Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Herb Gardens at Kilgraney House, County Carlow, Ireland

Herb Gardens at Kilgraney House, Borris Road, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow t: 059-9775283Kilgraney takes it's name from the Irish 'cill greine' which means 'sunny wood'. These wooded and seculed grounds overlook the tranquil Barrow valley and are situated halfway between Carlow Town and Kilkenny City.

Consisting of a series of interconnecting herbal gardens there is a large kitchen garden, a tea walk, a medicinal herb courtyard, a medieval monastic herb garden and a garden of aromatic and fragrant herbs.

The enclosed kitchen garden supplies the guesthouse with fruit, vegetables and herbs and has been run on organic lines for almost ten years. It consists of gravel paths and eleven raised timber beds of varying sizes grouped to form a modern rectangular 'potanger'. Here you will find unusual leafy plants such as mibuna, mizuna and komatsyna amongst more traditional salad varieties. Next to the kitchen garden is the tea walk, a short gravel path lined on one side with plants suitable for infusions and herbal teas. The medicinal garden, set in a granite courtyard, consists of nine raised beds in Irish oak timber. Each bed is planted with herbs suitable for treating a particular part of the body. In a lower courtyard you will find an aromatic garden planted with herbs for fragrance and also for their usefulness in cosmetic preparations. In an adjoining courtyard there is a modern interpretation of a medieval monastic herb garden with four oak raised beds surrounded on two sides by an oak timber cloister. Finally, a circular cosmic garden helps to explain and facilitate our understanding of the ancient belief that there is a connection between people, plants, planets and constellations.

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