Should gardening change and somehow; ‘return to nature’? At London’s big Chelsea Show there has been a new emphasis on sustainable gardening and the use of eco-friendly native ’plants’ and yet the award for the Best in Show went to a large exhibit which is unsustainable in British gardens and are the very opposite of no-mow gardening. Robin Lane Fox explores the contradictions here and the way in which people, an invasive species, react to them, whether visitors to his garden or professors and students in the big Oxford college gardens he runs.
Borris House, the ancestral home of the MacMorrough Kavanaghs, Kings of Leinster, is one of the most beautiful and historic Irish country houses located in the spectacular scenery of Carlow’s Barrow valley. Borris became the Kavanagh’s primary residence in 1570 and over that time the present-day demesne landscape slowly evolved from a formal Baroque landscape of axial approach avenues and formal gardens to a demesne parkland landscape, with serpentine avenues designed to capture views and prospects, lawns, tree plantations and a circular road around the perimeter.
Explore the grounds of the estate taking in Mount Leinster, the Blackstairs Mountains and the Barrow Valley; views that have been preserved by the family for centuries. Stroll along the woodland paths, enjoy some of the beautiful specimen trees, view the original Stew Pond and on your way take in the original Victorian laundry, the recently restored granary and the 18th century Ice House.
The new lace garden which is set within the walls of the original laundry green illustrates the fascinating story of the Borris Lace through its predominantly white colour palette, lace inspired flowers, sculptures and stylised planting. This garden is a work in progress, so please visit again and see how this story develops. Visitors can also avail of a tour of Borris House and the private Chapel of St. Moling and learn more about this fascinating estate and the people who lived and worked there.