Recently I had the pleasure of venturing out on a trip with a friend to the beautiful Bellefield house and gardens, located close to Birr in County Offaly. We arrived around noon, in the brilliant spring sunshine to a world quite far removed from our home County’s of Mayo and North West Roscommon. Bees and bumblebees were buzzing around, the birds were singing in all the trees and the ground was carpeted in exquisite snowdrops and cyclamen.
The walled garden has been lovingly restored by designer Angela Jupe, and boasts over 100 varieties of snowdrops. We walked around slowly, taking in the paths with classic clipped box balls at the intersections, the beautiful old trees and a large collection of hellebores, flowering all around us.
Some beautiful striking blue irises tinkled up at us, planted amongst other groundcover plants.
In the middle of the garden stands the folly with its old windows and whimsical decorations. We particularly liked the incorporation of the many recycled components in the garden, making it sustainable and giving it an air of days gone by.
We walked down some steps towards a paved area with long borders flanking a pond and a large glasshouse that sits at the far end. This part of the garden is partitioned off by a beautiful and immaculately clipped yew hedge.
We could only imagine how beautiful this area must be later in the year, with climbers all across the old walls and the many perennial plants and grasses.We admired the beautiful red gates leading into this part of the lands.
We strolled around the whole garden once more and admired the many witch hazels (hamamelis), violas and ferns. Everything was much further along than back home in our own gardens and we think this is probably because of the enclosed space but also the fact that we had journeyed quite a bit to the south in the country. It felt as though the two hour’s drive had removed us to a completely different time of the year. For a while we were basking in the still warm spring air and it was a beautiful feeling.
Venturing out of the walled garden, we walked around the main house and moved on to a woodland area close by. Here the ground was carpeted in more exquisite spring blossoms and bumble bees were buzzing around us, but sadly we did not manage to catch any of them on camera.
We came away from the garden feeling inspired, filled with a promise of spring and ready to tackle our own garden tasks with renewed vigour. It is always lovely to visit someone else’s garden and get a glimpse into that person’s vision and imagination. In this case we can truly recommend a visit as Angela Jupe has transformed the old place into something truly stunning. We know we will be back later in the year when the garden is open to visitors on a regular basis.
You can read more about Angela Jupe and Bellefield house, garden and cottages HERE on their website.