Ireland: Powerscourt

Powerscourt Gardens are about an hour south of Dublin in Enniskerry, County Wicklow, affectionately known as the Garden of Ireland.

It’s always good to eat before you visit a garden. You can focus on the plants without wondering when lunch is coming. We did just that at Powerscourt: treated ourselves to a sumptuous cafeteria-style lunch outdoors on a warm sunny day with a fine view of Sugarloaf Mountain beyond.

Powerscourt is a grand old garden, classic Italian with statuary, lakes, and fountains. Japanese gardens, which we did not see, must be lovely when azaleas bloom. The long herbaceous border is hidden behind a wall that does double plant-duty. It backs a magnificent hedge of hydrangeas, too.

There is a reason we missed the Japanese gardens. We could have navigated the entire garden in an hour or so, and, in retrospect, we probably should have. Instead, we are such plant freaks that we gave an obligatory nod toward statues and pots, and dahlias near glass houses, and beelined for the herbaceus border.

It’s an astounding variety of perennials, shrubs, wildflowers and tropicals. Lady’s mantle and hosta rub elbows with daylilies, goldenrod and grasses, achillea, sedum and asters, palms, acanthus and eryngium. Fair warning, this slide show is heavy on flower-power. Take note of the “No Cuttings” sign and the lovely gate.

P.S. A fine-looking manor house is attached to these gardens, but we forgot to take pictures of it. We thought you might be curious, so we included a picture borrowed from the Powerscourt Gardens website.

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