Gardening on the Edge: Ireland’s Coastal Gardens and Demesnes

Posted on November 27th, 2011 by Charles Boot
Feb ’12
8
6:30 pm

Gardening on the Edge:  Ireland’s Coastal Gardens and Demesnes

Terence Reeves-Smyth,
Senior Inspector of Built Heritage with the Environment and Heritage Service, Ireland

6.30 pm Wednesday 8 February,
The Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street

Coastal gardens of the 17th and 18th centuries in Ireland were created in spite, rather than because of, their location.  Early attempts to plant successful shelter belts were not always successful and it was not until the 19th century that landowners began to successfully cope with the harsh and exposed conditions of coastal districts with their salt-laden winds. Success here was followed by a growing appreciation of the horticultural benefits of Ireland’s wonderfully mild (though wet) maritime coastal belt.  Gardens began to be intentionally sited to take advantage of its equable climate, as at Sir Peter Fitzgerald’s garden at Glanleam, Co. Kerry, which was begun in the 1830s. In subsequent decades a string of other famous coastal gardens were created, such as Rossdohan, the Garnish Islands, Derreen and Fota.  Today most of Ireland’s finest gardens lie within twelve miles of her coast.

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