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10 best country house gardens to visit in Ireland

These green and pleasant lands will lift your spirits and are tribute to their pioneering, globe-trotting creators

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Powerscourt is one of the great gardens of the world. Picture by John Phelan

Powerscourt is one of the great gardens of the world. Picture by John Phelan

The extraordinary gardens at Bantry House were designed in the first half of the 19th century. Photo: Robert O'Byrne

The extraordinary gardens at Bantry House were designed in the first half of the 19th century. Photo: Robert O'Byrne

Mount Usher plays host to 5,000 varieties of trees and plants. Photo: John Phelan

Mount Usher plays host to 5,000 varieties of trees and plants. Photo: John Phelan

Derreen is one of the lushest gardens in Ireland. Photo: Robert O'Byrne

Derreen is one of the lushest gardens in Ireland. Photo: Robert O'Byrne

The grounds at Lismore Castle were laid out about 400 years ago. Photo: Robert O'Byrne

The grounds at Lismore Castle were laid out about 400 years ago. Photo: Robert O'Byrne

Work on Kilruddery began in the 1680s. Photo: Robert O'Byrne

Work on Kilruddery began in the 1680s. Photo: Robert O'Byrne

Kilmacurragh was cultivated by successive generations of the Acton family. Photo: Robert O'Byrne

Kilmacurragh was cultivated by successive generations of the Acton family. Photo: Robert O'Byrne

Garinish is an Italianate paradise. Photo: Robert O'Byrne

Garinish is an Italianate paradise. Photo: Robert O'Byrne

Birr Castle. Photo: Robert O'Byrne

Birr Castle. Photo: Robert O'Byrne

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Powerscourt is one of the great gardens of the world. Picture by John Phelan

Whatever we humans might think about our weather, for an enormous number of plants, Ireland has the perfect climate. This means we live in one of the best places in the world for gardens, as those developed over hundreds of years by country house owners proves.

In their grounds, they encouraged the development of native species and welcomed exotics brought back from Asia, South America and Australia.


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