Castle Ward in Bloom

The restored Windsor Garden at Castle Ward, Strangford, Co Down

The Sunken Garden at Castle Ward has gone through quite a few changes over the years. After a restoration project in late 2017 it's is now a formal showstopper which is the perfect place to relax all year round.

The Sunken Garden in its current form is due to a 2017 project primarily funded by the Ulster Garden Scheme. The project restored the area from what was a well-loved but informal space to a showstopping formal garden. Head Gardener Andy Dainty based the design of the garden on an 1864 painting by Mary Ward, so 61 parterres were installed and filled with a variety of colourful plants, designed to be viewed from above.

Mary Ward's painting of the 'Windor Garden' in 1864
A painting of the Sunken Garden by Mary Ward in 1864
Mary Ward's painting of the 'Windor Garden' in 1864

Sunken Garden in Spring

The Sunken Garden in Spring is a pastel dream, with our gardening team changing the scheme slightly each year based on their favourites from the year before.

This year find:

  • 4,000 polyanthus first,
  • 3,500 hyacinths and
  • 3,500 tulips all adding a touch of colourful drama to the space
The tulips in full bloom
The Sunken Garden at Castle Ward in spring bloom
The tulips in full bloom

The bedding will be replaced for summer in late May, and the winter bedding will be put in during autumn, so there's plenty of work for or gardeners year round to cultivate the next set of plants.

Blossoms across the estate

Further afield, visit the Rockery, spot the bright splash of colour from the rhododendrons, the beautiful varied narcissi across the estate and the mass of bluebells which appear each April and May. Keep an eye out for blossums on the trees including the blackthorn, apple trees and elder.

Spring blooms at Castle Ward
Daffodils in bloom at Castle Ward, Co Down
Spring blooms at Castle Ward