Gardens of the Midlands
- 15 May
- 15 May
Uncover best of Wicklow with us and enjoy a holiday to the ‘the garden of Ireland’. On this 3-night garden break in Wicklow, enjoy a trip to Mount Usher Gardens, one of only three Irish gardens with a top rating from the UK's 'The Good Gardens Guide' and it's one of Monty Don's favourite gardens in the world! Another highlight will be exploring Powerscourt, one of Ireland's Ancient East top attractions. Within its 47 acre estate, there are themed gardens containing a variety of shrubs, trees and flowers; and with the Sugarloaf Mountain set against the background, it's no wonder to be considered to be one of world's greatest gardens. We'll visit not only two of the best-known public gardens but many private gardens, some of which are open on occasions and others which are opening exclusively for our group. For reasons of privacy, we have agreed to keep both the names of garden and owner out of our advertising for this tour – some lovely surprises for those who book on it! This garden holiday is a fantastic opportunity to discover some of the best-known gardens in Wicklow.
We depart today, with our expert gardener Frances, from The Alex Hotel in Dublin for a private visit to a beautiful garden of one of Ireland’s top flower arrangers where there is an emphasis on shrubs and flowers that she uses for her floral artistry. Next we visit Mount Usher Gardens with free time for lunch (under own arrangements) in the Avoca Café before enjoying a walk around this renowned garden.
Our journey continues onwards to The Dower House Gardens which were laid out towards the end of the 19th century and include a number of specimen mature trees, including a fine Chilean myrtle, Luma apiculta, planted c.1880. A white garden has been created together with a wild meadow and The Dower House has been described by many journalists as one of “Wicklow’s finest gardens”
Following our visit we travel to our hotel in Arklow in the late afternoon where we’ll dine together as a group.
Following a leisurely breakfast we depart our hotel for a visit to one of the most famous gardens in Ireland – Powerscourt Gardens which spread over 47 acres and offer visitors formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues and ornamental lakes, secret hollows and rambling walks. The gardens were designed from 1731 onwards to blend with the surrounding landscape and include The Walled Gardens, The Italian Garden, The Dolphin Pond, The Japanese Garden, Pets Cemetery and Pepperpot Tower, among its attractions.
Our day continues with a visit to Trudder Grange Gardens which has developed over the last 30 years from a stony field into a garden full of shrubs and herbaceous borders, an organic vegetable garden and a greenhouse producing many varieties of tomatoes. There is an acre of wild flower meadow in the walled gardens which is planted with unusual specimen trees. Close to the sea, many tender plants grow in this very sheltered garden. We’ll enjoy some refreshments during our visit before returning to our hotel in the afternoon.
Because of the request for privacy from the owners of today’s three gardens, we will be having a magical mystery tour around Wicklow! This morning we visit two private gardens near Coolgreany before we head to the Arboretum Garden Centre in Kilquade.
Following some free time for lunch (at own expense) we will visit a large country garden which is at its peak in July and has some magnificent borders.
After checking out of our hotel we will depart for a morning visit to visit the wonderful garden of June Blake, a palette of colour due to her faultless sense of design and use of plants. The garden is in an idyllic setting, surrounding her sturdy granite house. We will have some free time for lunch (at own expense) in Blessington.
This afternoon our journey takes us to Hunting Brook Garden, home to Jimi Blake, June’s brother. A garden nestled in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains, Hunting Brook Gardens is made up of five acres of contemporary exotic gardens and fifteen acres of woodland gardens and valley.
We return to The Alex Hotel, Dublin in the late afternoon after a wonderful few days discovering the ‘Garden of Ireland’.
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