Ireland has a huge amount of wonderful gardens to visit which are mainly open in the summertime, although Altamont and Caherbridge open early in February to show off their extensive collections of snowdrops and spring flowering bulbs. Ireland is blessed with a mild, moist climate and zero atmospheric pollution which is paradise for most plants and in some cases like Garnish Island and Malahide Castle, balmy micro climates, which allows tropical species to flourish. Another strange anomaly is the Burren in County Clare, a limestone plateau of approximately 365 square miles which is carpeted with alpine flowers, including gentians, edelweiss and orchids in early summer which should not really grow at those low level altitudes. The Botanic in Dublin is open all year round and has had a major revamp with restaurant facilities, an exhibition centre and study hub that runs courses for children and adults.
Irelands' gardens vary from small immaculately crafted and maintained ones like Helen Dillons and Angela to large country estates like Lismore and Tullynally with exquisite parklands, harping back to a time when labour was cheap and their owners were able to travel the world in search of exotic specimens. Or, use them as playgrounds for notorious clubs such as Mount Stewart with its quirky, mythical, animal sculptures. We have fantastic, contemporary examples too, such as the Sky Crater which was designed by the American sculptor, James Turrell and Brigit's with a seasonal theme inspired by pagan festivals and Celtic origins. The following is a list of my top ten favourites but there are many, many more including private ones that open to the public in aid of various charities throughout the summer, check locally for details.
The 10 Best Gardens in Ireland are….
View Ireland's Hidden Gem - Gardens in a larger map