There are so many beautiful gardens to discover in Wicklow! All are of outstanding natural beauty and diversity and each one distinctive in terms of mood and theme. Due to the temperate climate, an unrivaled variety of trees, plants and shrubs await the visitor with many private gardens opened for this event (please check opening times). Garden owners are only too delighted to welcome and share their experience and expertise with the visiting garden enthusiast. A warm welcome awaits – here are our top picks!
The National Botanic Gardens Kilmacurragh
Open: November to February 9am – 4.30pm, Summer; March to October 9am – 6pm
Old farmhouse cottage garden nestling between traditional outbuildings and a mature deciduous forest. Secluded seating in various ‘rooms’ of woodland, herbaceous, patio and organic vegetable areas. A variety of sculptures including old granite mushrooms, stepping stones and standing stones are on view in this award-winning richly planted garden. May sees the scented deciduous azaleas in bloom and June/early July is heavenly perfumed by roses and philadelphus. This garden is a very special place worthy of visits from horticulturists, hobby gardeners and those who just enjoy beautiful, peaceful surroundings.
Open: The prize-winning Knockanree Garden, Avoca, Co. Wicklow will be open from Good Friday, 18th April until 14th July each Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 9.30 to 1.30
Powerscourt House & Gardens
Powerscourt includes beautiful Italian, Japanese and walled gardens, herbaceous borders and a famous collection of trees. It is one of the last formal gardens to have been created in Europe. Powerscourt Waterfall is the highest in Ireland (121m) and is 5km from the formal gardens. Powerscourt House, a Palladian mansion dating from 1730 now incorporates an innovative shopping experience and terrace cafe overlooking the gardens.
Open: Daily all year except for 25th and 26th December from 9.30am – 5.30pm (summer) and 9.30am – dusk (winter).
Admission: Summer (1st March – 31st October) Adults €8.50, Students/Seniors €7.50, Children €5.00 and under 5 free of charge. Family Ticket €25.00 (2 Adults & up to 3 Children)
Winter (1st November – 28th February) Adults €6.50, Students/Seniors €6.00, Children €3.50 and under 5 free of charge. Family Ticket €18.00. Find out more.
Killruddery House & Gardens
The 3rd and 6th Earls of Meath were mainly responsible for the creation of the gardens. The unique formal layout was concieved by the French gardener named Bonet in 1682. Bonet, who was a Huguenot, had been a gardener to Sir William Petty and was a disciple of the great landscape designer André le Nôtre, famous for the gardens of the Palace of Versailles near Paris.
Notable features to explore include the Angles (find out why they are affectionately known as goose feet), the Long Ponds, the Wilderness, the Sylvan Theatre, Lime Walks and the Beech Hedge Pond.
Open: Weekends in April and Oct from 9.30-5pm, 7 days from May to Sept, 9.30-6pm, late night opening Thurs, 9.30am to 10pm. Farm market every Saturday from 10am-4pm (free admission to market)Admission: House and Garden – Adult €10, Concession €8, Child €3, Family (2 adults & 2 children) €18; Garden Only – Adult €6, Child €2. Admission charges may vary if a ‘special event’ is taking place. Find out more.
Mount Usher Gardens
These 9ha represent one of the best examples of the romantic Robinsonian garden, a paradise combining plantsmanship with layout. Trees and shrubs introduced from many parts of the world. Woodland and shade loving plants, millions of spring flowering bulbs spread throughout the meadows.
Admission: Adults 7.50, Seniors €6.50, Student over 16 yrs €6.50, Child 4-16 yrs €3.50, Child under 4 Free
Special group rates for 20 or more
Guided tours €55 extra (must be booked in advance)
Open: 1st March to 1st November 2013. Daily 10.30am to 6pm (Last admission 5.20pm) Find out more.
Come to visit and find out for yourself how beautiful the gardens of Wicklow are!
All images courtesy of http://www.wicklowgardens.com/