Wicklow is The Garden of Ireland and places like Powerscourt, Mount Ushers or Kilmacuragh are arguably some of the best gardens in Ireland. But what about all the secret spaces we’ve yet to discover? Look at the list below and check some of Wicklow’s Hidden Gardens offering a variety of experiences, and acres of beauty for everyone. Those gardens might not be open at all times, and some by appointment only. Please Check their individual pages or call for opening times and further details.
June Blake’s Garden is a critically-acclaimed spot in West Wicklow and a little slice of heaven in our county. Surrounded by woodland and beautiful countryside, June’s Victorian cottage and garden is remote and almost mythic in how it is all laid out over 3 gorgeous rural acres. June offers her famous Garden Tours to newcomers, a large selection of plants are available for sale, you can enjoy a picnic in the garden and for wanting an overnight stay, there is the option of staying at one of the restored farm buildings – The Cowhouse or The Turkey House.
International speaker, TV presenter, author and self-confessed “plant nerd” Jimi Blakes has one of the largest private plant collections in Ireland, was given a special feature on Gardener’s World and shares his passion for plants via his various workshops and lectures. Spanning over 20 acres and including a wild variety of plants – from tropical gardens to cactus, wild meadows and a valley. A visit to Jimi Blakes is an absolute must for both gardening enthusiasts and people eager to learn more about horticulture.
Walled Garden @Russborough House
Opening over a decade ago, Walled Gardens of Russborough was formerly an old walled garden. Now, it has been beautifully restored by volunteers. The garden has a wide range of herbaceous plants – apple trees, strawberries, vegetables et al. Cultivated to make jams and food, generating income for the family-run house. Russborough also has an impressive array of art collectibles connected to various local art, sport, and music events.
The award-winning Patthana Gardens in Kiltegan was created by T.J Maher and Simon Kirby, has been featured on BBC’s Gardener’s World and and included in The 100 Best Gardens in Ireland by Shirley Lanigan in 2011. Visitors of all ages will find something to enjoy at Patthana. Including a meditation room, a Torc garden (installed in 2021) and for horticultural enthusiasts, The Patthana Garden Course. The instructor has a degree in fine art from NCAD, so you’ll be in safe hands if you choose to participate. T.J also gives garden seasonal walks, which is included in the entry fee. A lesser-known garden with a big heart. This is a family-run establishment, which lends it an intimacy that should put guests instantly at ease.
Shekina Sculptures Garden
The generous-spirited Catherine McCann has opened her garden to the public and many consider their visit to Shekina Sculpture Gardens an almost spiritual experience. An open-air art gallery, many of the unique features are the sculptures that sit in the shadow of the Fanairian Mountains, showcasing over 15 local artists, who draw inspiration from their beautiful surroundings and biblical stories about creation, rebirth, and folklore.
Wren’s Wood first opened it’s doors back in 1990. The Shamrock All-Garden award-winning space has over 6 hectares of secluded nature-friendly woodland garden, with streams and an ancient ring-fort and lots of interesting wildlife. In Ashford, Wren’s Wood is perhaps the most accessible and easy to reach gardens on the list. Alexander and Lydia are excellent hosts, tour-guides and genuinely enjoy engaging with visitors while sharing Wren’s Wood Garden’s history.
Victor’s Way: Indian Sculptures Park
For New Age aficionados, Victor’s Way is a sculpture garden informed by South East Asian spiritualism and will appeal to the more contemplative souls. Covering 20 acres, it takes roughly an hour to walk, see the impressive sculptures on display, and water-proof shoes and clothing are mandatory. Note: this garden is probably not recommended to children. Step into Victor’s philosophical box! It is transcendent.
The Old Rectory Garden & Textile Printing Studio
The Old Rectory Garden is an eco-friendly and sustainable printing studio operated by Joanna Sloan and located in Dunganstown in Wicklow. It is a ‘Garden of Life’ boasting a working kitchen garden, a long herbaceous border of perennials, an orchard of fruit trees, bees and hens, a woodland walk and a parkland walk amid ancient beech, rhododendrons and acers set against a commanding view towards Lugnaquilla.
Gorse Hill can be described as an open air gallery inviting visitors to absorb what you see, smell and hear. Gorse Hill is a steeply terraced garden of approximately four acres overlooking the Irish Sea. Family owned for over fifty years, the garden has filled out with mature Cordyline trees, New Zealand flax’s, Fuchsias, giant Echiums and many more plants that can withstand a seaside environment.