Ireland Tour 2014
Dublin & Belfast
June 21st - 30th, 2014


June 24th was our day of leisure

June 25th
Three visits today…first was Jimi Blake and his Hunting Brook Gardens…
Jimi was there to greet us and you could tell how passionate he is about his plants from the first moment. Us too…we scattered to get photos and the questions kept coming. He has some wonderful beds….full of exquisite colours and combinations. His place is just so informal and inviting and enjoying tea and cake was just the nicest way to end our visit with him.

Then off down the road to visit his sister, June Blake…
June is incredible…her energy and love for this place is so evident. After a most delicious lunch we headed out for our tour with her. She has a new cottage for guests now, built in the old cow barn and it is totally gorgeous. Called the Cowhouse, it has even won an award. WINNER of 'BEST HOUSE' 2014 at the Architecture Ireland Awards- RIAI. The Cow House is a recently restored 19th Century farm building set in the grounds of June Blake's internationally acclaimed garden. This beautiful contemporary renovation was designed by Architect's Michael Kelly and Dan Costelloe. This coupled with her most beautiful gardens guarantees anyone who stays here a memorable visit indeed. In fact while we were here we met a couple from Canada staying there. They enjoyed the tour along with us. It was pure joy to walk these grounds built with such love and dedication.

And finally the beautiful Mount Usher Gardens…
When we arrived we were greeted by our guide and off we set to discover the surprises of Mount Usher. The trees are what you look at here and with the river Varty flowering through, it promises to be a most calming and tranquil visit. Started by the Walpole family some 140 years ago and now in the hands of Donald and Simon Pratt of Avoca, this organic jewel is a garden that you not only look forward, but backwards and up as you walk through. So many secret gardens to explore along the pathways, lovely bridges to stand on a watch the rhythm of the flow, quaint shops at the entrance including a lovely outside café, it made for a wonderful end to our day.

DSC01998 - 2129