From now until the first week of July, flower hunters visiting Birr Castle Estate will be greeted with wonder and surprise – a spectacle of flowers changing from day to day.
Right now your feast includes magnificent collections of magnificent magnolias in full bloom, camellias ranging from soft to deep shades of pink, acres of daffodils, bellflowers and hellebores. To follow this and show the first signs of wonder, rhododendrons, peony and lilac all lead to the awe-inspiring wisteria that can be found in formal gardens.
For those looking for the most native land plants, the estate has an abundance of wild garlic, wild snowflakes, heather and one of Ireland’s finest wildflower meadows which will be in all its glory at mid-June.
And the cherry trees are about to burst into full bloom! Flowers, plants and trees have inspired artists and poets for many years and are now inspiring a whole new generation of photographers and Instagrammers, with the hashtag #cherryblossom garnering 9.4 million posts on Instagram.
In Japan, cherry blossom season is a festival complete with daily media announcements, specialist trips to view the blossoms, and restaurant menus inspired by their beauty. Birr Castle Demesne plans to plant around 100 cherry blossom trees over the next three years.
Grainne O’Malley, Managing Director of Birr Castle Demesne, says: “These beautiful trees will bring early season blooms that will attract and feed the bees, as well as providing a feast for the soul. Cherry blossoms are a particularly good choice for the ecosystem, as they have many flower buds to attract large numbers of bees, as well as other wildlife. The trees will provide living space for birds, beetles and a variety of insects too. Their beautiful pink flowers will be a feast for the senses, and this project will create another space of wonder within the Estate.
Birr Castle Demesne has a world famous collection of flowers, plants and trees. The Estate is well worth a visit at any time of year, but for many frequent visitors spring and early summer are their favorite times with the magnificent magnolias in bloom and cherry blossoms appearing in a riot of pastel colors. There are bluebells everywhere in March and usually in April the promenade of camellias bloom, alongside glorious peonies as the cherry blossoms fade for another year.
The lilac in the formal garden will bring stunning color in May, followed by the wondrous wisteria nestled in an intimate pergola in the formal gardens, culminating in wildflower meadows in June and July, alongside summer roses. summer and a wide range of other flowers on the terrace promenade. In summer you will find the romantic promenade of the cloister of charms, planted by Anne, Countess of Rosse in 1936 to celebrate her marriage to Michel, 6th Count of Rosse. It has the tallest boxwood hedges in the world. A collection of old roses complete the delphinium border in summer. A feast for the eyes
In her book ‘Great Gardens of Europe’, Eliana Ferioli writes “’In the heart of Ireland, a world famous green jewel’ when describing Birr Castle Demesne. Birr now has plant material collected and subscribed by three generations of the family, as well as some of the most famous plant hunters, past and present. It was the first garden in Ireland to receive specimens of Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood) after it was discovered in China in 1945. Recent plant hunting expeditions by the current Earl and Countess include Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Iran, South Africa, New Zealand, China and Bhutan. www.birrcastle.com