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MOUNT STEWART

Partner Garden
Free access for RHS members at selected times

Portaferry Road
Newtownards
BT22 2AD

East of Belfast on A20.

70 acres

Tel
028 4278 8387

Visit website

Opening Hours

Daily (except 25 & 26 Dec), 10am–4pm, winter; 10am–4.30pm, summer.

Admission

Non member adult £11; child £5.50; family £27.50; family one adult £16.50.

RHS members

Free access (Member 1 only) - applies when open.

Facilities

  • Accessible facilities
  • Accessible garden
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children’s play area
  • Children's activities
  • Dogs welcome
  • Free carer entry
  • Gift shop
  • Group rates
  • Parking
  • Picnic area
  • Plant sales
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets

Features

  • Arboretum
  • Autumn colour
  • Colour themed borders
  • Cottage planting
  • Herbaceous border
  • Mediterranean/Italian garden
  • National Plant Collections
  • Organic management
  • Pond or lake
  • Sculpture
  • Sub-tropical garden
  • Water garden
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Wildlife planting and features
  • Winter garden
  • Woodland

About the garden

Owned by
Jon Kerr (General Manager)

Mount Stewart lies on the sheltered Western shore of Strangford Lough, just south-east of Belfast. Surrounded by sea water warmed by the Gulf Stream, Mount Stewart enjoys a very favourable microclimate especially for those plants from the Mediterranean climate zones of the world.

The recently restored house and formal gardens are redolent with rich allegory and stories of Greek and Celtic mythology, all from the imagination of one extraordinary woman, Edith, Lady Londonderry. Laid out in the early 1920s on an ambitious scale, there are some 70 acres to explore. Because of the mild conditions, even a visit in the depth of winter will reward the visitor with much that is in flower.

Edith was drawn to scented flowering plants and today Mount Stewart is a delight for all the senses. Tender rhododendrons, many of them scented, oriental lilies and scented roses predominate, but with so much more besides. Edith loved to experiment with the latest introductions, sponsoring a range of botanical explorers, including famous names, such as George Forrest and Frank Kingdon-Ward.

We continue this excitement to the present day and the collection at Mount Stewart is burgeoning. South African plants such as proteas and Cussonia are being grown like they can be found in the wild, growing out of rock faces and epiphytic, often scented rhododendrons from the Maddenia section are grown in logs and in trees just as they might in the wild.

Tree ferns abound in some of the more sheltered, wetter areas as does a collection of the large-leaved Araliaceae. Planting is bold and luxuriant at Mount Stewart. Colours are strong and often used in harsh contrasts, but this suits the character of the garden’s indomitable creator. One such example is the newly restored Rose Garden, where scent and strong colours vie for pre-eminence.

Plants of special interest

  • Agapanthus
  • Alliums
  • Alpines
  • Asters
  • Autumn bulbs
  • Begonias
  • Bluebells
  • Cacti & succulents
  • Camellias
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Clematis
  • Conifers
  • Cornus (for winter stems or spring bracts)
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodils
  • Dahlias
  • Delphiniums
  • Ferns
  • Fruit blossom
  • Fuchsias
  • Grasses
  • Heathers
  • Hellebores
  • Herbs
  • Hostas
  • Irises
  • Laburnum
  • Lavender
  • Lilies
  • Magnolias
  • Maple
  • Meconopsis
  • Orchids
  • Primulas
  • Rhododendrons/azaleas
  • Roses
  • Shade-loving plants
  • Snowdrops
  • Spring bulbs
  • Sweet peas
  • Topiary
  • Waterlilies
  • Wildflowers
  • Wisteria

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.