independent

Thursday 27 July 2017

Diamond shapes forever at Colclough

The geometric garden project at Colclough Gardens
The geometric garden project at Colclough Gardens

David Looby

Colclough Walled Garden at Tintern Abbey has unveiled a stunning geometric (diamond shaped) garden.

The gardens have been under restoration for seven years. A geophysical survey (Magnetometer Survey and Earth Resistance Survey) was undertaken in July 2016, supervised by Archaeologist Catherine McLoughlin and conducted by Earthsound Archaeological Geophysics Ltd. This investigation discovered diamond shaped flowerbeds, which were reinstated in January 2017.

Soil analysis by Dr Patrick Forrestal, a research scientist at Johnstown Castle and pollen analysis by Dr Karen Molly of the Palaeoenvironmental Research Unit, National University of Ireland, Galway uncovered how the diamond shaped flowerbeds were cut out of the lawn without hedging.

Colclough Head gardener Alan Ryan said the style of planting most suited considering all the available evidence was geometric gardenesque. Alan said: 'Under the rules of this style, three plant species generating only three colours, red, yellow and blue had to be selected.'

Alan consulted with garden experts, Frances and Iain MacDonald who had worked in the National Botanic Gardens (Dublin) and Kew Gardens (London). Michael Paget from Glebe Nurseries, Mulrankin, Bridgetown propagated 10,000 plants to create the design and delivered them to Colclough Walled Garden on May 23 where the Colclough gardeners spent three weeks planting them for all to enjoy.

The gardens were restored by volunteers organised by Hook Tourism and opened to the public in 2012. Located adjacent to the OPW managed Tintern Abbey located in Saltmills, the walled garden was built by Caesar Colclough over 200 years ago before 1814. Colclough Walled Garden is open every day of the year from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission charges are €5 for adults, a reduced rate of €3 and accompanied under 14 - free admission.

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