This is a garden with symbols of ancient Ireland and her Celtic art. The emphasis is on the use of carved and engraved stone.
On entering the garden from the north entrance, the path turns right to a cut stone pier set in patterned paving and radiating sleepers. The left turn leads to a three headed stone fountain supported by concave stone over which the fountain spreads before entering the pond. The enclosed system of water descending and ascending is symbolic of the Celtic theme of the continuity of life.
Of particular interest is the north facing wall. It is made of mellow, reclaimed brick and sandstone cobbles, it is embellished with Gothic recesses redolent of ancient bee poles (in which straw skeps were once kept). A pair of urns set in the wall catch the eye. Filled here with hanging plants, they could also be used as fountains. Note too the use of Celtic knot patterns and a carving of the Sile na gig, whose origins are lost to history but may have been a female fertility symbol. A fine carve keystone in a Gothic arch leads into the adjacent garden to the west.
The combination of a cedar deck and lawn provide both additional contrast tothe stonework, and add a sense of softness to the scene overall. Raised stone planter beds form the remaining sides of the garden, the planting providing a screen.
Shade tolerant plants are used in the shadow of the wall: Mahonia aquilfolium; Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill'; Osmanthus heterophyllus and Euonymous fortunei with an underplanting that includes the evergreen Pachysandra terminalis and the well named Shuttlecock Fern, Matteuccia strutheropteris.
Design and Construction
Delgany, Co. Wicklow.
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