As May unfolds its petals, the Carlow Garden Trail is full of vibrant colours and fragrances.

Eamonn Wall, Head Gardener

Here Eamonn Wall, Head Gardener at Duckett’s Grove Historic House and Walled Gardens showcases the spectacular blooms gracing these enchanting walled gardens in May.


Ceanothus arb. ‘Trewithen Blue’

Common name: Californian Lilac

A beautiful free-flowering ceanothus, which can be grown as a large shrub or a tree for the larger garden. In the upper walled gardens of Duckett’s Grove this beautiful ceanothus gracefully arches out from the south facing wall smothered in masses of fragrant blue flowers, making a stunning display during the months of May and June. Their beautiful flowers are irresistible to early bees and butterflies. As with all ceanothus they tend to prefer a sunny aspect sheltered from cold winds and a free draining soil. After flowering you are left with a stunning shrub, with beautiful large oval shaped dark-green leaves, which remain green all- year-round.

Height 6m (20ft) and Spread 8m (26ft).


Astrantia major ‘Star of Treasure’

Common name: Hattie’s pincushion or Masterwort

Affectingly know as Hattie’s pincushion, aptly named in describing the beautiful pincushion flowers. The dainty flowers appear in early summer in shades of greenish-white, pink, or wine, depending on the variety. These beautiful clump forming perennials are the first to flower in the long herbaceous borders at Duckett’s Grove. They are one of my favourite perennials and so easy to grow. They are not fussy and will grow practically anywhere providing the soil is not allowed dry out, so add plenty of organic matter when planting, such as rotten leaves or well-rotted manure. Astrantias are prolific self-seeding, so remove faded flowers to encourage new flowers.

Height 60cm (2ft) and Spread 30cm(1ft).


Geranium phaeum Sambor

Common name: Dusky Cranesbill

Samobor is an upright perennial, with lobes leaves bearing a striking purple blotched and nodding maroon flowers in late spring and early summer. Unlike its fellow cousins, such as Geranium ‘Rozanne’ which shouts out I’m here with striking blue flowers, geranium Sambor subtle beauty is a beautiful addition to any herbaceous borer. So, take your time walking our herbaceous borers and keep an eye for this shy dweller at Duckett’s Grove. Often, I am asked why geraniums are called Crane’s head and bill, this simply referring to the shape of the seed heads resembling the birds head and bill. Remember to remove the faded flowers to promote new flowers.

Height 60cm (2ft) and Spread 90cm(3ft).