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The Powerscourt Blog

An update from Powerscourt Gardens

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Feb 11, 2015 4:49:00 PM

Today was another misty day at Powerscourt and there is a still a February chill to the air! It was great to have another dry day, in fact, it has hardly rained here at the estate for nearly 3 weeks! This afternoon I enjoyed a walk through the gardens with Head Gardener Michael Byrne as we made plans for creating a new tree trail through Powerscourt Gardens. The trail will soon launch - keep posted for further details shortly on our blog! 

This week there is a real sense that spring is coming at last. While there is not much colour at this time of year, it's a fantastic time to visit and enjoy the perennials at Powerscourt and particularly our fine tree collection. The greenery of the trees and the many shrubs that adorn the gardens really stand out in winter time. The statuary is also much more noticeable and truly commands the landscape around it.

Unfortunately as we started our walk we came across a tree that had recently come down in the gardens, and caused some damage to other trees around it. We have hundreds of trees in the gardens and know that we will occasionally lose one. Still it's always sad to see! There are so many fine trees at Powerscourt which you can get to know better by visiting the gardens and walking our new trail when it's ready. Head Gardener Michael will be giving a guided walk of the trees in Powerscourt Gardens on the 3rd of March at 11am to celebrate National Tree Week. You can book tickets to the event here.

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As we walked along the long walk in Powerscourt Gardens today, I caught the most amazing scent! Michael explained that it came from a tree he planted about 5 years ago - Daphne Bholua 'Jacqueline Postill'. It has a sweet perfume and its bright pink flowers are a welcome sight at this time of year.

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The daffodils are slowly starting to emerge, with just a few up at the moment. In a few weeks time, we will have a fantastic show of colour. Here is a reminder from previous springs at Powerscourt!

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There were some snowdrops up in the woodlands of Tower Valley; they are a particular favourite of mine! To me, the snowdrop heralds the start of spring and is a sign of everything good a new year brings with it.

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There is lots to look forward to in the gardens over the coming months!

The Japanese Garden will spring to life in March and April with Magnolia flowers, Azaleas and Cherry and Apple Blossom trees. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit the Japanese Garden. The foliage and flowers change week on week and there is always something new to discover. Here are some of our beautiful cherry blossoms from years gone past:

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The Camellias in the Walled Garden have to be of the most stunning sights in winter and spring! With such an abudance of petals, so intricately formed, this flower has a sense of decadence about it!

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There will be lots more plants and flowers to discover over the coming weeks at Powerscourt! Keep posted on our blog for Head Gardener Michael's regular updates from the gardens.

Learn more about the trees in Powerscourt Gardens. We hope to welcome you here soon!

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate, Powerscourt Gardens, Events, Tree Week

National Tree Week launches at Powerscourt

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Feb 26, 2014 3:40:00 PM

The Tree Council of Ireland has selected Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow as the venue for the Launch of National Tree Week (2nd to 8th March 2014). The festivities will get underway on Sunday 2nd March at 2pm at this family-friendly event. The trees on the estate have been planted over the past two centuries and there are hundreds of varieties for you to discover.

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There is so much to look forward to at the launch of National Tree Week at Powerscourt including a giveaway of over 2,000 trees thanks to Coillte. Enjoy an opportunity to meet tree specialists, wood turners, bee-keepers and basket weavers and learn about these crafts and pastimes. Activities for children include a climbing wall, archery lessons and face-painting.

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Special events to mark National Tree Walk at Powerscourt include guided walks of the trees in the Powerscourt Gardens with Head Gardener Michael Byrne and John McLoughlin from the Tree Council. Michael Byrne will also lead a special walk to the tallest tree in Ireland, located on the Powerscourt River Walk, to mark the occasion. For dates and times of these guided walks, visit www.powerscourt.ie/events. All of the events, with the exception of the guided walks, are free of charge.

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National Tree Week is sponsored by the National Tree Council, Coillte, Airtricity and Powerscourt Estate.

We look forward to seeing you here! 

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate, Powerscourt River Walk, Powerscourt Gardens, Events, Tree Week

2013: A year of wonderful events at Powerscourt in Wicklow!

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Dec 16, 2013 12:12:00 PM

The year has passed by in a whirlwind! We had over 40 events this year at Powerscourt and hope to have even more for you to enjoy next year. From treasure hunts and guided walks to gardening workshops, bug hunts and theatre evenings we have all enjoyed this year's events so much and hope you have too. Many thanks to all of our customers and friends who attended our events, spread the word and shared their stories afterwards with great photos and blogs. It's been a great year so let's look back now and enjoy some memories :)

Our events programme kicked off in March with a visit from the Irish Ghosthunters as they investigated some paranomal activity at Powerscourt. There have been lots of spooky sightings at Powerscourt over the years and we had 60 members of the public along to experience some of them alongside the team! A trip to the Pepper Pot Tower in the pitch black of night was definitely among the scarier moments!

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National Tree Week at Powerscourt got off to a great start in early March with a guided walk of the trees in Powerscourt Gardens with Crann. It was a very cold day but 50 brave souls braved the elements and we warmed up with tea and coffee afterwards in Powerscourt House.

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Imaginosity, Dublin Children's Museum were on hand to launch 'The Gathering' at Powerscourt for St.Patrick's Day. It was a fantastic family day out, with Shamrock face-painting and a Ceili in the Grand Entrance Hall followed by a 'Shamrock Treasure Hunt' in Powerscourt Gardens.

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At Easter, families enjoyed 'Tink’s Treasure Trail' through the gardens, a nature trail inspired by the many different plants and flowers that are in bloom in the grounds of Powerscourt. 

