I spent a wonderful 2 hours today with my wife Nicola in what I’ve coined ‘The Garden of KilmEDEN’ i.e. Mount Congreve, Old Kilmeaden Road on the outskirts of Waterford city. This garden was carefully maintained under by Ambrose Congreve, who died at the ripe old age of 104 back in May 2011. God bless him for the legacy, nay gift, he has left behind for the people of Waterford and Ireland as he bequeath the state this wonderful sanctuary in his will. Let us hope that it remains the paradise it is long into the future.
The gardens have been labelled as ‘the greatest garden in the world’ by the Horticultural Society of Massachusetts and won countless awards and accolates worldwide over the years. The Mount Congreve estate is located between Waterford city and the village of Kilmeadan and lies on approximately seventy acres of woods and gardens including a 4 acre walled garden. It runs alongside the suir valley, which has a little train service for tourists that wish to experience the beauty of the area. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have Mt. Congreve as a stop on the Suir Valley Railway.
There are around 16 miles of paths so even with a full day you would not have enough time to explore the garden fully in one visit. In our short lunch we went through the walled garden, which contains thousands of the most healthy flowers you are ever likely to see or smell. Then we took a path alongside the river through trees and rhodedendrons, which were just out of bloom.
We walked to the old estate, which is in fabulous condition and then on to the beautiful little waterfall. We stopped for a little packed lunch and then went back to the courtyard where there were some plants and snacks and coffees for sale. It was great to see the huge interest in the gardens at lunch time today and I hope that it will open 7 days a week soon and the buses start flowing to experience this floral wonder of the world.
Thank you Ambrose from all the people of Waterford and Ireland once again. May you rest in peace your work has been outstanding.