The Gardens of Ballyduff Manor

pho_3932_pho_photoWhile staying at Ballyduff Manor in Thomastown Co. Kilkenny in Ireland last summer Farmboy and I found the most wonderful secret. A gorgeous private garden out beyond the old stable and barn.


Farmboy went out early to explore the grounds the morning that we were leaving for Dublin. After a few minutes he came in and insisted that I come… forget the lipstick. Sorry DH Holmes Jr. Board in Mississippi wherein I learned I was not completely dressed until I was wearing lipstick. Oh, if they could see me now… practically naked. Nevertheless… we went trapezing out into the dewy morning and to my delight I saw a most beautiful sight. A lovingly trimmed boxwood hedge parterre. Behind it there were sheets blowing in the morning breeze strung between the apple trees. Heavenly. Established. Quaint yet of substance. Personal and intimate. I loved it. The parterre was surrounded by a perennial bed and path on one side, an old greenhouse on another, the high wall of the barnyard on the other. The fourth side opened onto to a beautiful grassy lawn framed by corner plantings then surrounded by a fence.





During our traditional Irish breakfast in a formal coral painted dining room over looking the River Nore, we spoke with the charming owner, Brede, about the origins of the garden. It was designed by her mother-in-law who spent most of her waking hours tending it. The garden used to be 4 times the size but over time it had been downsized to aid with the upkeep.  I would have loved to have seen it in is glory! Wouldn’t you?!  A wedding was to take place the following weekend in the garden and I could just picture the giant reception tent on the grassy lawn next to the parterre and fruit trees. Lucky bride. For a lovely B & B stay in the country be sure to visit

Heart Knot


Hi, I’m Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed art for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, two children and a small petting zoo of other family members. #shapeyoursweetestlife



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