Beyond The Garden Wall – Fota House and Garden

I am still recovering from my whirlwind trip to Fota House and Gardens and the amount of colour and great plants that I encountered while I was there! Fota is somewhere that I have always wanted to visit but mostly I have wanted to go explore the gardens and great collection of plants that are there.


Fota House and Garden has an extremely long and diverse history which makes a visit so intriguing and magical. As you walk around the house and mature grounds, you can really feel the history and magic all around you. Fota’s website has some very detailed accounts of the history of both the house and gardens, which make for a great read. It also makes you appreciate the garden and plants that much more.

The very first place I went when I arrived was the formal walled garden. I had heard so much about this part, so I was really looking forward to wandering around them. One of the best features I found in the garden was the very traditional yew hedges that create a great background for the colorful plants and beautifully segment the garden.

I was blown away with the gardens and probably spent far too much time (In my family’s eyes anyway) walking around in a daze looking at plants. The amount of colour and texture in all the beds was just incredible. I loved how more unusual plants sat so happily among the very traditional herbaceous flowers.

Once I had had my fill of plants and colour in the formal gardens, I went on to explore the rest of the grounds and the arboretum.


The minute I saw the orangery, I of course was in love with it! A precursor to  greenhouses, the orangery was used to protect tender plants at winter and of course housed tropical fruit that would never normally survive the Irish climate. I loved standing inside the room as you could imagine how it was used many years ago and people coming in to pick fruit for the house.

After this I went on to explore the rest of the grounds and had a great look around the arboretum. I don’t think you can really describe the magic that flows through you as you walk underneath the towering trees. One thing that I love the most about the grounds at Fota is how each part is unique and individual. As you enter a new area it feels as though you have been transported to a brand new garden. Yet there is still incredible unity and flows between the areas which makes the experience so enjoyable to walk between them.

This is especially true for the Lilly Pond. When I finally reached the pond it was a great reward after the long walk. Normally it would not be a long walk, as it is fairly close to the orangery, but when you get lost and distracted by trees it might take awhile! It was so worth the walk though as it was a magical place. I loved all the water lilies that were just coming into the flower and the island in the middle of the lake that was just jam packed with plants.

I am sure that I have forgotten to share so many plants with you all but when they pop into my head I will share them with you!