Mount Stuart House Gardens

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Garden Category: Northern Ireland Gardens

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  • Consists of 300 acres of designed landscape around a spectacular High Victorian Gothic house with astrological designs, stained glass and marble. The secluded ‘wee garden’, the Victorian kitchen garden, the garden pavilion, Pinetum and Arboretum, Limetree Avenue and magnificent rhododendrons.

    The garden surround the 18th century house and was largely created by Edith Lady Londonderry, wife of the 7th Marquess of Londonderry, with an unrivaled collection of plants, colourful parterres and magnificent vistas. Dramatic views across Strangford Lough from the ‘Temple of the Winds’. National Collection of Dianella, Libertia and Phormium.

    A personal appraisal by Gill:

    “I looked at the formal garden around the house, but it’s evident that the woodlands are also pretty special. It’s in a great location on Strangford Lough, and is sub-tropical – I noticed a lot of eucalypts in the woods, and there are a lot of tender plants in the gardens, of really impressive size – Paris daisy, yuccas etc. The topiary (which I love anyway) is predominantly in bay around the house, but with yew in the Red Hand garden and the latter includes some modern, not yet complete topiary, echoing the themes of animals in the main garden. There is a tremendous, sunken formal garden to the side of the house with pergola walks, topiary, a great range of climbers and with 8 massive tree heathers at its stairs: I loved this and was amazed at the size of the heathers which were the biggest I’ve ever seen. To the rear of the house, which – though grand – is not on a huge scale, is a really pretty formal garden with open rooms off, all beautifully designed and with different themes: italian, spanish, peace, for a daughter etc. The planting was good, and I want to go back again. The garden statuary is also impressive and very unusual. I had read about the Noah’s Ark and was afraid it would be twee (it isn’t, charming instead) and the classical columns and heads – echoed with arched topiary in the spanish garden – are lovely. Whoever gardens there now is also to be congratulated, because it’s beautifully kept and shows signs of continuing work and design: so often this isn’t true of NT/NTS gardens. I’m told it’s the least visited NT property, but I certainly intend to go back.” Read more ….

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