The sunken garden at Castle Ward, County Down, lies adjacent to the stable-yard.
During the Victorian era, it was particularly elaborate.
It was a parterre.
Nuttall's dictionary neatly describes a parterre as a lay-out of flower-beds with intervening spaces to walk on.
Castle Ward's sunken garden had little or no grass at all, in fact.
Prior to acquisition by the National Trust, it was known as The Windsor Garden.
An extract from Irish Farming World, ca 1902 states:
The Windsor Garden, so called from being arranged according to a design at Windsor, is very interesting. The design is most admirably worked out of 61 beds of flowers in the flat all stocked at present with tuberous begonias, dwarf varieties of geraniums, with blue lobelia and yellow pyrethrum for bordering.The small circular pond with its statue of Neptune brandishing his trident must be a more recent addition.
On the next terrace there are several beds of roses of the choicest and latest varieties; ascending a few steps more we came across a collection of beautiful and nicely coloured begonias...ascending to the archway is a good line of Florence Court yews here so tall and stately and the admiration of visitors...to the Pinetum where there is a beautiful collection of trees and shrubs with which his lordship manifests a great interest...
|The Sunken Garden in 2013|
Prior to Castleward Opera's unfortunate demise, I occasionally picnicked there during the intervals.
Wouldn't it be marvellous if the parterre were to be restored at some future time?
There used to be a parterre at the elevated garden immediately to the rear of Florence Court House, another project for future restoration!
First published in May, 2009.