Powerscourt Greenhouse before renovation

Head Gardener’s Update with Michael Byrne

A very Happy New Year from me and all the gardeners! This week has started off very mild so it’s perfect weather for getting outdoors and moving forward with our projects for Powerscourt Gardens this January. We are delighted with the progress we are making on renovating our Victorian greenhouses.


The greenhouse before renovation

These beautiful structures have aged over time and were starting to show signs of wear and tear. They needed glass and old timbers replacing to bring them back to their former glory. We have just completed the first renovation of one of the greenhouses and are delighted with the results!


Before and After Pictures of the Greenhouses

The second greenhouse will be completed shortly. I am sure you agree that they look fantastic and I am particularly looking forward to seeing them surrounded by the roses in full bloom this summer. We hope to use the greenhouses to store tropical plants and unusual plants which will be of interest to our visitors.


The greenhouse after renovation

The gardening team are busy rejunvinating the herbaceous boder this month, completing work which began last October. We are re-planting the entire border and replacing 70% of the plants with new and interesting specimens. This is the first major overhaul of the planting along the border in 20 years and we are carrying it out to refresh the soil and help the plants to thrive better. The herbaceous border can be seen at its very best in June and July, although there it plenty of colours at other times of the year, especially in spring when the daffodils arrive. There will be some striking pink and purple colour themes along the border near the pond area with plants including Nepeta Walker’s Low (which was a very popular plant last year), underplanted with Ann Thomson geraniums. We are all looking forward to seeing these plants in bloom later this year.


Image Credit

Due to the work going on along the border, we have had the opportunity to dig out the space and plant even more tulips and daffoils! We have planted an extra 2,000 tulips and daffs along the border this year. Come April, you will be able to enjoy over 12,000 tulips in the gardens and thousands of daffodils as well. 


The winter bedding in the gardens looks very well and included red and yellow Polyanthus while the Bellus is flowering in red and white. Our Camelias are in full bud and will produce a really nice display within the next 2 weeks. Be sure to pop by the walled garden and see our display!


Lastly, while witner is not a traditional time of year for colour, is it a great time to enjoy the statuary in Powerscourt Gardens in all its glory. The starkness of the statues against the greenery of the gardens really makes them stand out, particularly on a bright winter’s day. I really recommend you to experience Powerscourt throughout the seasons as there is always something new to see. I spot something new every day I am at work here! 


Finally, i will leave you with a picture of our visit to Aras an uachtarain a few months ago. We welcomed President Higgins and his wife Sabina to Powerscourt Gardens last summer and were delighted to receive a return invitation to meet with the Head Gardener and his team there and tour of the gardens. We gave the President’s Head Gardener a Japanese Red Cedar tree that we grew ourselves from one that the Prince of Wales planted in the gardens in 1911.

Until next month!

Michael Byrne, Head Gardener at Powerscourt Gardens

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