THE owners of Fruitlawn Garden in Abbeyleix will be hosting an open weekend on Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15 from 10am to 5pm each day.
As well as being able to wander around the garden and enjoy the summer blooms, people can also enjoy food from the Gallic Kitchen who will be serving lunch on the lawn. There will also be a tea and coffee stand as well as a variety of other stands selling plants and garden related items.
Fruitlawn Garden is owned by garden designer Arthur Shackelton and artist Carol Booth. Created 10 years ago, the garden covers approximately one acre within a walled in setting. The garden has a formal layout with paths, hedges and a hornbeam tunnel dividing it across the middle. The different spaces in the garden include large perennial borders which have a mass of changing colour and texture throughout the summer.
There is also an Oak copse under-planted with lots of spring bulbs, a fruit and vegetable garden area, which includes more unusual plants like seakale, asparagus, blue potatoes and wineberries. A small orchard is set in a wildflower meadow.
A small formal pool, a yew-hedged recreation space and many unusual and beautiful wall plants complete the picture. The plants in the garden include many rare and special varieties collected over the years from some of Ireland’s best gardens. Many of these are for sale in the garden.
Within the formal layout, hundreds of perennial plants self-seed freely giving the garden a relaxed and informal feel. These include: Agapanthus, Aquilegas, Campanulas, Geraniums, Oenotheras and Eryngiums.
Arthur Shackelton’s family were Quakers who set up a flour milling business in Ballitore in 1776 as well as a famous school where Edmund Burke amongst others attended. Arthur was brought up near Lucan in Dublin where his family had the last family owned mill. There have always been keen gardeners in the Shackelton family,as Arthur’s great aunt Lydia worked for the National Botanic Gardens as a botanical illustrator. As well as this, well known explorer Ernest is a cousin.
Arthur himself is a garden designer with extensive experience, having worked around the country for the past 30 years. Admission to the open day is €5 and children go free. For more information visit Fruitlawn Garden on Facebook.