Friday 25 April 2014

Oriental Bridesmaids Of An Irish Summer. (Visit To Muckross Gardens In Killarney)

The magnificent Rhododendrons of Muckross House, Killarney, County Kerrry, Ireland.
There are two Orientals plant that shows me that summer is finally on its way: the Rhododendron and the Azalea.  They were originally brought back from Asia for their amazing architectural features and shelter for game on large country estates.  They thrive in the acidic peaty soils of Ireland.  In some parts of  the Killarney park they have become a nuisance.  Millions of pounds are spent around the world trying to control these invasive species.  I have read that a lot of the Japanese Knot-weed came with the import of these plants.  

 I think they are incredibly beautiful and remind me of  plump bridesmaids in their show off, blousy dresses.
Here's a picture of some of the deer grazing in the Muckross house estate.  Queen Victoria once stayed here in her visit to Ireland.  There's a farm, the big house, Abbey, Lakes and gardens to visit.  Car parking is free and a good day is guaranteed for all.  What's your favourite country estate?

I use to love visiting Cholmondley Castle gardens in Cheshire.  It's quintessentially English with magnificent gardens (check out the Italian sunken garden), a great cafeteria with home made produce and Charles and Diana got engaged there.  Not many people know that. 


  1. And another oriental plant that's taking over is the Japanese Knotweed, spreads like wildfire, usually along watercourses and almost impossible to eradicate, it's getting to be epidemic in our area.
    Even the great floods a few years ago, when millions of tons of riverbank went missing, didn't eradicate it, it's back big time.

  2. Hi Cumbrian, Yes there are lots of invasive plants like Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam (often gets confused with Knotweed), Rosebay Willow Herb and Ragwort. A lot of our vegetables and garden plants originate from foreign places. They use to blame the railways for spreading the Rosebay willow Herb. Don't see much of it in Ireland. I once found a white one growing in my garden. Thanks!

  3. Strange how you mention two very notable parasitics - Rhododendron & Queen Victoria in your blog Dave.

  4. Hi Heron, You have a great sense of humour. Queen Victoria said she enjoyed her visits to Ireland. I love visiting large country estates, especially with walled kitchen gardens. Where would you recommend to visit in Ireland, Heron?

    1. Birr Castle plus it's grounds & telescope in Offaly.
      Cahir Castle and Swiss Cottage in Tipperary.
      Armagh - if you've a head for heights ;-)
      Historic houses of Carlow.
      Huntingdon Castle, Clonegal, Wexford
      To name but a few ok
      Off topic - a suggestion about a grass cutter on my blog you might enjoy !

  5. Thanks, Heron. I love visiting stately homes and their fantastic landscaped gardens.

  6. It cost 88 Million to eradicate Japanese Knotweed from the London Olympic village.

  7. I really must look out for some sweety
    visit my blod


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