Experience the Exquisite and Exotic

Slow the world down a little and step into the beauty of Belvedere’s magnificent Walled Garden – pure joy for garden lovers and a little piece of paradise for everyone.

As soon as you enter the Belvedere Walled Garden you’ll be treated to a breath-taking panoramic view of its colourful interior – thanks to its unusual narrow, rectangular shape. The garden has all the hallmarks of a typical 19th Century pleasure garden – and is a treat for all the senses. “Not a working garden but a luxury for the unmarried Lord Marlay at that time.”

Belvedere House was recognised as a site of international significance by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in 1988 as an outstanding garden and park in Ireland. The Bureau charter was drafted by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS, 1999).

Charles Brinsley Marlay created the garden in 1850. Among the designs considered were French formalistic proposals from Ninian Niven, but ultimately a romantic formalistic parterre by Frederick HC Pantaenius was chosen – with fruit, flowers and roses planted for romance and courting wealthy widows.

Belvedere’s fourth owner, Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury, continued its development. An avid traveller, he brought back home a variety of fine specimens. With its rambler Rosa Belvedere House, specimen sequoias and herbaceous perennials – the garden is fashioned in a bygone era style. Bury added herbaceous perennials and plants of the Robinsonian era and played with the Victorian theme. In addition to the Dolomites, Asia, North Africa, and Jamaica, these plants brought back memories of his childhood spent at Dereen with his uncle Lord Lansdowne.

This is a garden hand-fashioned in a different time: old roses offer their delicate scent, and Hydrangeas bring a blaze of colour, while the garden also has a nod to the exotic, with two orchid houses.

The garden includes a Thomas Messenger-style Victorian glasshouse, with displays of exotic plants.

Some interesting details….

As part of Belvedere’s heritage values, garden planting areas are being transformed to reflect the geographical themes associated with their former owners.

The garden is currently home to a horticultural school funded by LWETB and managed by Master Gardener John Smyth.


The Arboretum

Step outside of the Walled Garden and discover 12 acres of ground featuring more of Howard-Bury’s gifts of nature. Highlights include a Dawn Red Wood, Mordina Spruce and Beeches as well as a Western Red Cedar planted in the mid-19th Century.

Ornamental trees include Sugar Maple, Japanese Cherries and Magnolias. A rare treat can be discovered at the beginning of May each year as the handkerchief and tulip trees develop their rare blooms. Belvedere also holds a European champion Nothofagus and many more rare treats.

“The House is perched on the crown of a very beautiful little hill, half surrounded with others, variegated, and melting into one another. It is one of the most singular places that is anywhere to be seen… Greater and more magnificent scenes are often met with, but nowhere a more beautiful or a more singular one.’

– Arthur Young, Writer, 1776, upon his visit to Belvedere House.