Mount Congreve on my Mind ~ Gatherings from Ireland #149

This week (May 24th) marked the second  anniversary  of the death of  Ambrose Congreve, aged 104, who developed the world famous Mount Congreve Gardens which are just a few miles from Waterford City.

Anyone who follows this blog will already know that Mount Congreve Gardens have a very special place in my heart, going right back to my childhood. I had been so, so looking forward to visiting them on the first Thursday in April to witness Spring in all its natural glory but , alas, they didn’t re-open as negotiations are ongoing  with the Office of Public Works to try to make Ambrose Congreve’s wish to leave the Gardens to the people of Ireland a reality.

It is hard to describe the yearning that I feel to be able to walk around Mount Congreve again. Somehow the blooming of the single rhododendron that lives in my back garden is serving as a reminder of the incredible beauty that defines Mount Congreve.

I hope with all my heart that the negotiations are brought to a satisfactory conclusion as soon as possible as it is unbearable to think of  such a jewel of Ireland ~ that exudes the very best of nature, colour and sheer passion being locked up, especially when I know it has to be way beyond stunning with that wonderful collection of rhododendrons at their peak this very day!

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

9 thoughts on “Mount Congreve on my Mind ~ Gatherings from Ireland #149”

  1. It would be a pity to close the gardens up as you say. We have a very large Rhododendron garden over here that people can visit, the colours are magnificent. Many people grow them in their yards, they are quite plentiful in Australia. Let’s hope Mount Congreve continues for all to enjoy. 🙂

    1. Thanks very much for writing across the miles. I really appreciate it. Mount Congreve is a world famous garden and the great thing about it is that it has such a range of different flowers, trees and shrubs. Truly seasonal.
      I’m very interested to hear about the rhododendrons in Australia. They grow wild in some parts of Ireland as well and even I have one in my small back garden!

  2. To my shame I’ve not heard of this property. Hopefully it’s only a matter of time. Generally though we’re fortunate in the present day that so many formerly private grand houses and gardens are accessible by the public.

    1. Oh Roy, you’ll just have to come back to Waterford and see the county in all its amazing glory. Hopefully Mount Congreve will be open and you can savour it while here.

    1. Thanks, SV, I just can’t bear the idea of it being closed for even one season. This is the most wonderful garden I know and life is too short to even miss one year as it was designed to have colour through the seasons. Maybe you’ll come and visit when it re-opens???

      1. Waterford – the huge GAP in my Irish travels – my son has promised a visit this summer so looking forward to it. I love gardens – we went to Lismore Gardens about 2 years ago in May and enjoyed the lovely walks among the spring shrubs – not many acid loving rhododendrons or azaleas as far as I recall. I have a special thing about this group of plants. Where I grew up in Donegal, the Leitrim estate had a ‘tea garden’ purely for Rhodendrons and the beautifully heady scented azaleas. My mother was a botanist and friendly with Lady Leitrim and the gardener who was from White Russia ( as opposed to Red?!) We got in there every spring and I will NEVER forget the wonderful perfume that impacted me as a small child. I have yet to experience anything similar – so perhaps your Waterford garden in 2014?

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