We love a stroll ’round a fancy garden.
Coffee in hand, sunglasses on, there are few sweeter ways to while away the balmy days of summer than wandering aimlessly past fabulous flower beds and magnificent trees.
Happily, Cork is teeming with gorgeous historic gardens, five of which have been featured in a new visitor guide published by The Office of Public Works.
Launched at Bloom in Dublin this week, the comprehensive guide to each of the OPW’s 32 stunning gardens features Garinish Island, Barryscourt Castle, Fota Arboretum and Gardens, Doneraile Estate, and Annes Grove Gardens, which the OPW take pride in recording and preserving for future generations.
Each historic garden offers a unique experience of the OPW and showcases the year-round work of its professional gardeners and dedicated grounds people.
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Visitors can discover an oasis of nature on the banks of the river Awbeg at Annes Grove Gardens, or admire the larch trees at Doneraile Estate, which are said to have been planted in the 1730s. The Fota Arboretum & Gardens in Carrigtwohill offers one of the finest collections of rare and tender trees and shrubs grown outdoors in Europe.
“There truly is something for everyone in the Rebel County,” said Glyn Sherratt, Head Gardener at Garinish Island.
“I find that visitors to Garinish Island are most struck by our collection of rare plants, including mature magnolias, rhododendrons, and exotics from the Southern Hemisphere.
“The gardens on the island date back over 100 years, to a choice collaboration between then owners Annan and Violet Bryce and acclaimed architect Harold Peto. Visitors can enter the Bryce household, which has been carefully preserved, and admire displays of drawings, prints, and books.”
The guide is now available online for the public to download at OPW.ie.