Dublin garden to open to visitors


Mornington Garden, in Dalkey, a large family friendly garden on the southside of Dublin, will open to the public for the first time in 2017. Part of the Dublin Garden Group, Dalkey is the home of Peter and Annmarie Bowring, who came to live at Mornington on the death of Peter’s parents, John and Maire.

Peter’s mother was a keen gardener, however, during her latter years she reduced the complexity of the garden, making it into an ‘Easy Care Garden’. When Peter and Annmarie took over the property, which was built in the 1930s,

Annmarie continued the maintenance of the garden until her children were older. Then her opportunity came to return to study horticulture with the RHS in Dublin and Garden Design in Dun Laoghaire.

For several years she has been adding to the garden, however she also points out that it is a garden still very much in development and evolving. Which is as it should be. She is passionate about what the garden achieves and so for the first time this year she will open it to visitors.

The garden is about one mile from the sea, but Annmarie says that the garden cannot be described as a ‘sea-side garden’. The Irish Sea is not quite as wild as the Atlantic Ocean and coming from Galway, Annmarie is very familiar with the Atlantic and more importantly Lough Corrib, which has proved a major influence in her love of the outdoors and the environment.

She has, however, introduce one design concept of the sea by using gravel and sculptural planting as a conceptual take on the seaside.

While her children were growing, Annmarie admits that the garden was always her sanctuary: “I needed to know more,” she said. “I wanted to become a better gardener. We are only passing through this world and how we garden matters. If we have the opportunity, we can make a difference, to our environment, by gardening in a more sustainable way. The journey is remarkable. I feel blessed to be able to share what I have learnt and not keep it for myself.”

Mornington is completely organic. Manure, leaf mould and compost are the staples of the garden. Trees, sculpted shrubs, herbaceous mixed borders, a vegetable and fruit garden, with hints of water, are all the components linked together to form a whole.

Annmarie points out that visitors have commented on the spiritual atmosphere of the garden. Now more visitors can enjoy the peace and calm of the garden – they can also meet the family’s Labradoodle and the chickens!

Dalkey Garden School is also based at the garden from where Annmarie runs weekly gardening classes and workshops offering advice and sharing tips.

Through teaching and in sharing her garden, Annmarie tries to encourage her philosophy of “Leave behind not footprints but Hand Prints” motivating others to garden.

We hope Annmarie will be able to share her garden and her love of gardening with her visitors and wish her every success for the coming season.

For information on Dalkey Garden School courses log onto:
For information on the Dublin Garden Group, directions to Mornington and details visit: https://www.dublingardens.com