This walking tour of Altamont Gardens is led by Paul McDonnell, Parks Superintendent for the Phoenix Park and other National Historic Properties including St. Stephens Green and the Irish National War Memorial Gardens. This tour promises to be an exciting journey through a historic setting with its fine plant collections, Robinsonian style landscapes, man-made lake and ancient oak woodland. So why not take a journey back in time in this tranquil old world setting and experience one of the most magical gardens in Ireland.
Paul McDonnell works for the Office of Public Works and is the Parks Superintendent for the Phoenix Park and other National Historic Properties in the Dublin Region including St. Stephens Green and the Irish National War Memorial Gardens. He has previously worked in Dundalk Town Council and more recently with Fingal County Council up until early 2016. Paul was part of the team involved in the refurbishment of the Talbot Botanic Gardens at Malahide Castle.
Widely respected as the jewel in Ireland’s gardening crown, Altamont Gardens are an enchanting blend of formal and informal gardens with riverside walks covering over 40 acres (16 hectares). The estate gains much of its character from the many mature trees, natives in the avenues and woodland areas, and exotic specimens throughout the gardens. Lawns bisected by sculpted yews, slope down to a lake surrounded by rare trees and rhododendrons and lead in turn to a very different garden featuring exotic shrubs and trees. A fascinating walk through the Arboretum, Bog Garden and Ice Age Glen with its canopy of ancient oaks and huge stone outcrops leads the visitor to the River Slaney. When Corona North, who lovingly cared for the gardens for over 50 years died in 1999, the gardens were left to the State at her request. Ongoing restoration and maintenance continues under the careful stewardship of the Office of Public Works (O.P.W.).
Every visitor says it has a special atmosphere, that’s why so many people come back. Every element you want from a great garden is here, from lovely lawns, floral beds and beautiful woodland going down to the river, to a walled garden and really superb collections, such as the snowdrops, rhododendrons and the fabulous oaks in the Arboretum
– Paul Cutler, head gardener at Altamont Gardens.