The Gardens of Ballyduff Manor

pho_3932_pho_photoWhile staying at Ballyduff Manor in Thomastown Co. Kilkenny in Ireland last summer Farmboy and I found the most wonderful secret. A gorgeous private garden out beyond the old stable and barn.


Farmboy went out early to explore the grounds the morning that we were leaving for Dublin. After a few minutes he came in and insisted that I come… forget the lipstick. Sorry DH Holmes Jr. Board in Mississippi wherein I learned I was not completely dressed until I was wearing lipstick. Oh, if they could see me now… practically naked. Nevertheless… we went trapezing out into the dewy morning and to my delight I saw a most beautiful sight. A lovingly trimmed boxwood hedge parterre. Behind it there were sheets blowing in the morning breeze strung between the apple trees. Heavenly. Established. Quaint yet of substance. Personal and intimate. I loved it. The parterre was surrounded by a perennial bed and path on one side, an old greenhouse on another, the high wall of the barnyard on the other. The fourth side opened onto to a beautiful grassy lawn framed by corner plantings then surrounded by a fence.





During our traditional Irish breakfast in a formal coral painted dining room over looking the River Nore, we spoke with the charming owner, Brede, about the origins of the garden. It was designed by her mother-in-law who spent most of her waking hours tending it. The garden used to be 4 times the size but over time it had been downsized to aid with the upkeep.  I would have loved to have seen it in is glory! Wouldn’t you?!  A wedding was to take place the following weekend in the garden and I could just picture the giant reception tent on the grassy lawn next to the parterre and fruit trees. Lucky bride. For a lovely B & B stay in the country be sure to visit

Heart Knot

Wordless Wednesday


Preparing for The Flower Show


It is a crazy time of year here at Michelle Masters Studio! We are in full scale preparations for the Philadelphia International Flower Show Feb. 28th – March 7th. This years’ theme is Passport to the World featuring garden displays from India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Brazil and the United States. In addition to the breathtaking displays, there will be thousands of plant and floral design entries as well as free gardening presentations.

Michelle Masters Topiary Art will be featured in the Marketplace along with 170 other retailers from around the world. I will be manning the booth (#535) all week with my delightful mother. We will be featuring framed art, pillows, stationery, fine linens, marble coasters as well handcrafted soaps and live rosemary and angel vine topiaries. If  you are coming to the show be sure to stop in and say hello. If you have never been… put it on your list of things to do! You will not be disappointed. For more information visit-


Hi, I'm Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed illustrations for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, aka Farmboy, my two children affectionately known as "La La" and "the Bean" and a small petting zoo of other family members.


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Upcoming Shows

Philadelphia Flower Show
PA Convention Center
March 5th-13th
Booth #Z-1002

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