Charleville House near Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow is a large private garden that occasionally opens its doors to allow the great unwashed in.
It's close to the more famous house and gardens of Powerscourt, which overlook it from a distance.
Nowadays the property is owned by Kenneth Rohan, a property developer with an interest in fine art, so security is tight.
Entry to the estate is through large gates, with a long driveway sweeping through parkland towards the imposing Palladian mansion house, built in 1797 by the Monck family who resided there for two hundred and fifty years.
To my eye the scale of the house looks a little off, especially when viewed front on. I think the wings should have been wider to balance the height of the tall narrow pedimented breakfront. But then who am I?
Entry to the garden itself is through a gate to the left hand side of the house, which leads into an area with herbaceous borders run alongside a fenced tennis court.
I was rather taken with the Scabious, something along the lines of 'Chat Noir' or 'Chile Black' I tried them in my own garden but due to the dense planting they were a little stretched so tended to flop a bit.
Catananche, or Cupid's dart
The inky buds of this Agapanthus stood out in contrast to the lighter colour of the opened blooms.
I've never managed to establish Solanum laxum 'Album' for some reason, but I feel that there are too many plants and too little time/space to bother with it again at the minute.
Crinum x powelii does have rather unfortunate leaves, they're often untidy and prone to looking straggly and brown at the tips, however the flowers are pretty good.
Especially in the white variety 'Album', providing large scented blooms from midsummer onwards.
Humps of Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula'.
The invasive Persicaria campanulata running for its life in every direction, but yet contained behind a low box hedge, I do wonder if there is some form of root barrier preventing its spread forwards?
I know, I know, I'll stop, after this one.
Love me a Crocosmia
Now Heleniums I just can't get onto. I try, I know I should like them with their russet and red hues, but there's just something a bit, you know, Meh, about them.
Oops, how'd that picture get in here.
Dwarf sunflowers, Why? They defeat the purpose of a sunflower surely?
Persicarias a plenty.
Lovely foliage on Ficus carica
A swathe of Darmera peltata
and Rogersias, a group of plants that I'm warming to. I mean they tick all the boxes for the exotic garden: Large, exotic, lush, architectural, colourful (given the correct varietal choice)
Check to all of the above.
Then we came upon something completely unexpected through a gap in a hedge, a circle of lawn surrounded by a sea of green Hachenochloa
A venerable old apple tree was smothered with mistletoe
It was quite a sight, though I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for the poor tree carrying such a weight.
The visiting group heading towards the glasshouse.
Some local wildlife.
An enormous pot, partially hidden among the trees, someone may have climbed inside, I'm not mentioning any names.