Covering more than 20 acres on the banks of the River Vartry, the gardens were first laid out in 1868 by textile magnate Edward Walpole. Succeeding generations further planted and maintained the grounds, which today include more than 5,000 types of native and nonnative plants. The "Robinsonian" (that is, informal) gardener has made the most of the riverside locale by planting eucalyptus, azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons. The river is visible from nearly everywhere in the gardens; miniature suspension bridges bounce and sway underfoot as you cross the river. Near the entrance, you'll find a cluster of crafts shops (including a pottery workshop) as well as a bookstore and café. The twin villages of Ashford and Rathnew are to the south and east, and Newtownmountkennedy is to the north.
Ashford, Co. Wicklow, Ireland