WOODLAND GARDEN

Go through the red gate to the right of the lawns and you are now in the Pleasure Ground or Woodland Garden. This is planted with a fine assortment of old native trees and newer exotic species, such as maples and magnolias. (Ask in the tearoom for the Tree Guide for a detailed list), The main path leads to the walled gardens (D) and (F), or turn left down the hill for the Upper Lake (I) and the Forest Walk (K) beyond. There are sheets of bluebells here in spring.

GROTTO

Turn right off the main path for the GROTTO just before the large fernleafed beech. The path to it is planted as in Victorian times with ferns and periwinkle under a canopy of old yew and beech. The Grotto itself was built around 1830 of eroded limestone from Lough Derravaragh and you can glimpse the lake from the clearing in front. A local sculptor has decorated the grotto inside with fantastic carvings. You can either descend the steps direct from here to the Flower Garden (D) or take the easier way round by the path. Don't miss the hobgoblin carved in an old yew tree on the way.

FLOWER GARDEN

The FLOWER GARDEN was once laid out with elaborate Victorian flowerbeds and pergolas but has now been simplified with herbacious borders around the walls, and small trees such as Japanese maples and weeping pears.
At one end of the upper terrace, look for a marble goddess and a stone plaque commemorating an earlier planting. Along the lower path, there is a lily pond with a fountain designed as a “weeping pillar” - a favourite late Regency device.

KITCHEN GARDEN

The KITCHEN GARDEN is one of the largest in Ireland - it was already being described in 1835 as “impossibly large for these times!” Nowadays the problem is partly solved by using a family of LLAMAS to graze the upper part. The grand central avenue of Irish yews (F) is over 250 years old, linked by an unusual “tapestry” hedge of box and yew. To the right, a path leads to a “hot” herbaceous border of pinks, oranges and reds. The high brick wall behind it once supported 12 Regency hothouses which supplied the castle with peaches and grapes. Two of these still survive. Between them, there is a small summerhouse copied from a Mughal design, framed by two NANDI – or sacred Indian bulls - made by a local sculptor in 2012. Walk to the far end of the garden where the old gardeners' Bothy is built into the wall and turn right back by the grass path alongside the LLAMA paddock (G). There is often a baby llama (or cria) to admire.

UPPER LAKE

Pass back through the FLOWER GARDEN and turn down the hill. On the right, framed by magnolias is QUEEN VICTORIA’S SUMMER HOUSE (H) (copied from one at Frogmore). The path leads down to the UPPER LAKE (I), usually inhabited by a gang of greedy ducks. There is a rustic bridge across it at one end - Note the mossy stone dated 1884 just before it. This was the date the lake was dug out: originally it also served a practical purpose for it could be released into the millpond to drive the farm turbine next door.

UPPER LAKE

Pass back through the FLOWER GARDEN and turn down the hill. On the right, framed by magnolias is QUEEN VICTORIA’S SUMMER HOUSE (H) (copied from one at Frogmore). The path leads down to the UPPER LAKE (I), usually inhabited by a gang of greedy ducks. There is a rustic bridge across it at one end - Note the mossy stone dated 1884 just before it. This was the date the lake was dug out: originally it also served a practical purpose for it could be released into the millpond to drive the farm turbine next door.

TIBETAN GARDEN

Cross the bridge and turn left along the far side, and you will come to the TIBETAN GARDEN Nearly all the plants here were collected as seed by Thomas Pakenham in Tibet in 1996 and the summerhouse, painted with dragons, is copied from a Tibetan temple. The old millstream was redirected to provide a series of waterfalls and streams

FOREST WALK

Cross the FARM ROAD below the Tibetan garden and you are now in the FOREST WALK which leads down to the LOWER LAKE. This was originally planted as an American garden (see History) and restored and replanted by Thomas Pakenham as a linear stream garden from the 1980s. The first clearing on the left has water loving plants like snakes' head fritillaries and yellow skunk cabbage. There is a giant ash tree, one of the tallest in the gardens.

CHINESE GARDEN

The second clearing on the right, is the CHINESE GARDEN with two ponds and a scarlet PAGODA. All the plants here were collected as seed by Thomas Pakenham in Yunnan. Those here are the lime-tolerant species, such as sorbus, white pine and birch. Further on where the soil changes to acid, he has planted rhododendrons, magnolias and lilies - including the giant Himalayan lily (cardiocrinum giganteum) which can grow up to 12 feet high.

GINGERBREAD HOUSE

The third clearing has some fine old trees and a doll-sized gothic summer house, the GINGERBREAD HOUSE, built in the 1990s for the owners’ grandchildren.
It is framed by two rare magnolias and there is a collection of unusual camellias beyond the stream in front.

SWAN POOL

Follow the path on through the forest to the LOWER LAKE or SWAN POOL, usually inhabited by a pair of swans. They nest here and often raise a family of cignets
There is a superb view of the castle from the VIEWING HUT (O) the far end. Continue on past this over the stile and follow the signs to the new path around the lake. At the furthest point there is a newly made VIEWING MOUND (P) for the agile to climb. Then follow the path back past the new MAGNOLIAS (Q) to rejoin the main path by the GINGERBREAD HOUSE.

VIEWING MOUND

Viewing Mound

View from the Viewing Mound

MAGNOLIA WALK

 

elcome to the Gardens at Tullynally. There are over 12 acres of garden in all, divided between walled gardens, extensive woodland gardens and 2 ornamental lakes. Much of the present layout dates from the early 1800s, but the current owners, Thomas and Valerie Pakenham have gardened here for over 50 years and added many new features. For more background history of the gardens and of the castle itself please see our History tab.

Please note that this is a perfect garden for children to explore. There is a special Children's Treasure Trail listing exciting things for them to look for throughout the gardens available in the Tearoom. We also welcome School Tours.


E-mail:info@tullynallycastle.ie Tel: 00353 (0)44 966 1856