I paid a visit to Mount Congreve Gardens this morning with the Mammy and what a glorious day to walk about the lawns and under the gnarled and twisted trees. Spring is probably the best time to go but there were still plenty of flowers to be seen and butterflies galore.
Ambrose Congreve died last year at the age of 104 on a visit to the Chelsea flower show. He left no heirs. His wish was that the gardens, which were his life work, be bequeathed to the State. The contents of the house were sold earlier this year.
The gardens cover 70 acres along the River Suir a few miles west of Waterford City and only 6 or 7 miles from Tramore. It’s a wonderful place to wander around. I fully intend to go back there with a sketchbook and some sandwiches. There is a waterfall usually~though it wasn’t in evidence today because of the dry Summer~ a Pagoda(surrounded by scaffolding at the moment), woodland paths, bright lawns and a cornucopia of flowers and plants to delight every gardeners heart.
The Suir Valley Railway passes along the river through the estate.
In the past the gardens were only opened on Thursdays 9am to 4pm but after a period in 2013 when the gardens future looked shaky the Mount Congreve is now open Thursdays to Sundays 10am to 5pm and there is a small admission charge of €5 with children under 12 free. Tours are also available. No dogs allowed.
At his 100th birthday lunch, Ambrose Congreve told his guests: “To be happy for an hour, have a glass of wine. To be happy for a day, read a book. To be happy for a week, take a wife. To be happy for ever, make a garden.” Thank you for the gardens Mr. Congreve.