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Five blooming lovely Irish gardens to visit this summer

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Belvedere House

Belvedere House

Altamont

Altamont

Gash Gardens

Gash Gardens

Dromana House

Dromana House

ILNACULLIN

ILNACULLIN

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Belvedere House

1 DROMANA HOUSE AND GARDENS CAPPOQUIN, CO WATERFORD Atop a cliff on the River Blackwater, Dromana House has been home to the Villiers-Stuart family for 800 years. The latest chapter in the estate’s colourful history involves the rediscovery of a lost garden.

Curving rides down to the river shown in an 1751 estate map have been reinstated by Barbara and Nicholas Grubb, and planted with hundreds of Rhododendrons, acers and flowering shrubs which they propagated.

Open by appointment 1pm-5pm (gardens) and 2pm-6pm (house). €15 or €10 house only/€6 garden only.

2 BELVEDERE HOUSE GARDENS AND PARK, WESTMEATH
Beside Lough Ennel with a walled garden, woodland walks, play area and cafe, Belvedere is an enticing place to visit but scandal marks its early history.

The Georgian Villa was designed by Richard Castle in 1740 for Robert Rochfort and his wife Mary Molesworth. When Robert accused her of an affair with his brother Arthur, he locked her in Gaulstown for 31 years.

Later Robert built the biggest folly in Ireland, the Jealous Wall, to block the view of his older brother George’s mansion Tudenham Park.

Open from 9.30am daily. Adults €6.40, OAPs €4.80, children (four to 16) €3.20. belvedere-house.ie

3 ALTAMONT GARDENS, TULLOW, CO CARLOW
What’s not to love in a garden running down to a lake mirroring stately trees and where the walled garden boasts glorious herbaceous borders and a nursery?

There is an Ice Age glen waiting to be discovered, a romantic walk by the River Slaney and a temple crowning a field with views of Mount Leinster.

Open daily 9am to 6.30pm. Admission free parking is €2.heritageireland.ie.

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4 GASH GARDENS AND NURSERY, CO LAOIS
A true plantsperson’s garden, Gash is literally a fountain of inspiration with a tumbling cascade at its centre and enviable displays of plants, shrubs and trees many of which are for sale at the nursery.

Dating from the 1980s, the four-acre garden by the River Nore is full of design ideas for aspiring gardeners.

Open Monday to Saturday, 11am-5pm, until September 30​​​​​. Adults €7, children (five-15) years €2. gashgardens.ie

5 ILNACULLIN, GARINISH ISLAND, GLENGARIFF, CO CORK
This magical island garden is the realisation of the dream of Annan and Violet Bryce and their architect and garden designer Harold Peto, dating from the 1920s.

There is a short ferry ride to this paradise where you’ll find a formal Italian Garden, a walled garden with double herbaceous borders and exotic trees and shrubs in the Happy Valley contrast with wild surrounding scenery.

Open May until September daily 10am to 4pm (until 3.30pm in October). Entry free but ferry charge at €14 per adult round-trip, concessions available. heritageireland.ie


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