The gardens of Co. Meath attract the horticulture enthusiast as well as the urban dweller seeking relaxation. For example, the Hamwood Gardens close to Dunboyne are set in the grounds of an eighteenth century Palladian style house, all designed by Charles Hamilton in 1779. The pine walk, rose garden, walled garden, herb garden, and restored serpentine walk garden create a peaceful atmosphere.
One of Ireland’s most interesting restored gardens is located at Loughcrew, near Oldcastle in north Meath. The land at Loughcrew was owned by St. Oliver Plunkett’s family. Since the 1660’s, generations of the Naper family have been restoring the features of the Loughcrew Estate and have recreated and enhanced the exceptional gardens.
This magnificent garden has been created into a dream-like landscape with lawns and terraces, a lime avenue, yew walk, walled garden, and a vibrant, full herbaceous border. Throughout the gardens are a number of delicately crafted ‘fairies in yew trees’ sculptures by artist Ann Meldon Hugh, adding to the atmosphere of fantasy evoked by the natural surroundings. The gardens are set off by the presence of a tranquil canal, an historical medieval mote, a Tower House and St. Oliver Plunkett’s family church.
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