Gardens will open to public this weekend
Wicklow will live up to its name as 'The Garden of Ireland' this June Bank Holiday weekend as local gardens participate in a major international event.
Over a dozen garden owners in the county will join others all over Europe for 'Rendez-vous aux Jardins', or 'Meet in the Gardens', a European-wide initiative to celebrate European Year Of Cultural Heritage 2018.
Gardens will be open for visitors from Friday, June 1, to Monday, June 4, with many providing special tours and guided walks.
Participating gardens are spread throughout the county and include: Killruddery, the National Botanic Gardens at Kilmacurragh, Shekina Sculpture Garden, Gorse Hill, June Blake's Garden, Wrens Wood, Knocknaree, Huntingbrook Gardens, Warble Bank, Festina Lente, Mount Usher and Dower House.
'Gardens have been a characteristic feature of the Wicklow landscape for centuries,' said Deirdre Burns, Wicklow County Council's Heritage Officer. 'Meet in the Gardens is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate this rich aspect of our Wicklow heritage and connect with a shared European garden culture.'
She said that, historically, gardens flourished throughout the 18th and 19th centuries closely linked with the evolution of Wicklow's renowned 'Big Houses', such as at Powerscourt and Killruddery. A passion for plants, fuelled by intrepid plant hunters and encouraged by wealthy patrons, led to the unique collection of exotic and ornamental trees at Kilmacurragh Arboretum, for example.
Other gardens such as Mount Usher in Ashford are nationally significant examples of the Robinsonian 'naturalistic' style. Over the years, gardens have evolved to host sculptural collections, such as at Shekina Sculpture Garden in Glenmalure, or as spaces for creativity, such as Gorse Hill near Greystones. All provide havens of harmony and spaces to connect with nature.
For more details see www.EYCH2018.com or visit www.wicklow.ie or www.countywicklowheritage.org to download a list of events.