Ambrose was celebrated in his lifetime for his skills and services to horticulture. He was awarded thirteen gold medals awards for his garden at the Chelsea Royal Horicultural Society Garden Show, and in 2001 he won the gold medal for a ‘Great Garden of the World’ from the Botanic Gardens of Boston, Massachusetts. Ambrose passed away while attending the Chelsea Flower Show in London in 2011. Before he died, he had already picked out his final resting place. Both Ambrose, and his wife who had passed in 1995, are buried below the elegant classical temple in the gardens. The temple overs Ambrose’s favourite view over the River Suir, and bears the inscription: ‘Light and shade by turn, but love always’. The gardens at Mount Congreve are a living testament to Ambrose’s vision, and the work of his colleagues and his forebears. The gardens can be enjoyed along a varied network of pathways, that lead past waterfalls, a Chinese pagoda, a classical temple, a wildflower meadow, a bluebell walk and a charming walled garden. There is also a fine playground for children, which also provides a welcome bench for the grown-ups to rest.
Mount Congreve House & Gardens have recently reopened following a programme of conservation and restoration. As well as the trails through the lovely gardens, visitors can learn a little more about the story inside one of the rooms of Mount Congreve house itself. There is also a fine café and shop, that specialises in local produce from Waterford. On a fine day in spring or early summer in particular, it makes for a wonderful family day out. If you have small children with you, it is also well worth taking a trip on the Suir Valley Railway, a small steam train that runs along the base of the gardens alongside the Waterford Greenway.