WITH EVERYONE GETTING in the summer gardening mood with Bloom Festival in town, we thought it might be nice to look at what beautiful gardens Ireland has to offer all year round.
They don’t call it the Garden of Ireland for nothing, so we’ll start here:
Powerscourt garden has been voted number 3 garden in the world by National Geographic.
There’s 47 acres to explore and showcases Ireland’s highest waterfall. It has an Italian garden, a Japanese garden and a statuary. Hidden gems in the gardens include the pet cemetary, and it’s just 35 minutes from Dublin.
Kilruddery House and Gardens, Bray
Killruddery is a living, working house, with gardens and a farm. It has been home to sixteen generations of the Brabazon family . The 3rd and 6th Earls of Meath were mainly responsible for the creation of the gardens.
Today the grounds host many events such as a weekend farmers market, eatery nights, family days, garden talks, a film festival, as well as weddings. It is also home to the annual Groove Festival.
It’s also home to the Hell and Back run every year.
Mount Usher, Ashford
Just a short drive from Dublin, Mount Usher Gardens is home to some 5,000 species of plants. Located along the River Vartry, this garden was voted the best garden in Ireland in 2009 and 2010 by Gardener’s World Magazine.
It is also known as one of the most romantic gardens, with shaded winding paths. Like Powerscourt, it also has a small pet cemetery.
Victoria’s Way, Roundwood
The National Botanic Gardens
Located just 3 kilometres from Dublin city centre, the National Botanic Gardens are an oasis of calm and beauty, and entry is free. These 40 acre gardens contain the National Herbarium, 20,000 species of plants and several historic wrought iron glasshouses.
Garinish Island Gardens, Bantry Bay
The famed Italian gardens are a must see. The Irish Arts Review describes the gardens as “one of the most important gardens in Europe”.
Structures in the garden include the Martello Tower, dating from the 1805, a Grecian Temple, a clock tower, walled gardens and the Italian Temple and Italian Tea House.
Loughcrew Gardens, Oldcastle
These 17th and 18th century gardens spread across six acres. The gardens include St Oliver Plukett’s family church and tower house as well as extensive lawns and beautiful walks. Sculptures by acclaimed artist Ann Meldon Hugh are also dotted around the grounds.
There is also an adventure centre, coffee shop and organised walks at Loughcrew.
The Irish National Stud’s Japanese Gardens were created between 1906 and 1910 and are renowned around the world.
The garden was laid out by Japanese master horticulturist Tassa Eida and his son Minoru and attracts 150,000 visitors each year.
Kylemore Abbey walled garden
This is one of people’s favourites, and there’s no wonder why. This six acre Victorian walled garden was built between 1867 and 1871. It has been compared to the acclaimed Kew Gardens in London. There are guided tours of the grounds and abbey, a gothic church, children’s play area and dining areas.
There are amazing landscapes up and down the country, and no doubt there are loads more. What gardens would you recommend? Tell us in the comments section below.