Our Garden and Grounds

The gardens at Ashley Park are set in nearly eighty acres of mature beech woodland. The estate is maintained as a bird sanctuary for indigenous and migratory species of wildfowl. The island on the lake, Louch Ourna, with its ruined castle, provides a safe haven for breeding. The central piece to the gardens is a walled garden set with gazeboes, greenhouses and a gardener’s cottage set into the wall of the garden.

One of the features of the gardens is the number of smaller self-contained natural gardens that give the guests a choice of secluded locations to enjoy the varied flora and fauna of the property. These gardens are set around the property and vary considerably. Some are not easy to find, but are much enjoyed by the birds, including the many peacocks as they follow the sun around the house.

Apart from the Gardens and beech woodland, there are fairy forts, tree-lined drives, lakeside paths, lodges and even a small castle to explore.

The walled garden is the centrepiece to the gardens at Ashleypark. There are many features to the gardens, too many to list, but let’s start with the basic layout.

The garden faces south with a gentle fall down towards the lake. The garden is walled on all four sides by eight foot walls, with a lower wall on the south face affording views to the lake. The garden is divided into quadrants; the north east quadrant is grassed and ringed with a collection of old and rare breed apple trees. At the top is Katherine’s gazebo, built by David jnr and David snr, the former a structural engineer more used to suspension bridges, the latter a 75 year old retired naval officer. Yes, all lines are very straight. The roof is a octagonal, cubic parabolic pyramid. David Snr is doing a PhD in mathematics!

The other quadrants are given over to a spring meadow, a natural woodland and a vegetable garden and orchard.

Apart from the walled gardens, there are several other gardens around the property. The most prominent of these is the driveway garden, on show as you approach the house. Here there are a wide variety of trees and flowering shrubs, including several prized rhodedendra bushes. An are in full bloom in summer.

There used to be three greenhouses sited favourably along the north wall of the walled garden. During the period of decline of the gardens, these fell into disrepair and the two smaller frames on the eastern end of the garden collapsed completely. The largest greenhouse to the west of the garden was saved and rebuilt around the 100 year old vines which still provide sweet grapes each summer.

There are plans to renovate the other greenhouses; the bases are still intact and some of the wood framework remains. They will be complete rebuilds and involve considerable effort, but their original siting on the north wall makes them ideal places for growing new seedlings for the gardens!

There are Japanese cherry trees, monkey puzzle trees and a variety of birch, beech and cedar trees. The lawn is awash with daffodils in spring and flowering hydranga in summer. The centre piece is the tennis lawn, now a recreational space in front of the house, providing guests with a tranquil spot to take tea in summer, whilst watching over the lake. And the tennis…a hard court is in the overgrown kitchen garden to the rear of the house!

These gardens make Ashley Park an ideal location for nature lovers looking for accommodation in Nenagh.