Enniscorthy Guardian

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A walk in the garden

IT HAS been billed as Ireland's largest Garden Trail, and last week, gardening enthusiasts gathered at Marlfield House and Gardens in Gorey, for the official launch of the new Wexford Garden Trail.

Who better to launch such a venture than Wexford man, and gardening expert, Gerry Daly, who told those assembled he was delighted to launch this fantastic trail of gardens in my home county of Wexford.

' There are some real gems on this trail,' he said. ' Some of the gardens are unique such as Woodville House in New Ross, the stunning Johnstown Castle gardens and of course the JFK Arboretum. There are gardens on this trail that people will certainly not have visited or may not have known of prior to the setting up of this trail and they are real hidden gems.'

Twenty-one garden attractions across Wexford have come together to form the trail. The gardens all vary in size, heritage and landscape with some dating back to the 18th Century and others just ten years old. The trail includes a variety of garden styles including unique walled gardens, Japanese gardens, Arts and Crafts, woodland and many award winning gardens on offer to visitors.

County Manager Eddie Breen said the trail launch comes at a fantastic time of year at the beginning of the tourism season, ' I'm sure the Wexford Garden Trail will offer a real boost to the number of green fingered visitors to the Wexford over the coming years,' he said. 'Particularly with our port in Rosslare we know that car touring visitors tend to stay longer, tour around and spend more. And this trail is a real value offering for those visitors.'

Welcoming everyone to the launch of the Wexford Garden Trail Chairperson and owner of Monksgrange Garden Jeremy Hill said, 'Visitors to this trail are in for a real treat.'

'Our garden trail is sheltered by mountain and bordered by sea; the gardens of Wexford are filled with the rare and the tender, the recognisable and the mind teaser, the old and the new, the easy grown and the challenging,' he added. 'From tree ferns to feverfew, champion trees to memorial trees, rhododendron to geranium - in Wexford gardens you'll find everything that grows.'

'Some of our gardens are already well known; others have been hidden away and privately cared for until now,' he continued. 'A tour will show you the diversity of Wexford's scenery and natural habitats. Along with all our members, I am looking forward to sharing our love of gardens and our knowledge of plants with a new and appreciative audience.'

Details of all of the gardens can now be found at www.visitwexford.ie. The Trail has its own website at www.wexfordgardentrail.com .

The Wexford Garden Trail links the twenty one garden attractions including: Ballinkeele Garden; Ballymore Schoolhouse Garden; Beechdale Plantplus Garden Centre; Camolin Potting Shed; Cois na habhann; Colclough Walled Garden; Coolaught Gardens; Glenavon Japanese Garden; Horticare Garden Centre; JFK Arboretum; Johnstown Castle; Kilmokea Gardens; Kilmurry Nursery and Garden; Lucy's Wood Garden; Marlfield House and Garden; Monksgrange Garden; Newtownbarry House Garden; Springmount Garden Centre; The Bay Garden; Tombrick Gardens; and Woodville House Gardens.