Hardymount Garden in Autumn

I visited Hardymount Garden in Autumn. My Irish friends told me about this garden many times, emphasizing that it is one of the most beautiful private gardens that can be seen in County Carlow.

The best time to visit the gardens is May, June, July, and August, and during this period the Hardymount garden is open to visitors. The garden is open to visitors from May to August, every Sunday, Bank Holiday bank holidays, and during the annual Carlow Garden Festival, but it turns out that it is also open in Autumn.

The first time I visited Hardymount Garden was in July 2017.

The owner and mentor of Hardymount Garden is Mrs. Sheila Reeves Smyth. 

89-year-old woman who does all the work in the garden and does it herself. This is what the Hardymount garden is known for.

“Welcome to my garden”, says the sign on the main gate and we already know that we are in a friendly and pleasant place.

At first impression, Hardymount Garden immediately reminds Altamont Gardens, although it is definitely smaller. However, it has similar but its own charm. After entering, we see a walled garden and a house from 1730. Especially the house is quite similar to the house in Altamont Gardens, fortunately, the one in Hardymount is in good condition and is inhabited by the owner and her dog.

Just behind the gate, a huge tree stretches out in front of the house.

It is one of the largest Spanish chestnut trees that can be found in Ireland. 

One of the finest examples of chestnut edible, over two hundred and fifty years old.

Hardymount Garden covers 3.5 hectares, including lawns and shrubs surrounded by beech and oak trees, including the above-mentioned chestnut tree.

Then we have a romantic home, entwined with plants and wild roses. At the back of the house is a garden containing an amazing amount of unusual plants and flowers in all colors. The number of flowers and colors is stunning. Everything is in full swing.

Each path in the garden reveals something new. Among the plants and flowers are sculptures, statues, and benches. There is also a pond with lilies and fish. There are fruit trees, a vegetable garden, a gazebo, and a summer house.

The whole makes a great impression. Full of relaxation and rest. You can see that it is a private garden, informal, a bit wild and it is not all fanciful here. Garden Hardymount is well-groomed but not overly well-groomed. A huge admiration for the 89-year-old owner for the work and effort put into maintaining the entire garden.

Each year, Hardymount Garden participates in the Carlow County Garden Festival and is highly praised by gardening experts.

Opening hours: 14:00 – 18:00. Admission to the garden is payable: 5 euros per person. This symbolic fee is transferred to help in cancer research. To visit the garden in larger groups you have to make an appointment in advance. The garden is adapted for the disabled and has a parking lot.

How to get there: From Dublin – through the town of Tullow to the Bunclody N81. Turn right after the Topaz gas station, on the outskirts of the city. Turn right at the next intersection, Hardymount is 550 meters on the right.

Location of Hardymount Garden:

My second visit to Hardymount Garden was in October 2018 and below are photos of how Hardymount Garden looks during Autumn.


Blogger. Volunteer. Enthusiast of photography, nature, architecture, and cultural events. Since 2014 living in County Carlow in Ireland.

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