The Carlow Garden Trail features many different types of gardens and parks including great old gardens that have been lovingly restored and maintained throughout the years, and smaller gardens which are maturing beautifully with time. Award winning garden centres and forest parks complement the joy of a visit here.

Altamont Gardens

Tullow, Co. Carlow
t: 059- 9159444
f: 059-9159510
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w: www.heritageireland.ie

Widely respected as the jewel in Ireland’s gardening crown, Altamont Gardens are an enchanting blend of formal and informal gardens with riverside walks covering over 40 acres. The estate gains much of its character from the many mature trees, both natives in the avenues and woodland areas, and exotic specimens throughout the gardens. Lawns bisected by sculpted yews slope down to a lake surrounded by rare trees and rhododendrons and lead in turn to a very different garden featuring exotic shrubs and trees. A fascinating walk through the Arboretum, Bog Garden and Ice Age Glen with its canopy of ancient oaks and huge stone outcrops leads the visitor to the River Slaney. When Corona North, who lovingly cared for the gardens for over 50 years died in 1999, the gardens were left to the State at her request. Ongoing restoration and maintenance continues under the OPW.

Altamont is a great experience at any time of year starting in spring with the wonderful snowdrop collection and moving on to daffodils and other spring bulbs. Rhododendrons, azaleas and later on the rose collection is in full bloom in mid-summer, followed by contrasting autumnal colours and the beautiful silhouettes of the mighty trees in mid-winter.

Altamont Plant Sales - The Walled Garden @ Altamont, Altamont Gardens

t: 087-9822135
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w: www.carlowtourism.com/gardens.html

An unmissable highlight of a visit to Altamont Gardens is the Walled Garden situated within the grounds of the estate and run privately by gardener and nursery man Robert Miller. The area consists primarily of the Corona North Commemorative Border planted to honour the late Corona, owner of Altamont.

Each border has its own individual theme and colour from striking reds to cool white and blues, romantic pinks and warm yellow glows. The scent of lavender fills the air over the summer months. The borders are planted mainly with herbaceous perennials with roses and trees, some with a fascinating history. Other items of interest include the living willow tunnel, 200 year old Medler tree and the composting area. If you would like to pick up a little piece of Irish gardening history then Altamont Plant Sales, located within the borders, is the place to head where many of the plants grown in the border and throughout the gardens at Altamont can be purchased. A visit is a must during snowdrop time in spring, summer and early autumn.

Ashlawn Garden Centre, Donore, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow

t: 059-9721175
f: 059-9721175
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w: www.carlowtourism.com/gardens.html

Conveniently situated close to the town of Bagenalstown in an open country setting. Ashlawn Garden Centre is a family run business where excellent service and advice is on hand in a friendly and informative manner. Our plants are our pride and joy and there is something for everyone here, catering for the expert gardener to the complete novice with specially selected ranges to suit different needs and budgets. Ashlawn Garden Centre offers a wide range of healthy trees, shrubs, roses and perennials at outstandingly good value while the garden shop stocks a large selection of terracotta, plastic pots, window boxes, oak barrels, hanging baskets, brackets, sprays and fertilisers. A new range of water fountains, bird baths, lights and all sizes in garden sheds are now available. We will willingly source any type of plant but we have a range of unusual shrubs and trees second to none in stock.

Arboretum Lifestyle & Garden Centre

Kilkenny Road (N9), Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow
t: 059-9721558
f: 059-9721642
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w. www.arboretum.ie

Commitment to excellent customer service, quality products, unbeatable choice and value for money has earned Arboretum Lifestyle & Garden Centre the coveted title of Bord Bia National Garden Centre of the Year for an unprecedented fourth consecutive year and All Ireland Garden Centre of the Year in 2006.

Arboretum Lifestyle and Garden Centre is far more than a place for the gardening enthusiast. It’s an entire shopping experience: a place to savour the myriad of interesting items dotted throughout the store. Spacious and well laid out, the centre guides visitors through elegant displays of garden furnishing, pot plants, outdoor plants, an extensive gift section, hand crafted furniture and lots more. An entire day can be devoted to the visit, wandering through the fantastic range of items available, seeking expert advice from friendly staff or enjoying a delicious meal or cup of coffee in the tranquil setting of Mulberry’s Restaurant. Year round the centre is a delight to visit reflecting the changing seasons of the gardeners’ world.

On site the Arboretum Retail Park features individual complimentary units – the Natural Stone Centre & Pat Coughlan Garden Equipment – while a Pets & Aquatics Shop covering over 330 sq. metres offers a variety of tropical fish, rabbits and hamsters and foods, toys and treats for animals.

Delta Garden Centre and Sensory Gardens

Strawhall Industrial Estate, Carlow
t: 059-9143527
f: 059-9130280
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w: www.deltacentre.org

The Delta Centre runs a very busy garden centre with a wide range of shrubs and plants for sale. They also stock hanging baskets and window boxes and a range of garden accessories which include garden ornaments and fountains. Whatever the season you will find suitable plants – bulbs for spring and autumn flowering, bedding plants in summer, herbaceous perennials and of course shrubs for all year round interest. Expert horticultural advice is on hand from highly qualified and friendly staff.

Delta Sensory Gardens are an ambitious new project, consisting of a series of interconnecting gardens of a multi-sensory nature covering 2.5 acres. The first of their kind in Ireland they combine the attraction of a tourist facility with a therapeutic focus and benefit, for people of all abilities. A combination of both formal and informal landscapes allow visitors to meander round at will, watch splashing fountains and waterfalls, enjoy herbs and perfumed plants, many in raised beds (suitable for access by wheelchair), watch fish, reflect on sculptures or simply sit around and enjoy flowers and foliage. The gardens include a water and woodland garden, a sculpture garden, a heather and conifer garden, a musical garden and a formal rose garden amongst others.

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