Thursday 20 June 2019

Botanic garden impresses Prince

Charles full of wonderment during tour

Members of the National Parks and Wildlife Service presenting Prince Charles with an oak seedling grown from a Glendalough acorn
Members of the National Parks and Wildlife Service presenting Prince Charles with an oak seedling grown from a Glendalough acorn

Myles Buchanan

Prince Charles appeared to be in his absolute element as he toured Kilmacurragh Gardens on Tuesday as part of his two day visit to County Wicklow.

The Royal was greeted by Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Andrew Doyle, head gardener Seamus O'Brien and Minister for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief Kevin 'Boxer' Moran.

The National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh occupies a large estate developed extensively during the nineteenth century by Thomas Acton in conjunction with David Moore and his son Sir Frederick Moor.

Kilmacurragh is particularly famous for its conifers and rhododendron collections - which wasn't lost on the visiting Prince.

Seamus O'Brien brought Prince Charles on a tour of Kilmacurragh and was impressed with his considerable knowledge of all things botany.

'It was a fantastic honour and Prince Charles seemed really interested in the tour. You couldn't meet a nicer man. He was very softly spoken and really knows his stuff. He seemed particularly fascinated with our rhododendron collections and kept coming back to it. He then asked if we could propagate our plants for him. Then out of the blue he asked if we could advise the planting he has planned at Dumfires Estate in Scotland. It was clear he was a genuine gardener who knows his stuff. I'd be pretty certain it's the biggest tour I will ever give,' said Seamus.

Prince Charles began his visit by walking through a wild meadow with the Wicklow hills as a stunning backdrop, and continued along a path which took him to Kilmacurragh House, where he listened intently to restoration plans for the building.

Before he left Kilmacurragh, Prince Charles was presented with handmade clothes from Anna Dobson's 'Love Mo Chuisle' label for all his grandchildren.

Minister of State, Andrew Doyle, said it was clear the visiting Royal was enjoying his surroundings.

'He was a very pleasant man and clearly had a genuine interest in plants. Seamus was his guide and he and the Prince were talking in Latin more than English, going through the Latin names of all the plants. It was an honour to greet him and it was a big coup for Wicklow.'

Prince Charles then departed for a guided tour of Wicklow Mountains National Park and Glendalough.

On his arrival, The Prince was greeted by the Secretary General of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Katherine Licken, and other officials of the Department. Wesley Atkinson, Regional Manager of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) was also among the welcoming party.

The Prince of Wales' first stop on his tour of the National Park was the Upper Lake in Glendalough, where he also greeted members of Glen of Imaal Mountain Rescue Team and the Dublin Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team.

He was also introduced to a number of schoolchildren from Scoil Chaoimhín Naofa in Glendalough who are participating in one of the many Education programmes run in the National Park. NPWS staff presented his Royal Highness with an oak seedling grown from an acorn collected from the Oak woodlands in Glendalough.

Wicklow People