Mount Congreve: A Garden beyond Words

There is no doubt that places one knows and loves deeply have their own special way of conversing. Mount Congreve Gardens certainly fall into that category for me and I can best describe the feeling through this short poem:


I don’t take your words
Merely as words.
Far from it.
I listen
To what makes you talk –
Whatever that is –
And me listen.
Shinkichi Takahashi
(Translated from the Japanese by Lucien Stryk and Takahashi Ikemoto) 


At present, Mount Congreve is full of colour and the Astilibes, especially, are blooming in glory:


However, what spoke loudest to me when I was there were hearts of all descriptions. I think seeing a painting ( I don’t know by whom yet!) of  the late Ambrose Congreve in the delightful little coffee shop set the tone for me.

Here was the man who had devoted so much love into developing Mount Congreve into the gardens that we enjoy today:

Ambrose Congreve
Ambrose Congreve

So, it was a walk defined by thoughts of heart, hearts, and heartfulness and one during which it seemed that Mount Congreve was speaking and listening by turn.


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.

6 thoughts on “Mount Congreve: A Garden beyond Words”

  1. I see we have something in common – looking for shapes within nature, finding pictures in our surroundings! From the bottom of my HEART – thank you for sharing!

  2. What a gorgeous garden, Jean, and all your photos are beautiful. Those flowers are stunning, especially in their abundance. It’s special, too, to have seen the painting of the man behind the beauty. Hope your weekend is just as lovely!

    1. Hi Lauren, Mount Congreve is certainly very special. I was surprised how much seeing the painting meant to me ~ as I visit the gardens weekly and have been going there for years. It certainly made me stop and think!
      I’d happily accept a weekend even half as lovely as the gardens were yesterday!

  3. The House and Gardens were left to the Irish state but not the collection of art and antiques. I was very sad to know about the “Contents Of Ireland’s ‘Big House’ Auctioned.” The sale notched up €2.5m (£2.08m). Did this money go to the State? Why didn’t Ambrose Congreve leave such a grand collection to the State? The House could have been turned into a museum… He was a passionate collector. Didn’t he have a family? Sad.

    1. I agree that it’s very sad about the house contents. I don’t know the full details but am aware that funds are required to keep the Gardens in good shape. They are not in the hands of the State yet.

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