Spring and fall are natural high points of colour and interest in Southern Ontario backyards but this Irish garden, beautifully photographed by a Dublin-based pro garden designer proves that mid-summer can be equally spectacular. I think I’ll have to get a pergola.
We amble down the meandering drive, surrounded by mature trees and meadowlands, curious cows observing our passing, a couple of the house dogs trot out aimiably to inspect us, the birdsong is intense… the charm of Country House visiting in Ireland.
We enter the courtyard to pay our fee and it is immediately clear that this is no ordinary garden visit – the hand and eye of an artist is at work, small tableaux abound.
This is Burtown House and Gardens, the home of the late Wendy Walsh, one of Ireland’s best botanical artists, her daughter Lesley Fennell, an artist, and her son James Fennell, a highly regarded photographer; a family home, still in the hands of the family that built it in the early 18th century.
The wonderful herbaceous borders lie at the rear of the house, orchestrated yet exuberant in colour – poppies, nepeta, peonies, geraniums, a feast…
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