Wicklow isn’t called the “Garden County” for no good reason. Aside from the breath-taking scenery and rolling forests, it features some of the most beautiful man-made gardens in Ireland. The Garden of Ireland trip, is a day trip taking in the best Wicklow has to offer.
Visit Mount Usher Gardens it is laid out across 22 acres along the banks of the River Vartry as it tumbles over a series of cascades on its way to the sea. It is a lovely example of a true Robinsonian style of garden with its free-flowing informality and natural design.Amongst it’s truly unique variety of trees and plants, some 5000 in total, it boasted the largest collection of Southern Hemisphere conifers in Ireland (28 Species), and also an extensive collection of Northern conifers, in addition to which Mount Usher also holds three other world ranking Southern Hemisphere tree collections, Nothofagus, of which there are 16 different species, Eucryphia of which there are also sixteen species, and Eucalyptus of which there are 50 different species. There are also extensive collections and varieties of rare Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and Camellias within the gardens, not to mention a large number of champion trees that hold the record in Ireland and England for their outstanding size. Notwithstanding the importance of the gardens as a botanical collection, they also play host to an abundance of wildlife, including otters, herons, kingfishers, hedgehogs, and a great variety of songbirds.
Visit The stunning Powerscourt House & Gardens, set against the backdrop of the Sugarloaf Mountain, Powerscourt is stunning in every season. Powerscourt Gardens were recently voted No.3 in the World’s Top Ten Gardens by National Geographic.The Gardens stretch over 47 acres and offer visitors a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues and ornamental lakes, secret hollows and rambling walks. Managed by Head Gardener, Alex Slazenger 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 surrounding 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.
Visit Kilruddery House & Gardens, often described as a wonderful place to escape for a great day out, Killruddery has been home to the Brabazon Family (the Earls of Meath) since 1618. Conveniently located on the outskirts of the capital where Dublin meets Wicklow, here’s your opportunity to discover a hidden gem in our midst. There’s so much to see and explore. Nature has never been more relaxing with leisurely walks in one of Ireland’s most renowned gardens, filled with beautiful planting and wooded areas, water features and distinctive outdoor “rooms”. Delightful Tea Rooms and guided tours of one of Ireland’s Great Historic Houses are just some of the other treats on offer.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.