Rathmichael Lodge is one of those gardens that wins an “oh!” of pleasure when they first burst into the field of vision. Like sex appeal it’s a quality that is hard to pin down, but whatever it is Corinne and Richard Hewat’s creation has it in spades.

The garden is at its peak in June; Corrine loves roses and the garden is full of old fashioned ladies like ‘Adelaide’ , ‘Margaret Merrill’ and ‘Mme Isaac Pereire’ . Cottagey plants, like foxglove and alchemilla mollis seed happily in corners and covetable varieties - violas, delphiniums, oriental poppies, thalictrum, hemerocallis - await admiration in the borders.

Festooned in wisteria and particularly exuberant climbing roses, the house forms a backdrop to this informal cottage style garden, and a terrace provides shelter for tender treasures in troughs and pots. Surprises waiting to be discovered include a Millennium Walk leading to a gazebo, a perfectly manicured tennis court and a pair of stone dogs wearing ivy collars.

This is one of those places where you pull into the parking area out front and all you see is house. Go around the side and a beautiful, long backyard opens up before you. Perennial beds, garden structures, statuaries and roses dominate this lovely landscape. A huge climbing rose winds its way up the back of the house and it seems like a great place to sit back and relax.

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