For gardening enthusiasts, plant detectives or those who like to ramble and admire, there are so many that you can visit today.
Dating from as far back as 1860, Mount Usher Gardens are one of the top-rated attractions in Ireland. The gardens have many plant species and trees including rhododendrons, magnolias, camellias, eucryphia and shrubs.
Designed in the Robinsonian-style, Mount Usher Gardens feature water as an essential part of the scenery, with cascades and a suspension bridge visible from many sections. Take a journey through winding paths, groves and glades and on to the riverbanks. A collection of eucalyptus trees and a hidden fern walk are just some of the delights that you’ll find there.
A delightful, award-winning garden, Caher Bridge Garden is nestled in the heart of the Burren near Fanore. The garden is based around a restored riverside cottage and was created from what was dense hazel and blackthorn greenery.
Stroll through this idyllic place and admire the unusual plants including large collections of snowdrops and daffodils, hostas, daylilies, crocosmia and woodland plants and ferns. Included in the Top 100 Best Gardens in Ireland, it is open throughout the year by appointment only.
Visit these fascinating gardens near Glengarriff. The Ewe Experience and Sculpture Garden is a 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 and see how the words and art are woven throughout the winding trail. Amble the fern labyrinth, pass the time with the human sundial or build your own sculpture.
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.
A guided tour of the garden is available for groups but must be booked in advance. This tour includes information on the history of the house and garden as well as the Anglo-Norman homestead, Viking settlement and monastic site, all of which were on the grounds of Kilmokea.
Just outside the picturesque village of Inistioge, you’ll find Woodstock House Gardens. The gardens overlook the River Nore Valley and were developed in the Victorian Period, with the works being overseen by Lady Louisa Tighe and her head gardeners.
Woodstock House Gardens have a mix of formal and informal gardens, with an arboretum, walled garden, terraced garden, yew walk and rose garden.
Two stunning avenues are of significance, the Monkey Puzzle Avenue and Noble Fir Avenue. Take 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.
This arboretum and walled and pleasure gardens are part of Fota House which is seen as 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, whether as a servant or as a member of the gentry. Take tours of the Arboretum and visit the fascinating Victorian Frameyard kitchen garden. Tours are available from April to September and by appointment at other times.
The ancestral home of the Earls of Bantry, Bantry House and Gardens overlooks Bantry Bay in West Cork. Since 1946 the house and garden have been open to the public. 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.
A Parterre facing south surrounding a wisteria circle which again surrounds a fountain was also created. From there rise the famous Hundred Steps, a monumental staircase built of local stone, set amidst azaleas and rhododendron.
Less than 200m from the sea, just outside Mountcharles, you’ll find Salthill Gardens. This contemporary garden whispers stories of walled gardens of the past. The walls 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.
Come visit and see the evolution which continues to change season by season and always features a good selection of perennials, vegetables and shrubs.
June Blake spent over a decade devoting her time 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.
See exciting, 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.
An award-winning small village garden on a third of an acre in Kiltegan, you’ll find Patthana Gardens which is a lovely slice of heaven. The garden comprises of a lower cobbled courtyard, a potting shed and a sunken meditation room which leads onto a wildlife pond. Steps lead to an upper terrace garden with luscious borders of herbaceous perennials and unusual shrubs and trees such as Euonymus Planipes and Cercidiphyllum Japonicum ‘Heronswood Globe’.
Slow down, take time out and enjoy exploring Ireland’s gorgeous gardens, creating special memories. Don’t forget to pop over to our Things to Do page and discover more beautiful gardens across the country.
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