Sun House in Boyce's Gardens

Excerpts from Article in Irish Garden Magazine - July 2004 by Peter Whyte.

How could you create a superb prize-winning garden around a bungalow on a 1-acre plot with difficult soil, the remains of old houses and severe exposure? Phyl and Dick Boyce have done just that.

Tender exotics flourish wherever enough shelter can be found. Their range is immense, from drought-tolerant Mediterranean plants to rarities seldom found outside humid Gulf Stream gardens.

The Boyces' encyclopaedic knowledge of plants comes from their wide reading and practical gardening experience, and from Phyl's years of garden writing for the 'Limerick Leader' newspaper. Their guided tour round the garden is a memorable experience.

Irish Gardening for All Seasons is a book published by Phyl and Dick Boyce. The book will help you to design a garden which has year round interest. It has selected plants most suited to Irish conditions, it is divided into ten sections: herbaceous plants, trees and shrubs, bulbs, climbers, architectural and exotic, vegetables, garden design, plant diseases and pests, propagation and plant care, jobs for the months of the year. A detailed description of each plant, along with its preferred growing conditions, planting and care, flowering period are given. The book contains 400 coloured photographs of plants and garden features taken from Boyce's Garden. The book is available from bookshops or Boyce's Garden.

Irish Gardening For All Seasons by Phyl and Dick Boyce.

ISBN 1-85635-495-4, Publishers: Mercier Press, Cork.

Extract from Gardens of Ireland by Terence Reeves-Smyth, published Mitchell Beazley

Phyl and Dick Boyce began this garden in 1982 around their modern house, which has commanding views of the Shannon estuary. Within less than O.4ha (1 acre) they have created a surprisingly diverse range of intimate garden rooms, all skilfully designed and interlinked in a style inspired by the Cross garden at Lakemount.

Many colourful and tender plants are used in its many microclimates, not least in the main rockery, which is filled with choice alpines. Nearby is a small lily pond with a miniature fountain, overlooked by a Mediterranean-style summerhouse, while containers filled with cacti of various kinds add to the balmy feel in this comer.

A stretch of lawn below the house is flanked by raised beds filled with vibrant herbaceous perennials, such as blue irises, delphiniums, and phloxes, while at the far end a pergola is festooned with roses and clematis. In a small enclosure, are a variety of tree peonies with a Meliaizthus major, clumps of lilies, and a spectacular Rosa 'Nevada', while tree ferns, a golden Sophora tetraptera, and other tender plants add an exotic touch. Nearby lie a fern bed, a vegetable garden, and a small glasshouse with a vine. On the opposite side of the house, strips of lawn are flanked by a mixture of trees and shrubs, including a spiral topiary, phormiums, golden bamboo, hibiscus, rhododendrons, and camellias.