The Ornamental Garden

Few traces remain of the original 18th gardens but in the period 1840 to 1950 three generations of the family were keen and knowledgeable gardeners. The 1838 Ordnance Survey map shows the propagating house, the orangery, diagonal paths, and an orchard outside. By the 1870s the orangery had gone, and had been replaced with glass houses and a new heating system. Some of the cut stone from the orangery was used in the building of the great rockery. However the the most significant change was the building of the cross wall dividing the the garden into the ornamental garden and the vegetable garden with a rustic stone archway connecting them.

After 1950 the gardens fell into decline, and the last head gardener died in 1965. Although the family tried to keep the gardens going it was not possible to do very much. The gates finally closed sometime in the 1970s. It was not until the Great Gardens of Ireland Restoration Programme was launched in 1995 that the decision was taken to work again in the gardens. By that time the ornamental garden was overgrown with brambles and other weeds, sapling ash and sycamore, and was well past the stage of being a romantic¬† ‘hidden treasure’ as it was once described by a visitor.

After three years of hard work the garden was officially opened to the public in 1999. More remains to be done, and it was not possible, for financial reasons, to rebuild the glass houses but the garden looks well and much as it did in the early years of the last century.

The Enniscoe Garden was restored under the Great Gardens of Ireland Programme and is open to the public from April to the end of October each year.

ornimental garden 2