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Walled Gardens

Victorian Walled Garden Overview

The Festina Lente non profit Walled Victorian Gardens have been loving restored by Festina Lente to their original Victorian design and plans surrounded by the original walls built in the 1780’s.

It is one of the largest working Victorian Walled Garden in Ireland and contains many beautiful features and stunning fauna and flora.

There are three main areas that have been restored all within the original Victorian walls – our Ornamental Formal Garden which includes our Therapeutic Sensory Integration Trail, our Pool Garden & Terrapin Sanctuary & our Working Kitchen Garden where we have a fabulous herbaceous border separating our large number of community allotments which are rented on an annual basis.

Festina Lente Gardens are delighted to be a Partner Garden of The Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland (RHSI),  click here for more details

Walled Garden and Garden Shop Opening Times:

Monday – Friday:    9am – 5pm.

Saturday:                 9.30am-6pm.

Sunday:                   11am – 6pm.

Facilities & Features

♦  Garden Centre
♦  Social & Therapeutic Horticulture Workshops
♦  Gardening Workshops & Training
♦  Hanging Basket & Container Planting Service by our horticulturists
♦  Children’s Birthday Parties
♦  Gift Shop & Snack Bar
♦  Garden Tours
♦  Special Events for Holidays and during the Summer
♦  Rooms for Rent for Meetings or daytime Parties
♦  School Tours
♦  Photo & Filming Location
♦  Fairy Wishing Tree
♦  Terrapin Sanctuary
♦  Dog Friendly Gardens
♦  Free Parking
♦  Wheelchair Accessible
♦  Toilets
♦  Entry by donation

Ornamental Garden

The Ornamental Garden has a rose terrace from where you can view the wonderful central fountain, the formal flower beds, statues and borders. We have plenty of seating for you to sit and enjoy the beautiful Victorian garden.

Festina Lente Sensory Integration Trail

Funded by the Diplomatic Community, International Charity Bazaar & officially opened by Mrs. Chilcott, wife of the British Ambassador in October 2014.

Festina Lente Sensory Trail is located in the Ornamental Garden taking in the old Shrub Border on the south wall and Glass House border on the north wall. The sensory trail was designed and planted by Award Winning Garden Designer Oliver Shurmann from Mount Venus Nursery and Festina Lente Horticulturists. The plants and trees were specially chosen for this damp soil and shady border giving all year round colour in the garden. The emphasis is on using rare and unusual plants in the mixed borders.

As you stroll along the trail your attention is drawn to the different colours and forms of plants and shrubs, the textures and shapes. This is a haven for birds and insects such as ground beetles and lacewings. The trail crosses the terrace with panoramic views of the whole garden. Continue past the 200 year old cordyline trees under planted with sun loving plants grasses and shrubs. If you are lucky to catch the Magnolia grandiflora in flower enjoy its sweet lemony perfume, next to the shrub Gloria De Versailles planted by her Royal Highness Princess Ann in September 2004.

This takes you through a mini meadow of perennial plants known as a patch work quilt of purples violets pinks and white flowers which will stop you in your tracks as you pick out all the different flowers and shapes up to 150 per square meter. In the summer this is alive with the sound of buzzing insects.

Further on, the trail continues past the water feature leading on to the shade of the vine covered pergola with a seated area to rest. The trail finishes at the pool garden where you can view our Terrapin Sanctuary.

Pool Garden

A pathway leads to the Pool Garden where two tranquil pools are home to our terrapin sanctuary.  The Pools are surrounded by a lavender border; it is protected on all sides by yew trees.

The pool garden is a designated sanctuary for terrapins and of great interest to garden visitors, especially children.  All of the terrapins have been given up by their owners who have found themselves unable to care for a reptile that has outgrown a domestic situation.

Please note: our terrapin pools are currently full and we are unable to accept any further terrapins at this time. We apologise for the inconvenience. 

Kitchen Garden

The path then brings you to the Kitchen Garden where a fabulous herbaceous border divides the rows of Allotments which are rented on an annual basis.  This section of the garden was historically the kitchen garden for Old Connaught House so the design has been kept to the original plans.

One feature that children love in this section is the Fairy Wishing Tree, children are more than welcome to leave a special wish message for the fairies.  The Kitchen Garden is also home to the Garden Centre Shop & Outdoor Cafe.

Wonder Paws Dog Grooming is also located behind our wooden chalets in the original Potting Shed building, click here to go to the Wonder Paws website

Our Meeting Rooms that are for rent are also in this area of the garden.

Entry Cost

We do not charge an entry fee to our walled gardens but we love to get a gift donation to help our charity with the upkeep of the gardens, our donation box is in the Garden Shop, thank you.

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