routes, picnic
How to find us: 9km south of Carlow town off the N9 to Kilkenny.
The Leighlinbridge district is rich in history, favoured with
fertile land and enhanced by the river Barrow which meanders
slowly through the village. The foundation for its beauty lies
directly with its people who demonstrate a sense of pride and work
tirelessly to preserve and enhance this unique area. This pride is
evidenced by a range of gardens, built and designed by the local
community to commemorate various aspects of village life over the
The Millennium Garden consists of seven small individual gardens,
each with its own theme represented by trees, shrubs and stones.
Using materials indigenous to the local area, the garden tells the
story of life through a series of themes including peace and
tranquillity, happiness, friendship, reconciliation, hope, harmony
The Vivaldi Garden is based on Vivaldi's musical concerto "The
Four Seasons" and comprises four formal gardens, each depicting a
season of the year.
The Garden of Remembrance straddling the river Barrow commemorates
important occasions in the history of the village including the
visit of the Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulrooney, a World War
1 Memorial and the Entente Florale Gold Award. A number of
commemorative trees have been planted together with ballerina
roses and shrubs.
The Sculpture Garden is dedicated to three of Leighlinbridge's
most famous sons - Cardinal Patrick Francis Moran - Australia's
first Cardinal, John Tyndall, the mountaineer and scientist who
developed the light pipe, the forerunner to fibre optics and
Captain Myles Keogh, second in command to General Custer who lost
his life the battle of the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876
at the hands of the Sioux.
The Mill Gardens,
Address: Borris, Co. Carlow.
Contact: Bríd Ui Laoghaire
t: + 353 (0) 59 9773132
f: + 353 (0) 59 9773132
How to find us: In the village of Borris past the Bank of Ireland
building, on the left hand side approaching bend.
Mill Gardens were originally laid out in the 1880's, in Victorian
format. The front lawn is dominated by three tall evergreens,
underplanted by evergreen shrubs. This area has been largely
re-planted with plants whose genus dates back to the 19th century
in an effort to maintain an authentic heritage feel. The front
garden is bordered by the original rockeries and high granite
walls covered in cotaneaster. The orchards have been reclaimed
from wilderness with old apple trees underplanted by some rather
Rathwood Home, Gift & Garden World
Address: Rath, Tullow, Co. Carlow
Contact: Patrick & Carmel Keogh
t: + 353 (0) 59 9156285
f: + 353 (0) 59 9156239
Award winning Centre consisting of Gift and furniture shop, garden
centre and restaurant, parking facilities for up to 200 cars,
large coach park, toilets, wheelchair access, extensive children's
outdoor play area and wildflower walks, open 7 days per week.
How to find us: 5 km from Tullow and 9 km from Shillelagh on the
Rathwood Home, Gift & Garden World is simply a treasure chest of
interesting and unusual ideas, incorporating an array of household
items that add an extra special touch to any home. An extensive 4
star garden centre carries an impressive selection of plants, many
rare and unusual, garden furniture, outdoor living accessories,
lighting and pots. Customers from the green fingered to the
fledging gardener are guaranteed expert advice and friendly
assistance so you can enjoy all-year round colour and fragrance.
A beautifully extended fine food restaurant with heated patio,
where customers can relax and enjoy impressive main courses and a
delicious array of home baking, is pivotal to the Rathwood
shopping experience. Rathwood also specialises in its own range of
pine furniture, gazebos and an impressive range of terracotta,
Irish pottery and crafts.
An extensive area for children and adults to play, picnic and take
leisurely walks adds to the enjoyment of a visit here. Various
themes, from decorative Easter displays to a magical Christmas
wonderland make Rathwood a joy to visit at any time of the year.