Secret Gardens of Limerick is a new, one day tour of three gardens, conveniently situated within a 27 km route on the R512, all absolutely different to each other, which creates a good sense of expectation for visitors. Several restaurants are on this road and there is parking for coaches.
Cahernorry Church & Gardens
Cahernorry Church is a gothic style limestone building, originally built in 1809, 4 miles distant and transported stone by stone to its present location in 1862. Purchased in a derelict state 26 years ago, Des Kingston and his family have sensitively restored the church into a family home and have created stunning formal gardens within the one acre site.
Des was conscious of the privilege of owning a part of Ireland's heritage and has always respected what such a building represents, therefore the first undertaking was to restore the four graves within the grounds out of respect for the deceased and their descendants.
The gardens now contain statues, topiary, formal and informal ponds, a Round Tower, a stone circle and beautiful walls made from reclaimed brick.
Coolwater, an undiscovered gem of Irish gardens, completely unique in style, flows effortlessly from one theme to the next with something of interest at every turn and has a calming influence on everyone.
In the West Garden, a woodland section features trees from the southern hemisphere and is dotted with standing stones and staddle stones. Further on, an area covered with red sandstone flags features evergreen perennials, ponds, combe, Japanese maple bed, raised juniper bed, and in one corner a Blue Cedar towering above. Joining this and the Watergarden are a large collection of troughs planted with choice alpines.
In the Watergarden the large pond, covered in summer by water lilies, is surrounded by an arid bed featuring large Mexican succulents, jungle section, fern dell, bamboo grove, “wild” garden, while on the southern side an eclectic range of plants complement a tall sculpture and a large water-worn rock.
Terra Nova Garden
Terra Nova is a firm favourite with garden visitors of all ages and is a past winner of “Best Garden in Ireland”. A half an acre that appears so much larger due to the use of weaving pathways, imaginative features and an ingenious use of space, nothing goes to waste here in this lush oasis. Originally a wet, boggy field full of horsetail and rushes, it has been transformed beyond recognition and now features regularly in the media.
Terra Nova is dynamic, a space that never stands still. Although it is a plant lovers' garden, it offers so much more. There's magic here. Some find it uplifting, others find it calming and some have even been moved to tears. This garden has a soul. It can't be explained, it has to be experienced. A happy garden that will make you smile.
Open 2nd of January to the 23rd of December, seven days of the week including Bank Holidays except 25th & 26th December & 1st of January.