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15 gorgeous Irish gardens to visit this spring and summer
Explore the gardens of Bantry House in Cork.
Explore gorgeous gardens in Ireland, from grand estates with champion trees and romantic walled gardens to spectacular arboretums, bespoke urban ‘outdoor rooms’ and wild garden meadows. Irish gardens are filled with glorious displays of colour, enticing scents and interesting wildlife.

For gardening enthusiasts, plant detectives or those who like to ramble and admire, there are so many that you can visit.

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1Mount Usher Gardens, Co Wicklow 

Dating back to 1860 and designed in the Robinsonian style, Mount Usher Gardens house many plant species and trees including rhododendrons, magnolias, camellias, eucryphia and shrubs. 

Water plays as essential role in the scenery and ambience at Mount Usher Gardens, with cascades and a suspension bridge visible from many sections. Take a journey through winding paths, groves and glades and on to the riverbanks. You'll also find a collection of eucalyptus trees and a hidden fern walk along your travels. 

A person standing on a bridge surrounded by rich greenery at Mount Usher Gardens, Co. Wicklow
Follow the serene paths at Mount Usher Gardens.
2Caher Bridge Garden, Co Clare 

The award-winning Caher Bridge Garden is nestled in the heart of the Burren near Fanore. Based around a restored riverside cottage, the garden was once just dense hazel and blackthorn greenery. 

Go for a stroll and admire the unusual plants including large collections of snowdrops and daffodils, hostas, daylilies, crocosmia and woodland plants and ferns. It's open from April to September by appointment only.

Caher Bridge Garden in County Clare

Photo credit: @ladypazfield

Admire the flowers in bloom at Caher Bridge Garden.
3Ewe Sculpture Gardens, Co Cork

Visit the Ewe Experience and Sculpture Garden near Glengarriff in Cork and take in its unique combination of natural history, art, narrative and humour. Journey through four themed gardens – water, time, the environment and ancient earth – and enjoy the interactive sculptures. Visitors of all ages can relax and explore this creative space that’s built along a spectacular waterfall. 

Wander the meandering pathways over bridges and into hidden corners to see how art is included throughout the nature trail. Amble the fern labyrinth, pass the time with the human sundial or build your own sculpture. The Ewe Sculpture Gardens open their doors in July and August.

4Kilmokea Country Manor Gardens, Co Wexford

Covering nearly seven acres, Kilmokea Country Manor Gardens date back to 1947. Visit the walled garden with winding paths and its showcase of exciting exotic plants. With over 130 different species, the garden is a delight to keen amateurs and more serious horticulturalists.

The gardens and café are open from March to November. Book a group tour in advance and learn about the history of the house and garden, specifically its Anglo-Norman roots. To capture this part of Kilmokea's past, the grounds are home to a recreated Viking settlement as well as a Norman motte and bailey. 

The exterior of a house at Kilmokea Country Manor Gardens with trees on either side.
Venture through the gardens of Kilmokea Country Manor.
5Woodstock Gardens and Arboretum, Co Kilkenny

Just outside the picturesque village of Inistioge in Kilkenny, you’ll find Woodstock Gardens. The Victorian gardens overlook the River Nore Valley and were developed by Lady Louisa Tighe and her head gardeners.

Woodstock Gardens have a mix of formal and informal gardens, with an arboretum, walled garden, terraced garden, yew walk and rose garden. 

Make your way to Monkey Puzzle Avenue and Noble Fir Avenue and take the time to see the rustic summer house, constructed from materials from the gardens. The arboretum is home to many fine specimen trees from Asia and South America in particular. Guided tours are available by appointment.

An image of the gardens and bridge at Inishtioge, Kilkenny
Enjoy views of the River Nore Valley from Woodstock Gardens.
6Fota House Arboretum and Gardens, Co Cork

This arboretum and walled and pleasure gardens are part of Fota House, one of Ireland’s finest example of Regency-period architecture, with superb neoclassical interiors designed by 19th century architects. 

Fota House gives visitors an intimate look at how life was lived in the past, both for servants and members of the gentry. Take a tour of the Arboretum and visit the fascinating Victorian Frameyard kitchen garden. Tours are available from April to September and by appointment only during other parts of the year.

People walking in the Fota House gardens in County Cork
Take a tour of the different gardens at Fota House.
7Bantry House and Gardens, Co Cork

The ancestral home of the Earls of Bantry, Bantry House and Gardens overlooks Bantry Bay in West Cork and has been open to the public since 1946. See the garden that was inspired by the travels of the 2nd Earl and laid out in the Italian-style over seven terraces, with the house sitting on the third terrace. 

Admire the south facing Parterre which surrounds a wisteria enclosed water fountain. From there rise the famous Hundred Steps, a monumental staircase built of local stone, set amidst azaleas and rhododendron. Although the garden is open from April, it is a popular location for private events, so, be sure to check ahead if it's open to the public when you're planning your visit. Day visitors can simply buy their tickets upon arrival. 

