The mild climate of County Kerry, benefited by the Gulf Stream, makes it an ideal home for a wide variety of plant life. From the everyday to the extraordinary, all manner or plants, flowers and trees can be found in the many gardens and parks of the county. A selection of gardens within easy reach of the Killarney Royal Hotel includes the following;
Muckross House and Gardens
Muckross House and Gardens are situated in Killarney National Park. The gardens’s famous rhododendrons are in bloom from April to July. Featuring a sunken garden, a rock garden and a stream garden, it is of little wonder that Muckross Gardens are so popular. In the arboretum you will find many trees from the Southern Hempisphere, and the Walled Garden Centre, opening onto the Victoria walled garden, is well worth a visit.
Dunloe Castle & Gardens
The gardens at Dunloe Castle are filled with rare and beautiful plants and flowers, from South African lilies to Japanese maples. The gardens surround the ruin of the medieval castle, facing the beautiful mountains. A tour of the gardens lasts about one hour and showcases everything from magnificent magnolias to New Zealand cabbage trees.
Dhu Varren Gardens
Dhu Varren Gardens boast a rich variety of subtropical plant-life, with landscaped gardens, alpines and ferns, water gardens and an arboretum featuring shrubs and bamboos. Two large glasshouses are home to more arid plant displays. The Japanese garden with a koi carp pond is not to be missed. The gardens are fully accessible and provide ample seating from which to enjoy the botanical surroundings. Guided walks can be arranged on request.
Dereen Gardens Kenmare
Dereen gardens feature an array of subtropical trees and shrubs taking advantage of the warmth of the Gulf Stream. Here you will be surprised by collection of plant life that was proudly planted by the 5th Marquis of Landsdowne, such as tree ferns from Tasmania and the weeping pine of Mexico. Sturdy walking shoes are recommended as you tour the place where King Edward VII planted a tree, the ‘King’s Oozy’. Find your way through the camellias and hoherias to Knockatee Seat, where a beautiful vista awaits.
The garden at Glanleam somewhat resembles a jungle, with wild exotic plants prevailing. The long and narrow garden features winding paths, streams and water features. With walks through bluebells, camellias, bamboos and a wide array of ferns, this 40 acres site has plenty to offer.
Chris Barron of Killarney National Park Educational Centre can cater for bespoke tours for groups. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 064 6635960.
Gardens in Kerry:
Dhu Varren Garden
Glanleam Subtropical Gardens
Hotel Dunloe Castle
Kells Bay House and Gardens
Muckross House, Gardens and Arboretum
Garden of Europe - Listowel
Garden of the Senses in Sneem
Ashe Memorial Town Park- Tralee (roses, manicured lawns & sculptures)
Parks in Kerry:
Killarney National Park
Coolwood Wildlife Park
Bonane Heritage Park
Reenagross Park (Small Woodland area)
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Glengarriff on Garinish Island www.glengarriff.ie
Ballymaloe Cookery School Gardens www.cookingisfun.ie