Dublin, Ireland. Saturday, July 5th, 2014. The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina paid a visit to Powerscourt Gardens in Enniskerry, County Wicklow today to congratulate staff on Powerscourt Gardens being voted the third best gardens in the world by National Geographic Magazine. To mark the accolade, the President planted a Cedar of Lebanon tree, following in the footsteps of luminaries such as Princess Grace of Monaco, Jackie Onassis, Buzz Aldrin and Mary Robinson, who have planted trees in the Gardens.
The prestigious accolade comes from National Geographic’s “Top Ten” series of the best trips, adventures and places to visit in the world. Other European countries to make it into the list included Chateau de Versailles in France (1st) and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, England (2nd). Powerscourt Gardens was the only Irish entry included, and one of seven European countries to make it into the top 10. The 47 acre gardens are listed ahead of celebrated horticultural hotspots, such as Villa d’Este (Tivoli, Italy), Dumbarton Oaks (Washington DC) and Chatsworth House (UK).
The recognition for National Geographic follows a string of other recent awards for Powerscourt, including the Top Ten Houses in the World (Powerscourt House, Lonely Planet), the Best Parkland Venue in Ireland 2014 Award (Powerscourt Golf Club, Golfer’s Guide to Ireland) and the 2014 Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor (Powerscourt Gardens).
Sarah Slazenger, General Manager, Powerscourt Estate said, “We are delighted to have hosted President Higgins and his wife Sabina on their visit today. The President and his wife were given a tour of the gardens before planting a Cedar of Lebanon tree, a large, long living tree with a unique heritage value, considered irreplaceable, and frequently planted by Presidents. To have the President acknowledge the National Geographic accolade and the work of the staff at the Estate was a great honour. With one of the country’s most beautiful mansions and some of the most spectacular scenery as a backdrop, this honour from National Geographic is wonderful news indeed and adds to the multitude of reasons why Irish and international visitors should make Powerscourt Estate and Gardens a ‘must see’ destination. I’d like to add my congratulations to the staff and gardeners who have preserved Powerscourt as a historical and heritage garden, while creating new, exciting and evolving landscapes to complement those that already exist.”
More than half a million Irish and overseas visitors visit Powerscourt Estate annually, with more than 200,000 visitors to the gardens alone last year. Managed by Head Gardener, Michael Byrne and a team of four gardeners, Powerscourt Gardens were designed from 1731 onwards, with the desire to create a garden which was part of the wider landscape. Powerscourt Gardens include The Walled Gardens, The Italian Garden, The Dolphin Pond, The Japanese Gardens, Pets Cemetery and Pepperpot Tower, among other features and attractions.