We are very fortunate to have a number of beautiful gardens, all of a high standard, located close to us. The joy of visiting the gardens listed here is that all tastes are catered for, from the budding gardening enthusiast to those with a life long and avid interest in all gardening matters. This trail consists of many different types of gardens including great old gardens that have been lovingly restored and maintained throughout the years, and smaller gardens which are maturing beautifully with time. Manicured lawns, herbaceous borders, plant collections, rose beds and water features are just some reasons for the growing number of visitors to these gardens. The gardens on this trail are either owned or staffed by willing and enthusiastic people, who without exception are delighted to share their ideas and knowledge with you the visitor.

Updated December 2002. If you have comments, please let us know. Thanks.

AItamont Gardens

Tullow, Co. Carlow. Tel: + 353 (0)59 9159444 Website: www.heritagelreland.ie Under the management of Duchas: The Heritage Service since 2000,

 Set in a small estate near Kilbride, Altamont Gardens has earned an international reputation. One of Ireland's very special places the gardens are widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and relaxing in the country. Parts of Altamont House date back to the 16th century, while the extensive gardens which span 100 acres were developed in the 19th century. The gardens, of which there are three distinct elements are the work of succeeding generations of the Wilson family and were first laid down almost two hundred years ago.

"Magic", "timeless" and "romantic" are all words that have been used to describe the gardens. Lawns and clipped yews slope down to a large manmade lake surrounded by rare trees and shrubs and a profusion of roses, old and modern, and herbaceous plants scent the air. This in turn leads to a very different garden which features many rare and most interesting shrubs and trees from many countries. A fascinating walk through the Arboretum, Bog Garden and Ice Age Glen with its canopy of ancient oaks leads to the River Slaney.

Features include the High Ridge, with its beautiful mountain views, the ornamental lake and ancient oak woods. The gardens light up in early spring with crocus and snowdrops; then come the daffodils and tulips, followed in summer by azaleas, the rhododendrons, magnolias, camellias, and, of course, the roses. Plants of interest include a Dwarf Conifer, a Swamp Cypress, a Colden Oak and a Chilean Fire Tree. A bog garden and raised alpine beds add to the attractions of this beautiful garden. The "most" garden in Ireland, often referred to as "the jewel in Ireland's gardening crown".

A single visit to the gardens at Altamont is never enough - there is so much to delight and capture the eye and intrigue the mind that you will surely return for more!!. Facilities include a garden centre, toilets, car park and restricted access for wheelchairs.
LOCATION; near Ballon off the N80, Carlow/Bunclody road. OPEN: Please check with Altamont Gardens directly. Guided tours available on request.Tel: +353 (0)59 9159444.


Hanover Road, Carlow. Tel: + 353 (0)59 9131872
Hermitage Gardens are set within a backdrop of mature trees and within close proximity of Carlow town. Stone walls surround the 1.5 acre gardens which boast a wealth of plants, ferns, shrubs and mature trees. These charming old world gardens are divided into specific areas, each with a distinct planting and colour scheme. The gardens are a plantsman's delight and also feature extensive herbaceous borders. LOCATION: 3/4 mile from Carlow town. Located at the top of Hanover Road. OPEN; Open to groups by prior arrangement.

Mrs. Stasia O' Neil. Ballon, Co. Carlow.

Tel: + 353 (0) 59 9159144 An eye-catching display of trees, shrubs and flowers with rockery and some Bonsai on 3/4 acre • well worth a visit. Ornamental garden with many perennials and semi-mature dwarf conifer. Potted box plants are for sale. Wheelchair friendly.

Rathwood Home, Gift & Garden World

Rath, TUIlow, Co. Carlow. Tel: + 353 (0) 59 9156285 Website: www.rathwood.com
A 10,000 sq. feet shopping emporium, Rathwood Home, Gift & Garden World is a chest of interesting and unusual ideas, incorporating an array of household items that add an extra special touch to any home. Rathwood also specialises in its own antique style solid pine furniture, timber sheds and an impressive range of terracotta, Irish pottery and dried flower arrangements. Unique to Rathwood is its beautiful garden furniture and extensive garden centre, where customers from the green fingered to the fledgling gardener, can receive expert advice and assistance. The restaurant offers a full lunch menu Monday - Saturday with deli counter and soup on Sunday.

LOCATION: Located approx. 3 miles from Tullow on the Shillelagh road on the right hand side.
OPEN: 7 days a week. Monday - Saturday 09.30 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. Sunday 12.00 p.m. - 6.00 p.m. Parking facilities. Wheelchair accessible. Restaurant open all day. Coaches welcome. ADMISSION CHARGES: None

Shean Garden

Shean, Garryhill, Co. Carlow. Tel: + 353 (0)59 9157652
A wandering farmhouse garden on one acre nestling under the foothills of Mount Leinster, the farmhouse has been lived in by the Smyth family since it was built 400 years ago. Wide variety of many rare plants, shrubs and trees. Plants and cuttings for sale with helpful advice on garden plans and ideas available. Wheelchair friendly, teas served to groups with prior notice.
LOCATION: Located off the Fenagh/Borris road. Turn for Myshall at Donaghue Plant Hire, then take first turn to the left. Shean Garden is the first farmhouse situated on the right-hand side.

The Millennium Garden

Ballynockan, Leighlinbridge. Carlow's tidiest village and Ireland's village entry in Entente Florale in 2001. Built and designed by the people of Leighlinbridge to commemorate the New Millennium, the Garden consists of seven small individual gardens, each with its own theme represented by trees, shrubs and stones to symbolise aspects of life from birth to death. An explanatory brochure highlights the gardens principle features-available from Carlow Rural Tourism on 0503-30411 or the Tourist Information Office 0503-31554. Location: In Leighlinbridge, over the bridge take first left. Open: Year round daylight hours. Admission Charges: None.

Tobinstown Gardens

Tullow, Co. Carlow. Tel:+353 (0)59 9151233
Set in prime farmland Tobinstown Gardens is surrounded by beautiful views of the Wicklow hills. The garden is set on a half acre arouni a Georgian Farmhouse with herbaceous borders, lawns, shrubs and a summerhouse Plants for sale and the gardens are wheel chair friendly. Toilet available.

Cottage Garden Herbs

Ballyconnell, Tullow, Co. Carlow. Tel: + 353 (0)59 9156312
A unique opportunity to discover this beaut ful ornamental herb garden growing on an acre, with an extensive range of culinary and medicinal herbs. Enjoy the visual ar sensual aromas. Sit and relax and watch butterflies flutter by with a cup of herbal tea, A wide range of potted herbs for sale. Weekend gardening courses and activities are ongoing throughout the year. Brochure available on request.

Wild Irish Crafts.

Kllquiggan, Co. Wicklow. Tel: + 353 (0)59 9156228
Manufacture products adorned with pressed-flowers taken from their own gardens. The wide range includes unique poetry verse pictures in a range of traitional pine frames, fire screens and Victorian jewellery. LOCATION: 6 miles outside Tullow on the Shillelagh road. OPEN: By prior arrangement ADMISSION CHARGES: None