Trish Dromey checks out Wisteria Lodge and its grounds
The gardens at Wisteria Lodge at Cappanahane in south Limerick are so beautifully laid out and planted that it’s no surprise to learn that its owner is a professional gardener.
Niall Lynch, who is employed by JP McManus to tend the grounds of Martinstown House in Kilmallock, has clearly put a major amount of thought into creating a garden of his own.
The standout feature is a 100-foot long wisteria-covered walkway which extends from the renovated cottage across a courtyard to a garage on the other side. The timber pergola is trailed with purple-blossomed wisteria, and also has red Virginia creeper for autumn colour.
Niall says there’s something for every season: “I also have some Laura Ashley red climbing roses which bloom later in the summer and white clematis which flowers all summer long.”
The garden also has a well-planted herbaceous border, a fish pond, a summer house, formal box hedging, some vegetable plots and a courtyard with a hexagonal-shaped centre piece planted with a liquid amber tree which is set to provide a blaze of orange and red autumnal colour.
Niall bought the hundred-year-old cottage and its half-acre site 16 years ago and immediately set to work on the garden.
The next step was to create a herbaceous border along the back, planting it with a variety of perennials and flowering shrubs. Later he added variegated holly grown in pyramidal shapes as well as seating to enjoy the garden and a hammock swinging between two trees.
Niall then turned his attention to the cottage, bringing in a builder to put on a kitchen extension, build a garage, and make the other design changes Niall wanted.
He’d bought the property because of the potential of the site and because he liked the character of a small cottage with its thick stone walls and high ceilings. Redesigning and redecorating it, he wanted to keep the country cottage style but add a modern twist.
The entrance porch leads into a timber-floored sitting room which has a fireplace built with salvaged bricks and fitted with a stove. Double doors open into an extended kitchen-dining area which has modern cream units and a chandelier-style light fitting.
The cottage has two carpeted bedrooms, one on either side of the sitting room. One has a wet room while the other is a little more old world with a freestanding bath, a Belfast-style sink and gilt mirrors.
While the builder worked on the cottage, Niall worked on the garden building the 100-foot long pergola himself. He estimates that he spent a few months on the pergola while creating the garden— and putting in all the features he wanted it to have took three years.
The gravelled patio outside the kitchen which has a pond stocked with goldfish and planted with lilies was another major endeavour. It’s enclosed by neatly trimmed box hedging and in late summer-early autumn has a colour scheme mostly involving blue, red and white flowers.
Wisteria Lodge is 16 kilometres from Kilmallock and 31km from Limerick city.
Quoting a guide price of €220,000, auctioneer John Giltinane says this is a tastefully-renovated property with spectacular gardens. “Everyone who has viewed it has been hugely impressed with both the gardens and the cottage,” he said.
Niall says the mature gardens will be easy for a new owner to maintain.
A cute andaffordable cottage witha beautiful garden.