Australian garden blogger, Richard Briers, says, ‘A garden is a thing of beauty and a job forever’ – and the good news is that this is not bad news, it just means you’ll never get the sack. What works if things are not working is to stop and try again. Edith, Lady Londonderry, changed things around in the garden. If a plant didn’t grow where first placed, she would have it planted somewhere else. Hence the roses being moved up to the Dairy, where, when we have funds, new planting will take place, the Rose Garden will be restored and the Walled Garden will also be redeveloped.
As our regular visitors know, things are always changing at Mount Stewart. Our entrance gate has changed once or twice. Neil is carrying out plans for a new Fernery and a Himalayan area, the Sunk Garden’s hedges are being replaced, and sometimes a tree has to come down for safety’s sake. So, in a garden, work is never finished, and while we try to keep to Lady Edith’s diaries and ideals, sometimes things just have to be done a little differently.
In days gone by the Shamrock Garden was paved, now it is graveled and the right Red Hand was once a left.
The Gas Works complex was an integral part of the estate for about 50 or so years before it was superceded by the installation of electricity.
The urn on the Broad Walk previously stood in the east end of the Italian Garden.
The water supply for the house was at one time pumped from the lake up the hill by horsepower. The turning circle, on the rise to the left of the jetty, is now a seating area with a elevated view of the lake. In later years, a hydraulic ram did the pumping job more efficiently – perhaps the horse got cranky?