Northern Ireland is as famous in the world of roses as it once was for linen and shipbuilding. The DARD Rose Garden formally marks this and celebrates forty years of the Department working closely with the Rose Society of Northern Ireland and awarding a prize for the best Floribunda (Cluster Flowered), Rose in the International Rose Trials that are held in Belfast each year. The design of the garden is loosely based on a rose shape. This concept allows for modular extension as further varieties are added in the coming years. Paths are laid in bright clay paviors that will retain their colour as time passes. A central decorative metal structure with matching arches and a series of metal obelisks has been added to add height and interest throughout the year but especially in winter.
WALLED GARDEN HISTORY
From medieval times, walled gardens were built to provide an encouraging microclimate for fruit, vegetable and flower growth. The keystone above the arch in the Walled Garden at Greenmount is dated 1801. It took large numbers of highly skilled gardeners to staff this type of garden and due to this, most fell into dereliction at the beginning of the 20th Century.
Greenmount was founded in 1912 and from the start students were trained in Horticulture in its Walled Garden, providing enough manpower to keep it in full production until the late 80’s. It became an area of training and display for amenity horticulture students reflecting the increased interest in the field.
The Walled Garden was redeveloped for the millennium and was one of the largest private/public sector initiatives to happen in Northern Ireland. Greenmount designed the garden, provided the site, technical expertise and labour. Richardsons Fertiliser supported the project financially.
The garden has a dramatic, formal framework with softer planting within. Features include a curvilinear style conservatory, a bronze sculpture, fountain and cascade. Intricate Celtic knot gardens and a small maze throw a wonderful contrast to the colourful mixed boarders and rose beds. Pleached lime trees, formal yew hedges and a large trellis clad pergola contrast the informal potager planting of fruit and vegetables amongst ornamentals.www.cafre.ac.uk