Gortnalee House

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Address: Gortnalee House, Donaghmore, Laois, R32 C8KO, IE

In late 2007 Brendan and Hazel moved in to their newly built Passive House at Gortnalee. With a blank canvas to work on and a challenge set by Brendan, Hazel set out to design a garden that had no lawns! The area of Gortnalee is over half an acre - 0.6 acre to be precise!

Hazel recalls "Brendan and I had fallen for the site because of the sweeping view across the valley but we hadn't taken into account the difficulties of gardening on such an exposed site with the SW winds blowing almost non-stop."

Heavy clay soil and a healthy population of rabbits added to the difficulties. The first decision was to make lots of paths so that it would be possible to walk in the garden all year round. The planning and implementation of this part of the design took all of 2008 so it was early 2009 before the real planting began.

I hope you will take the time to visit the garden and see how it has progressed since then!

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