Plan fun days out during Snowdrop Month in historic houses and green gardens across County Carlow
The delicate white and green blooms of the snowdrop peeping through the cold winter ground heralds the start of the gardening year. Their arrival is celebrated throughout some of County Carlow’s fantastic gardens by a dedicated series of events during February.
This 40-acre estate, on the banks of the River Slaney near Tullow features an enchanting blend of formal, informal and wild gardens. Home to one of the largest collections of Snowdrops in Ireland, Altamont Gardens is offering guided tours from Monday to Friday throughout the month of February. Tours start at 2pm each day and must be booked in advance by appointment. General viewing of the gardens is from 9am until 4.30pm daily. This is a wonderful springtime activity for garden lovers and families to do this February.
Join lecturures Troy Scott Smith (UK), Sissinghurst Castle Garden and Iris Ney (Germany) at Ballykealey House on 4 February for informative garden lectures and tours. Following lunch there will be a full guided tour of Altamont Gardens and a Specialist Plants Sale featuring snowdrops from Avon Bulbs via Altamont Plants, Coosheen Plants, Gortkelly Nursery, Fields of Bloom, Assumpta Broomfield, Rosabell Plant Supports and Esker Farm Daffodils (Dave and Joules Hardy). Priced from €100, book online altamontplants.com.
Arboretum House and Garden Heaven
These award-winning gardens have a specialist programme for Snowdrop Month. Arboretum’s founder, Rachel Doyle, created the gardens in 2010 and is now home to a few thousand snowdrop bulbs. These include, Galanthus ‘Flore Pleno’, which produces dainty fragrant double-white flowers, and the pure white Galanthus ‘Mount Everest’, a large, strong variety perfect for naturalising. For more information visit, arboretum.ie.
Listed as one of the top six gardens to visit in Ireland’s Ancient East, a trip to these historic 17th century grounds is hard to resist. Along with the Snowdrop collection you can view the French limes on the avenue, the lawns to the side of the house, the fish ponds on either side of the centre walk through the wilderness and the Yew Tree Walk. After soaking in the beauty of the gardens, a guided tour of the house that gives you an insight into the fascinating lives of the family who live there today awaits you. To get the full Huntington experience, consider a stay in one of their beautiful castle rooms or self-catering cottages.
For further information log onto carlowgardentrail.com