Duckett’s Grove, the 18th, 19th and early 20th century home of the Duckett family, was formerly at the centre of a 12,000 acre (4,856 hectares) estate that has dominated the Carlow landscape for over 300 years. In September 2005 during Heritage Week, Carlow County Council acquired Duckett’s Grove and commenced the restoration of two inter-connecting walled gardens. Even in ruin, the surviving towers and turrets of Duckett’s Grove form a romantic profile making it one of the most photogenic historic buildings in the country.
The first phase of the revival of two old walled gardens has been completed, the paths revealed and the beds and borders reinstated. The Upper Walled Garden, hedged with boxwood, is planted with historical varieties of shrub roses, a collection of Chinese and Japanese peonies, a great variety of hardy and tender perennials and choice flowering shrubs including Echium, Watsonia, Acanthus, Jovellana, Daphniphyllum, Arbutus, Euphorbia, azaleas, rhododendrons, daphne and viburnums. The Lower Walled Garden, once the site of the old orchard, contains a variety of fruits, including figs and historical varieties of Irish apples amongst others. The borders also contain a variety of shrubs and perennials all echoing the past history of the gardens and people associated with Duckett’s Grove. Restored paths and the repaired sunken stone bridge plus plantings of oak, lime, hazel, spindle and laurel rekindle the spirit of the Georgian Pleasure Grounds. Outside of the Walled Garden, the Ha Ha, Carlow fencing, veteran trees, woodlands walk and stone bridge folly vary the attraction.