The Italian Gardens at Bantry House in County Cork
Roam the Italian-style gardens of Bantry House.
8Salthill Gardens, Co Donegal

Less than 200m from the sea, just outside Mountcharles, you’ll find Salthill Gardens. This contemporary garden pays tribute to walled gardens of the past, with walls that have stood for more than 100 years and have been well maintained. Since 1985, the lawn and cultivated perimeter have been gradually transformed by Elizabeth Temple to the present individually styled garden. 

Open from May to September, come visit and see the evolution which continues to change season by season, always featuring a good selection of perennials, vegetables and shrubs.

Salthill Garden
9Portumna Castle and Gardens, Co Galway

By the shores of Lough Derg, the impressive Portumna Castle and Gardens casts a shadow on the peaceful lawns. Admire the spectacular architecture of the castle, with plenty of exhibits to show how the aristocracy lived 300 years ago, or spend a warm day strolling through the gardens.

From March through October, wander the Willow Maze and enjoy the shade of fruit trees and the scent of lavender, or browse the flowers, herbs, hollies, and vegetables in the potager gardens, which have been beautifully restored to their original splendour. 

Arch of flowers above a path at Portumna Castle and Gardens.
Stop and smell the flowers at Portumna Castle and Gardens.
10June Blake’s Garden, Co Wicklow

For over a decade, June Blake was devoted to creating an experimental and contemporary garden. Make a trip to West Wicklow and discover this exciting garden which is in the grounds of an early Victorian steward’s house and farmyard. Surrounded by mature trees and meadows, the gardens themselves extend over three acres and contain an eclectic collection of plants from around the world.

Plan your visit between April and September and see bold herbaceous plants, ferns, grasses bamboos and other choice woodland plants punctuated by enormous granite boulders. For a moment of reflection make your way to the linear pool amidst exciting tropical plants.

11Mount Congreve Gardens, Co Waterford

Inspired by the manicured gardens of Mr Lionel de Rothchild, Mount Congreve Gardens was built in 1760 by local architect John Roberts. Open all year round, Mount Congreve Gardens is home to one of the largest private plant collections in the world, including the incredibly rare Wollemia Tree which is native to Australia. 

Brush up your botanical knowledge by picking from a selection of expert-led guided tours, from the edible woodlands tour to a relaxing stroll in the formal gardens. Or enjoy a delicious meal made from local produce at the Stables Café in the heart of the grounds.

People walking through Mount Congreve Gardens in County Waterford
Wander through the ethereal gardens of Mount Congreve Gardens.
12Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens, Co Waterford

Not your typical Irish garden, Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens bring a touch of the East to Tramore in Waterford. Dedicated to Greek-Irish writer Patrick Lafcadio Hearn, the grounds are made up of 11 serene gardens that wind through his global travels. Admire the Japanese architecture dotted throughout the gardens at the Sori Bashi Bridge and Niwamon Gate, and stop to see a projection of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony in the tea house. If you're looking to learn a little more about the man himself, take a guided tour of the gardens from one of the experts.

Once you've fed your curiosity, feed your appetite with a snack and grab a seat on the outdoor deck for great views of Tramore Bay.

Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens Azumaya in Tramore, Waterford
Transport yourself at the Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens.
13The National Botanical Gardens, Co Dublin

High on the list of every garden lover is a visit to the National Botanical Gardens in Dublin. Just a short distance from the city centre, see towering native trees, ornamental grasses and greenhouses full of succulents and cacti. Stroll around the grounds, savouring the beautiful scents and scenery, before enjoying refreshments in The Garden Tearoom.

National Botanic Gardens, Dublin
Browse the greenhouses of the National Botanical Gardens.
14Powerscourt House and Gardens, Co Wicklow

Set on the grounds of Powerscourt House in Wicklow, the classically-designed Powerscourt Gardens are meticulously maintained and beautifully contrast the wild vistas of the Wicklow Mountains in the distance. Explore the Japanese garden, the walled garden and the Italian garden, and if you're craving more natural beauty, visit the nearby and awe-inspiring Powerscourt Waterfall.

Japanese Gardens at Powerscourt House and Gardens in County Wicklow
Take a trip to Powerscourt Gardens.
15Japanese Gardens at The National Stud, Co Kildare

Known as one of the finest Japanese gardens in Europe, the lush landscape at The Irish National Stud and Gardens delights visitors with its delicate plants, rich colours and trickling streams. Built over 100 years ago, the garden's iconic red bridge is a firm favourite while kids love to chase butterflies and search for insects amongst the shrubbery. Finish off your day by visiting the majestic horses and watch them gallop across the open fields.

A red bridge across a pond in a beautiful garden at the Irish National Stud and Gardens in County Kildare.
Walk the iconic red bridge at the Japanese Gardens in Kildare.
Plan your visit to the best gardens in Ireland

Slow down, take time out and explore even more grand estates and gardens dotted across the country. 

More to discover
The great outdoors9 unmissable outdoor adventures

There’s nothing quite like escaping to the great outdoors, leaving the world behind and finding a fantastic location or experience that you can’t wait to tell your friends about. You might think that you know all the hotspots in Ireland, but there’s always a secret beach or a secluded waterfall that you’ve yet to visit.

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