National Botanic Gardens - Kilmacurragh

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Location: Guide Office, Kilmacurragh, Kilbride, Wicklow

The National Botanic Gardens in Kilmacurragh comprises the remnants of a large 18th century estate located in Kilbride in East Wicklow. Planted during the 19th century, it features a spectacular collection of rhododendrons that flower from early springtime. Modern refurbishment has rejuvenated the old plant collections, while a new initiative has seen an extensive collection of plants from temperate regions of the world (like China, Chile and the Himalayas) introduced. The wildflower meadows have been restored and guided tours through the meadows are a regular feature of our summer events for the public. The National Botanic Gardens in Kilmacurragh is now an outpost of the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. The milder climate, higher rainfall and deeper, acidic soils of the Wicklow gardens provide a counterpoint to the Glasnevin collections; the association between the two began in 1854 when Thomas Acton inherited the estate. He greatly benefited from the advice and support of Dr David Moore and his son Sir Frederick Moore, curators of Dublin’s National Botanic Gardens. Visitors to Kilmacurragh will enjoy elements like the rhododendron avenue, the double herbaceous borders, the Yew Walk, the Oak Avenue, and the Fossil Lawn. Fabulous displays of thousands of flowering bulbs can be seen from early spring onwards and few will forget the magnificent sight of Magnolia Campbellii, visible in spectacular bloom at the National Botanic Gardens in Kilmacurragh in March.