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Garden in Belfast

Part of a large garden in Belfast designed by Howbert and Mays

This is a garden which wraps around a large modern house, set in 12 acres, just outside Belfast. The aim of the planting was to soften the junction between house and 'the big wide world' and to ground it in a sea of ever-changing colours and textures. We remain involved with this job, and visit twice per year to for intensive days of pruning, weeding and re-jigging.

The house was designed by architects Fitzpatrick and Mays (www.fitzpatrickmays.ie) - Sam Mays being brother to Tig Mays, proprietor of this website. Early parts of the garden were laid out by Verney Naylor, but the house was substantially expanded and we were asked to design and execute planting for the new areas.

Belfast house before planting

Belfast garden hedge viburnum

We created a sweeping 'arm' of Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price' to enclose an area at the side of the house. This new enclosed area was looked out onto from the main bedroom of the house. We wanted to create a sense of privacy and enclosure here, as there are mature woods around the edge of the garden.

Belfast Viburnum tinus hedge

Shortly after planting:plants are not yet filled in and bark mulch has to keep down weeds and retain moisture in the soil.


Belfast pebble mosaic

A mosaic made from black and white beach  pebbles, surrounded by Geranium macrorrhizum. The centre is planted with a Magnolia and Cyclamen.

Belfast hebaceous planting

Brunnera macrophylla and Euphorbia grifithii 'Fireglow'. The small clipped hedge in the foreground is Luma apiculata 'Glanleam Gold'

Belfast house and garden

Growing in - by the third year the garden is well established.

Belfast bamboo and garden


Lysimachia Belfast

Lysimachia clethroides - a wonderful, vigorous plant that attracts masses of butterflies.

Belfast sorbus aucuparia berries

At the side of the garden, in a cluster outside the main bedroom, is a small grove of Sorbus aucuparia (Mountain ash) - the berries are ideal food for birds.

Belfast house and garden two yeras into new planting

The house settling into its new garden, 2009.