In Search of Enchantment... 8 Romantic Irish Gardens to Visit this Summer
Words by Dhivyaa Chelvan
There is an undeniable sense of endearment to the poetic landscape and romantic ruins of the Irish countryside. Each garden, the castle and its enchanting vistas has a unique persona, interwoven with the history of the region and family. No trip to Ireland would be complete without a visit to these beautiful old-world luxury fairy-tale gardens. 1. Ballintubbert Gardens & House, Co. Laois
Dating back to 1725, this Georgian style estate was home to a famous British poet, C. Day Lewis. Retaining its existing vibe, Ballintubbert has been thoughtfully restored and expanded to blend luxury, style and art. Today, the 14 acres of beautifully landscaped historic pleasure garden accommodates water features, woodlands, and kitchen gardens, to only name a few. Pay a visit in the summer months to indulge in the sweet scents of peonies, hydrangeas, and roses.
Set in the heart of Wicklow mountains, this most elegant country estate encompasses 47 acres of gardens that offers sweeping Italianate terraces, Japanese Garden, statues and ornamental lakes among others. The gardens were designed from 1731 onwards and was voted as the third best in the world by the National Geographic. Planning to ask your beloved to marry you? This is possibly the best place in Ireland to get down on one knee...
Famous for its ‘Sky Garden’ designed by Artist James Turrell, the 163 acres of gardens, lake, and forests at Liss Ard is a magical experience to behold. The estate’s history stretches back to 1853, and now operates as a luxury country retreat. LissArd’s collection of garden rooms includes the lakeside walk, the waterfall garden, the woodland garden, the water garden, arboretum and the wildflower meadow. It’s the perfect place to spend a romantic weekend packed with leisure activities!
This beautiful painting-like garden is a little piece of paradise along the river Varty. Founded in 1868 by Edward Pole, the garden was greatly influenced by William Robinson, a famous Irish gardener who believed a garden should grow on nature’s term. The beautiful little water cascades, suspension bridges and the ever-changing array of colours and textures enhanced by pleasant scents makes it an ideal destination for a romantic day trip.
5. Heywood Gardens, Co. Laois
Photo credits: Dhivyaa Chelvan
This small formal Italianate garden is a part of Heywood House, that no longer exist. The garden’s features such as gorgeous fountain, old Gothic gates and ancient characters, complete with lawns, borders, and a sunken garden makes it a great location for couple photo-shoot.
This 12 acres of family garden, worked by three generations of artists for over 150 years consist of large herbaceous borders, shrubberies, a rock garden, a yew walk divided by a pergola, a sundial garden, an old orchard, organic vegetable garden, a more formal stable yard garden and a large woodland garden surrounded by water. The rustic Green Barn is a pleasant space for a luncheon or dinner date!
7. Garnish Island, Co.Cork
Photo credits: Dhivyaa Chelvan
This sub-tropical garden island is a short ferry ride from Glengarriff Pier. The island, originally designed by an English landscape architect, Harold Peto, is famous for its meticulously planned pathways, lush lawns, formal gardens and exotic plants. The Italian garden is the famous and most photographed spot of the island. Plan an entire day to spend a leisure time in the gardens. If weather permits, take a dip in the Bantry Bay!
This heritage garden dates back to late 1800s, making it one of the last walled gardens of Victorian era in Ireland. Wander amidst the vegetable garden, herbaceous border, oak plantations and shaded fernery, to feel the romance in the air!
Note: The gardens are not numbered in any particular order
Do you have a magical place in mind to take your loved ones? We would like to hear about it! Let us know in the comments below...