A 5 Day Irish Gardens of the South tour, including west Cork and County Kildare.
There’s a regal air about Huntington Castle’s gardens. Immaculate lawns are drawn along mathematical lines, while manicured topiary is matched by classical sculpture. The craning roof on Yew Walk is a triumph, while the wilderness around the lake is a charming change from the formal castle. Special mention must be made of the basement temple to the Egyptian Goddess Isis. Still in Carlow, Altamont Garden is privy to a veritable explosion of snowdrops every February, and its trees date back to the 18th century.
An overnight at Cork City means just a short trip to Lisselan Gardens in Clonakilty. Classical statuary, a healthy scattering of daffodils and camellias blooming from late spring set Lisselan apart as something unique. Oozing Edwardian style, the rockery here has been described as ‘The glory of this garden’ while the abundance of hot pink Fuchsia and the avenue’s carpet of bluebells are riotous splashes of colour.
The Rhododendron flowers that coddles Muckross House in Killarney National Park is in fact a weed, but as you watch its pink march up the surrounding mountains you simply won’t care. For more formalised fare, take a potter around Muckross’ Sunken Garden, Rock Garden and Stream Garden – all developed for the arrival of Queen Victoria in 1861. A stand-out moment is the stunning collection of Azaleas.
After an overnight in the heritage town of Adare, move upwards to Galway and Connemara. As if the Abbey itself were not romantic enough, Kylemore’s walled gardens are something special. Shadowed by Connemara’s Twelve Ben mountains, the Walled Garden hosts only Victorian flower and vegetable varieties in keeping with its late 19th Century origins. The only walled garden built on bogland, there are secrets here, too, in the shape of the clandestine ‘Secret Garden’ and tenderly restored glass houses.
The Rhododendron flowers that coddles Muckross House in Killarney National Park (Colonel William Walker is the man who’s deep belief in the meaning behind Asian horticulture has endowed County Kildare with the Japanese Gardens. Symbolising the life of man, the trees, flowers, plants rocks and water all combine here to create a flowing whole while also mirroring our path through life. It was Tessa Eida who, flown all the way from Japan, who Walker employed to build the garden and the the various vignettes of the Buddhist religion are Eida’s stamp on this restorative and calming space. While here, be sure to take in the tour of the National Stud where Walker’s unusual astrological methods of horse buying are one of racing’s greatest stories.) is in fact a weed, but as you watch its pink march up the surrounding mountains you simply won’t care. For more formalised fare, take a potter around Muckross’ Sunken Garden, Rock Garden and Stream Garden – all developed for the arrival of Queen Victoria in 1861. A stand-out moment is the stunning collection of Azaleas.
Please note this is a suggested garden tour and we can create and advise to your requirements.