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Head Gardener Michael and his team's hard work paid off when over 10,000 beautiful tulips arrived in Powerscourt as part of the annual Tulip Festival in April. Michael gave some brilliant guided walks this year on the Tulips, Rhododendron Walk and much more as the gardens progressed through each of the seasons. One of my favourite events was a 'Behind the Scenes' tour with Michael where we learnt how to clean the statues in the gardens and how he mows the sloped lawns!

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'The Wicklow Gardens Festival' in May and June saw some fantastic gardening and tree experts visit the gardens. Michael Seery kept us entertained with the 'Hidden Gems' of Powerscourt walking tour while President of the RHSI Robert Myerscough provided a fantastic tour of the trees of Powerscourt Gardens.

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One of the highlights of the year was our afternoon of ourdoor theatre featuring the one and only Sherlock Holmes in June. Over 200 people came along to Powerscourt armed with delicious picnics and rugs and made a day of it in the gardens. The Irish Times were there to cover the event on the most sunniest of days and the feedback from you all was terrific.

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Photo copyright of The Irish Times

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Photo copyright of The Irish Times

The amazing heatwave this summer meant we all got so many fantastic days outdoors with our families. Many of you came to walk and play in the gardens for Imaginosity's Enchanted Walk in July where a fictional 'Lady Powerscourt' led families on a tour of the gardens with myths and fairytales.

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Over 150 sparking and shiny vintage cars turned out for the annual Vintage Car Run at Powerscourt as part of Heritage Week in August. We were serenaded by cool sounds of jazz and had a lovely time chatting with the car owners and posing for photos beside their cars. 

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Also as part of Heritage Week, Imaginosity were back with us again for a performance of the play 'A Selfish Giant' and outdoor games at Powerscourt Waterfall. 

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The Wicklow Mountains National Park services kindly gave a wonderful Bat Walk along Powerscourt River Walk at Powerscourt in September where many bats reside. 

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We weren thrilled with the fabulous turnout we got for our foraging walk along the River Walk in September! Over 150 people came along to learn about all the wonderful edible things in our environment, it was a great day out. 

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One of the highlights of the year was the 'Perils of Powerscourt' at Halloween, a spooky walk designed by Imaginosity through the grounds of Powerscourt. Over 600 people came along on the day. With 800 years of history, Powerscourt has a wealth of spooky stories perfect for Halloween!

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In November, we were thrilled to discover that the tallest tree in Ireland is located right here on Powerscourt Estate! Head Gardener Michael Byrne brought a large crowd down to see the tree along Powerscourt River Walk and for a tour of this beautiful and quiet part of the estate.

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Last but not least! The wonderful Santa and Mrs Claus are back again at Powerscourt House for the month of December. It's been another wonderful year at Powerscourt and we look forward to putting on lots more events for you in 2014. A very happy Christmas to you from everyone at Powerscourt Estate.

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate, Powerscourt River Walk, Powerscourt Gardens, Events, Powerscourt House, Powerscourt Waterfall, Tree Week

A stroll through the trees at Powerscourt with David Corscadden

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Oct 23, 2013 11:57:00 AM

My most recent trip to Powerscourt coincided perfectly with National Tree Day and gave me the perfect opportunity to just focus on the amazing range of trees that the gardens have to boast.

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I think when people go to visit gardens, they often don’t look at the trees, that is of course unless they are very showy or look different.

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Often it is when splendour of all the flowers in a garden has faded and the trees begin to put on a fiery display of autumn colour that people start to take notice.

In my eyes this is a big mistake, as trees really are the back bone to a garden and add so much to them. Even though when I visit a garden I try to take in the trees as well as the plants, I have been known to swoon that bit more as the trees change from green to shades of red, copper and yellow! I think though when you visit a garden, especially Powerscourt, you should always be aware of the trees around you.

Your experience with trees doesn’t just happen when you walk out the door of the house and step foot on the gravel paths above the Italian garden. It really starts the minute you drive in the gate.

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The main avenue leading up to Powerscourt House is such a brilliant example of trees dictating a landscape. You not only get to enjoy the towering trees above you as you drive in, but about half way up the drive way get some spectacular views out across the surrounding countryside and mountains which are dotted with great clusters of trees.

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I would highly recommend on your next visit to the garden, once you have parked your car in the car park, to take a half an hour or so and walk down the avenue. I think this is the best way to appreciate the sheer size and grandeur of the trees along the drive. Trust me you will not regret it, and it may even pose the perfect spot to take a photo or two!

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Once you get back to the house you will walk past a collection of very interesting trees flanking either side of the house. Irish yews are commonly associated with graveyards and churches as they are believed to ward off evil spirits and also are said to be associated with longevity.

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Once you get into the gardens one of the first places I like to visit is the dolphin pond as there are some great trees here to just marvel at their sheer size.

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One of the trees that I particularly like here is the English walnut, Juglans regia. I love the large glossy leaves of it and its rather rough bark.

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Another great tree in this area is just a short walk from the pond, down towards the rhododendron walk. Acacia baileyana, is just a fantastic tree! Its leaves are almost like the leaves on ferns and when the light shines through them they cast a brilliant pattern on the ground.

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While there really is a countless amount of tress that I could talk about around the entire garden, I don’t think any of them can really rival the sheer firework display of foliage that is taking place in the Japanese Garden.

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The trees and even some of the shrubs in the Japanese garden at this time of year look amazing. Everywhere you look there is a tree that looks like it has just erupted in to flames.

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I would highly recommend a trip to visit the gardens at Powerscourt to experience the great display that is currently going on high above your head. And make sure to climb to the top of the Pepperpot Tower to get a great aerial view of all the trees around you and to feel like a giant for a few minutes.

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 Thanks so much to David Corscadden for this fantastic article! You can read David's wonderful gardening blog here.

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate, Powerscourt Gardens, Guest Blog, Tree Week