Cappanashannagh, Ballinakill, Co. Laois
The centrepiece of these gardens is the Lutyens Garden designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, and dating from 1912. A pond with turtle fountains is surrounded by a range of plants; peony, miniature Iris, Bergenia, Anemone, Hostas, Geraniums, Heuchera, and Saxifraga. Blue tones are provided by Nepeta, Aconitum, Delphinium, and Chionodoxa. These contrast nicely with the white Zantedeschia, Iberis spervirens, Anaphalis and white jasmine. The pink Rosa “Mevrouw Nathalie Nypels” gives a hedge effect and is under-planted with bluebells for spring colour. From the elliptical, sunken garden, a hidden staircase leads to a series of “rooms” which are divided by Taxus baccata hedging. One of these rooms houses old species roses and Iris from Dublin’s Botanic Gardens. Another room has Astilbes, Lilium “Brunello”, Dianthus and lupins.
A pleached lime alley planted in approximately 1906 leads from the Lutyens Garden to the Upper Terrace, where there are Alliums, wild rose, Erinus alpinus, hardy cyclamen, and Kniphofia. Nearby the Pergola has been recently planted with Hydrangeas, Wisteria, and Fuchsia. From here visitors can view the chain of three lakes below which are part of the older romantic landscape and can be accessed via the steps. A new pathway leads through beech trees down to the original drive. Along this drive visitors can admire the exterior of the partially restored Orangery, the Sham Castle and the old window. The landscape also includes the woodland of ancient oaks and beech, an obelisk, Claude’s Seat and the bath house.