Patthana is an award winning village garden and is home to T.J. Maher and Simon Kirby, in Kiltegan, County Wicklow. The garden comprises of a lower cobbled courtyard with its Potting shed and a sunken meditation room leading to the main courtyard with a small wildlife pond. Both these areas house an extensive collection of plants from the hardy to the tender and exotic. Circular granite steps lead to the upper terrace garden with its borders of herbaceous perennials, annuals and unusual shrubs and trees such as Euonymus Planipes and Cercidiphyllum Japonicum ‘Heronswood Globe’. Patthana is gardened organically with many plants chosen for their attraction to wildlife. In 2020, the garden was expanded following the purchase of adjoining land and a new exciting garden called the 'Torc' garden was created and opened to the public in 2021.
Patthana Garden on
BBC Gardeners' World
(Winter Special 2021)
In the summer of 2021 we were privileged to have the Gardeners' World team come to film the garden and here is the result which was aired on December 17th 2021.
The Story of Patthana Garden, County Wicklow
“Situated in Kiltegan village, Patthana is one of the best small secret gardens in the country. It is the garden of an artist, the painter T.J. Maher, and it shows. Standing outside the old granite house, one gets no indication at all of the magical courtyard garden that lies behind the wooden gates. There are so many distractions here. Each time one looks in a certain direction something unnoticed only a little while before becomes apparent. Patthana is a garden I wish I had created.” - The 100 Best Gardens in Ireland by Shirley Lanigan (2011)
Patthana Garden, Wicklow has been developed over 20 years after the owners T.J. Maher and Simon Kirby bought the property. The garden was neglected and other than the boundary hedgerow it was a blank canvas for the artist T.J. Maher to explore his gardening creativity.
Creating a sustainable, organic and wildlife garden was a fundamental ethos of the garden and one of the first additions to the garden was the wildlife pond......
Things to Do at Patthana Garden, County Wicklow
OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC
Garden in Wicklow
The garden is open to the general public from noon to 5 pm every Sunday from the the 24th of April until the 1st Sunday of October. On the 1st Sunday of every month at 2 pm T.J. will give a Garden talk on various seasonal topics - No appointments are necessary for the talk and this is included in the entry fee.
Patthana Garden is also open to groups by appointment during the garden season, minimum 5 person. T.J. will provide a private tour of the garden and groups can avail of tea, coffee and homemade desserts or lunch served on vintage china in the Dining room.
PATTHANA GARDEN COURSE
Garden Course in Wicklow
On this inspirational nine month course running March to November (consisting of one 4 hour class per month), you will join artist and creator of Patthana Garden T.J. Maher to learn about topics such as how to use colour creatively in the garden, selecting plants for maximum interest and impact, propagation techniques, garden design, creating borders and fabulous pot displays, attracting wildlife, choosing the right plant for the right place, among numerous other topics. The Patthana Garden Course offers a unique opportunity to witness Patthana Garden as it changes through the year.
If you have any questions, would like to arrange for your group to see the garden by private appointment or would like to have T.J. to give a presentation to your garden or horticultural group
please feel free to CONTACT ME.
The new 'Torc' Garden at Patthana Garden
Work in the new Torc garden commenced in 2020 after the purchase of agricultural land adjoining the existing garden. The new garden is designed to take advantage of the view of the nearby church and consists of two huge borders with wraparound pathways that lead the viewer on a journey of colour, exciting plant combinations and a connection to insects in a garden that is both dynamic and engaging.
The torc itself is a mound of sculpted earth laid out in the shape of a Torc which is a Celtic neck ornament, open at one end. Once inside the Torc shape the visitor is immersed in an experience of plants and insects, scent and colour, the Torc itself wrapping around the visitor like a hug. It is an area designed to connect with self and nature, the two entwined and one.
Like the existing inner garden, the new Torc garden has been created without the use of chemicals, carefully respecting nature and the spirit of the land itself. The areas converted to borders and pathways were marked out in situ in the existing pasture, and then with the use of a mini digger carefully turning the topsoil, essentially turning the sod over and burying the existing top layer of grasses and other plants. The months that followed were months of hand picking and hoeing all the little juvenile plants like docks and nettles that were part of the seed bank in the soil waiting for their time to germinate. Over the next few summer months seedlings appeared and were removed. Less and less of these plants germinated and as they did, they were weeded out, and by the autumn the exciting part could commence, the planting.
In Late summer 2021 work commenced on creating a meadow at the rear of the Torc, with the intention being of working with what was already there; an area of pasture that had in it a selection of grasses and some wildflowers, even Cardamine pratensis, or Lady’s smock. This new meadow at the time of writing is cut short like a lawn and many plug plants of native and non-native plants have been planted, lots of bulbs and seeds of yellow rattle to help weaken the grass species. Next year will see its first season as a meadow that is not a traditional meadow but a reimagined one, a marriage between the creativity of the gardener and the intentions of mother nature.
The rest is an evolving story waiting to be told....