A new 'Dublin Garden Trail' offers a chance to visit 12 "of the most engaging private gardens" in the greater Dublin region.
"Each garden is creatively nurtured by their owners who are garden lovers and creators of these beautiful places," said Diarmuid Gavin, who launched the trail.
"What makes these gardens special is that visitors receive a personal tour by the dedicated owners who will reveal the garden’s stories and special gems."
Running in a ring around the city, the gardens range from large estates like Mount Usher in Ashford, Co. Wicklow, to the cottage-style gardens at Knockrose in Kilternan and small urban settings such as Weston Park in Churchtown.
Most of the gardens are not generally open to the public, but groups can book in advance with rates charged from €5 to €7 per person.
"We’ve seen a growing tourism trend in the overseas market for visiting gardens and Fáilte Ireland’s research shows that there is great synergy between a typical ‘garden visitor’ and someone who visits historic houses and heritage assets," said Keelin Fagan, Head of Dublin at Fáilte Ireland.
Despite the trail's title, six of the gardens are in Co. Wicklow.
"'Dublin' no longer fits neatly inside the county boundaries, so visitors to the city naturally look beyond the official city limits," said Conall Ó Caoimh, a spokesperson for the trail.
"All are within easy reach of the M50," he added.
Ardán, Howth, Co. Dublin - 'Contains seven intensely planted smaller gardens, each with a different style and change of mood'.
Corke Lodge, Bray, Co. Wicklow - 'A secret woodland garden punctuated by romantic Gothic follies and vistas framed by Mediterranean cypresses'.
Dower House, Ashford, Co. Wicklow - 'Historical Regency house with a magical white garden, wild meadow and unique collection of 19th century trees, shrubs and plants'.
Hunting Brook, Blessington, Co. Wicklow - 'Jimi Blake's creation in the Wicklow hills and home to one of Irelands largest private plant collections'.
June Blake’s Garden, Blessington, Co. Wicklow - 'An ever-evolving plant lover's paradise. This contemporary garden balances strong design sensibilities with a densely planted mix of perennials and grasses in harmony with the stunning natural surroundings.'
Knockrose, Kilternan, Co. Dublin - 'Richly planted cottage-style garden set around old whitewashed farm buildings in the foothills of the Dublin Mountain.'
Lambs Cross Garden, Sandyford, Co. Dublin - 'A garden to delight the senses, something for everyone throughout the season.'
Mornington Garden, Dalkey, Co. Dublin – 'A garden which shares its secrets and atmosphere of peace.'
Mount Usher Garden, Ashford, Co. Wicklow - 'A Robinsonian jewel. 150 years of Horticultural expertise. Outstanding world-wide plant collection.'
Trudder Grange, Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow - '30-year-old garden with many interesting rare shrubs, herbaceous plants, organic vegetable garden and wild flower meadow.'
Tyrrelstown House, Blanchardstown, Co. Dublin – '10 hectares of parkland with 500 year-old walled gardens, organic vegetable garden and rose garden.'
Weston Park, Churchtown, Co. Dublin - 'An urban oasis of exotic wonder and a tropical feel.'
Learn more at dublingardens.com.