Tuesday, 6 August 2013

An Irish sampler

An early morning view of Monarda and Angelica at Hunting Brook, Jimi Blake's garden in west Wicklow.
I got back yesterday evening from five splendid days of garden visiting in Ireland, based in Co. Wicklow with my friends Jimi Blake at Hunting Brook, and Seamus O'Brien of the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh. I will write more about the principal gardens visited later, but here is a selection of a shot from each, giving an idea of the diversity of plants and plantings enjoyed on this trip - which, despite appearances, wasn't entirely in gorgeous sunshine. Very many thanks to Seamus and Jimi, and to all the kind people who showed us their gardens.

Rodgersia 'Perthshire Bronze' in June Blake's garden, among trademark lush planting.

A very unexpected sight: Hagenia abyssinica growing in a dustbin in Helen Dillon's garden, Dublin.

Artemisia lactiflora 'Elfenbein' at Mount Venus Nursery.

The old tree of Magnolia delavayi at Kilmacurragh was flowering freely, if fugaciously.

Fagus sylvatica 'Striata' at Birr Castle, where it is known as 'Birr Zebra'

Melt-in-the-mouth white peaches in Robert Wilson-Wright's peach house at Coolcarrigan, Co. Kildare.

The beautiful old garden at Mount Usher lives on its fame: it desperately needs some horticultural competence to restore it to its former glory.

Horticultural loot from the Emerald Isle - though having purchased 15kg of extra baggage allowance from Ryanair I came back with only 6.7kg of plants!


  1. I am thinking that a trip to Ireland is definately a must in the near future, so many wonderful gardens and nurseries to visit. Although I think I would have to consider a ferry rather than flying as I dont think I would be as restrained as you have been.

    I am presuming that the dustbin in Helen Dillon's garden is an attractive one not just any old black plastic dustbin?

  2. It appears that you had an interesting few days in the Emerald Isle. I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts on the gardens you visited.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.