The gardens are open to view every Thursday from 10am to 5pm
(April to September)
Very occasionally the gardens may be closed with a private event - please check our Facebook page for details
Admission €5 (children under 8 free)
Guided tours available by appointment
Allow 2 hours and please feel welcome all day. Relax & savour what lies ahead - this is a rich experience of the senses
Refreshments & freshly made wood-fired pizzas
Learn about our biodynamic approach in Gardener’s HQ
Purchase cuttings & seedlings, garden produce, juices & preserves
Of particular note is the Sir Edwin Lutyens design water garden complimented by Gertrude Jekyll style planting schemes.
There are wild flower meadows & woodlands influenced by William Robinson's approach to ‘wild gardening’ in contrast to the formal lime walks that flank a hundred meter canal in the more classical gardening tradition.
This is Ballintubbert, Baile an Tobair - town of the wells & the gardens are blessed with mineral rich water from its aquifers.
Spring is a blaze of anemones & many varieties of Narcissus & Galanthus, Sweet Woodruff, Aconite & Leucojum.
May is the time for our resplendent Peonies, of particular note are the Ludlowii - the yellow Peony trees & Paeonia Lutea. The Shackleton Garden’s myriad of colours include Echinops, Kiengeshoma palmate & Cephalaria gigantea.
Feast your senses on our prized Rose Garden & explore the renewed Potagers of heirloom & heritage vegetables, abundance of fruits & a cutting garden. Enjoy the Dahlias in late summer, along with an abundance of Cannas, Baptisia australis & Strobolanthus wallichii.
Take a woodland walk to enjoy an array of specimen trees including the rare Gingko biloba & Metasquoia glyptostroboides – the dawn redwood.
Amongst our specimen trees you can find various Japanese Acers, Castanea saliva ‘variegata’ – Spanish variegated horse chestnut, Cupressus macrocarpa, – monthly cypress & Robina pseudoacacia - the false acacia.
Autumn sees the fruits of our labour with ever-abundant crops of soft fruits, fig, plum, cherry, blackcurrant, blackberry, Fall Gold raspberry, kiwis, walnuts & cobnuts as well as traditional orchard fruits including pears, Jonagold, Katy and Bramley apples.
Expert Advice & Amusing Anecdotes
Wells abound through the porous limestone and most likely the reason for the siting of the original church here.
It is documented that pilgrimages were made to Ballintubbert to take the healing water.
The historic gardens have been developing since 1850 & have been significantly expanded over the last 15 years. They continue to be lovingly renewed and expanded – on–going work of art.
The gardens are arranged almost symmetrically around the centerpiece; a Georgian manor house. The relationship between the house & the garden has been a key element to the design, each bowing to the other.
Poet laureate C. Day–Lewis was born in this house in 1904. His return in the 1930s as a young poet to find the spirit of his mother & his Anglo–Irish origins, gave rise to some beautiful poetry & visitors can find Day-Lewis’ and other significant poet’s work throughout the gardens.
As well as using the Force, Darth Vader actor Sebastian Shaw lived at Ballintubbert & was a keen & practicing herbalist. We shall remember him through reinstating his prized herb garden.
Local fruit-farmers; the Littles who farmed at Ballintubbert in the 70s & 80s have left us the bountiful Little Orchard that today yields our organic apple juice.
The work of restoring the original gardens was initiated by actor Sir John Hurt who lived here with his young family in the 1990s. During this period notable Irish garden designer Arthur Shackleton contributed significantly to the horticultural complexity.
In 1999 visionaries Fergus & Orna Hoban took on Ballintubbert to make a great Irish garden open to the public. Inspired by legendary Arts & Crafts gardens at Sissinghurst & Great Dixter the Hobans substantially invested their time & energy in to extensive refurbishments & wonderful additions to both the house & the gardens.
With the help of highly accomplished & equally affable horticultural genius Andrew Farrelly; the Hobans significantly re-created the gardens to include the Canal, the Lutyens Garden, the Rose Garden, the Robinson Meadows and the Beech Wood.
Today horticultural enthusiasts & event specialists LPM Bohemia are the new custodians. Our vision is to celebrate this magnificent horticultural feat & to explore & share it’s abundant medicinal & culinary resource.