This Blackrock bungalow proves that you can create more space without extending
This Blackrock bungalow proves that you can create more space without extending

Megan Burns

The new COS x Tabata Shibori collection epitomises laid-back summer dressing
The new COS x Tabata Shibori collection epitomises laid-back summer dressing

Sarah Finnan

Polynucleotides: everything to know about the ‘salmon sperm’ injectables
Polynucleotides: everything to know about the ‘salmon sperm’ injectables

Lizzie Gore-Grimes

Ask the Doctor: ‘Can a child with chickenpox spread shingles to elderly family members?’
Ask the Doctor: ‘Can a child with chickenpox spread shingles to elderly family members?’

Sarah Gill

Celebrate 30 years of Barretstown at their special gala this September
Celebrate 30 years of Barretstown at their special gala this September

IMAGE

Garden accessories to blend your indoor and outdoor spaces this summer
Garden accessories to blend your indoor and outdoor spaces this summer

Megan Burns

This six-bedroom home with a ‘a Christmas tree forest’ is on the market for €1.25 million
This six-bedroom home with a ‘a Christmas tree forest’ is on the market for €1.25...

Sarah Finnan

This Howth home has been given a bright, airy refurb
This Howth home has been given a bright, airy refurb

Megan Burns

A seafront Skerries home has been given a luxe update with rich colours and hotel-inspired details
A seafront Skerries home has been given a luxe update with rich colours and hotel-inspired...

Megan Burns

A stylist’s guide to chic beach cover-ups
A stylist’s guide to chic beach cover-ups

Sinead Keenan

Image / Editorial

The golden rules of garden design, courtesy of this secret garden in Kildare


By IMAGE Interiors & Living
11th Jun 2020
The golden rules of garden design, courtesy of this secret garden in Kildare
See More Photos

Award-winning garden designer Mark Grehan of The Garden at Powerscourt Townhouse Centre takes us on an exclusive guided tour of a serene secret garden in the Kildare countryside.


You’ve probably walked up the front steps into Powerscourt Townhouse on South William Street in Dublin and wondered if you’ve entered into Narnia. Mark’s Grehan’s The Garden is like a little floral forest, littering the floors and tables are whimsical bouquets of vivid colour, contrasting against the selection of textured potted plants and the high-ceilings of the Georgian building.

Mark is also a talented garden designer. Here, we visit one of his more secluded garden projects in Kildare, which has become one of his favourites and find out his golden rules of garden design.

 

The Garden

THE SITE A large Kildare garden with a shady front area and sunny rear space, leading to a lake and the countryside beyond.

THE BRIEF The owner wanted a garden which looked natural and not too formal, with a continuous show of colour and interest.

THE DESIGN A huge part of the garden’s design was the borrowed landscape. For instance, the row of beech actually belongs to the neighbouring property. The garden seamlessly melds into the surrounding landscape, with breathtaking views across a lake into meadows and deciduous woodland beyond.

THE PLANTS Mark worked with the existing plants and trees, and took out some old trees and shrubs to open the views. The beds were designed to flow organically and lend an air of informality to the garden.

 

Mark’s golden garden rules…

Plant in layers for all-year-round interest, and mix textures.

Use your eye to arrange plantings as though composing a bouquet for the house.

Don’t be put off by dry-shade plants – Epimedium, some dry-loving ferns and Sanguisorba officinalis work well in dry shade.

If your neighbour has good trees and large shrubs, “borrow” their garden by planting so as to make the boundaries invisible.

Create plenty of spots for sitting in the shade or the sunshine to contemplate the garden by placing seating around the space – no matter how small the spot, you can usually fit a chair or two.

Take out lower branches of trees and shrubs to expose interesting or smart coloured bark.

Create a vertical element to the garden by using sculptural pieces of wood, steel or statuary.

Words Vandra Costello Photography Éadaoin Ryan


Read more: Here’s how to create a retro-inspired rockery garden

Read more: These are the best bee-friendly flowers to plant right now

Read more: Our favourite outdoor furniture brands for every budget