Mary reminds people of our place within this earth’s ecosystem. She discusses how to embrace that role in a practical way in order to reconnect with the land and with nature. In aid of Down Syndrome Carlow
Expert architectural and garden historian Terence Reeves-Smyth delivers a lecture on the history of walled gardens in Ireland using the example of Borris House. This is a unique opportunity to explore their history and how we can take steps to conserve these unique treasures for future generations. In aid of walled garden restoration project at Borris House.
The big houses of Ireland’s Ancient East tell the story of Ireland’s gardens and their important role in the creation of the walled garden. Discover this and more during your visit to Borris House.
Mary grew up on a small mixed farm in the south of Ireland. 20 years ago she set up her own company designing gardens in Dublin. A few years later, having lost the will to live from constantly creating modern gardens, she realised that she could no longer continue shaping land in the same way and re-imagined her work to become nature rather than human centred.
Mary brought her new, still relatively unformed ideas to be showcased at the Chelsea flower show in London where she achieved a gold medal, unusual at the time for a first time effort. Since that time, she has built up quite a cult following in the world of garden design and is considered unique in her field.
Another U-turn came a few years ago when Mary realised we had to rethink the whole relationship we had with the land and re-examine what it means to truly design in harmony with nature. Those latest revelations lead to ‘The Garden Awakening” being born. This book was written at night over four years when her two young kids were asleep.
Mary has been known to present telly programmes about garden design and do the odd garden makeover on the box. She also gives talks and workshops about her work and beliefs. She’s trained as a Reiki master, is not a bad cook (to her mothers eternal surprise) and she likes to campaign against evil multinational efforts to cull us all off with pesticides, herbicides and GMO’s. She spends a lot of time growing and guiding her own land, but most of her time is spent being a harassed single mum, trying to grow two cheeky but wonderful boy and girl monsters and a crazy golden-doodle with as much grace and love as possible.
The lace garden at Borris House illustrates the fascinating story of Borris Lace through its predominantly white colour palette, lace inspired flowers, sculptures and stylised planting. Stroll along the woodland paths and enjoy some of the beautiful specimen trees.
Borris House, the ancestral home of the McMorrough Kavanaghs, Kings of Leinster, is one of the few Irish estates that can trace its history back to the Royal families of ancient Ireland and the tour covers all aspects of the history of the house, from the original 15th century castle, through its many subsequent changes and alterations, right up to the present day. There are so many things to admire on the tour from the beauty of the Stapleton ceilings to the unique Chapel of St. Moling, as well as a room by room description of the exceptional architecture, antique furniture, porcelain and paintings on display. On view for the first time ever is the new lace bedroom featuring Borris Lace as well as the Egyptian watercolours of Lady Harriet Kavanagh. In the recently restored Granary visitors can watch a film on the history of the McMorrough Kavanaghs and Borris House, walk around the Lace Garden, visit the restored Victorian laundry, and enjoy the Woodland Walk along the Mountain Stream. The Store at Borris House sells local crafts, jewellery, ceramics, leather goods and textiles and is located at the front gate entrance – open part of May – September, Tuesday – Thursday 12 – 4 p.m.