Kilmokea gardens, Co. Wexford

7 Feb 2015

The text review of this garden has been largely removed since it was posted. The text and captions that remain has not been altered from my original posting.

 

The Ballyhack ferry in Passage East about to return to the east side of the river. The journey is a short one but saves a long drive north to cross the River Barrow and into Kilkenny before returning south.

The Ballyhack ferry in Passage East about to return to the east side of the river. The journey is a short one but saves a long drive north to cross the River Barrow and into Kilkenny before returning south.

Last weekend, on my jaunt to the south of the county I headed to the western edge of Wexford, past the Ballyhack car ferry which connects Co. Wexford with Co. Waterford across the River Suir to Passage East and up the coast to Campile, on the way to New Ross, to visit Kilmokea Gardens.

The main house, build as a rectory, is  now a family-run hotel.

The main house, built as a rectory, is now an up-market family-run hotel.

Kilmokea is a private garden around a country house hotel that is approached across a causeway on Great Island, Campile. To their credit, the gardens are well signposted. The gardens, in their present layout, appear to date from 1947 and the woodland garden, accessed through a gate and across a road, date from 1968. The guide leaflet doesn’t give much away but the garden is eclectic and fun to explore. The mild climate favours tender plants and there are some nice specimens of rare plants.

Looking towards the house from the Italian Loggia

Looking towards the house from the Italian Loggia

kilmokea sept 14111

I love this door handle :)

I love this door handle

 

Sometimes shabby chic works in the garden as well as in the home. A moist, mild climate creates the sort of combination of moss and fern that makes stone,  berberis and fuchsia not just nice but beautiful

Sometimes shabby chic works in the garden as well as in the home. A moist, mild climate creates the sort of combination of moss and fern that makes stone, berberis and fuchsia not just nice but beautiful

Musa basjoo in a big clump. How cool is this?

Musa basjoo in a big clump. How cool is this?

You don't have to look far to see really attractive areas

You don’t have to look far to see really attractive areas

I liked this balm of gilead (Cedronella canariensis) placed against the sage green of the tool shed

I liked this balm of Gilead (Cedronella canariensis) placed against the sage green of the tool shed

Asters - probably 'Harrington's Pink' were looking showy in front of elderly apple trees

Asters – now Symphyotrichum novae-angliae – were looking showy in front of elderly apple trees

kilmokea oct 1412

The spring garden is a maze of paths and the boardwalk and huge skunk cabbage leaves made exploring it quite exciting

The spring garden is a maze of paths and the boardwalk and huge skunk cabbage leaves made exploring it quite exciting and reminded me of visits to Oregon

kilmokea sept 1413

Pitcairneas were everywhere, thriving in the dense shade in some places...

Fascicularias were everywhere, thriving in the dense shade in some places…

...or perched on an old tree stump

…or perched on an old tree stump

Bamboos, trachycarpus and ground cover give you a 'tropical fix' as you leave the main, formal garden

Bamboos, trachycarpus and ground cover give you a ‘tropical fix’ as you leave the main, formal garden

kilmokea oct 1411

 

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10 Comments on “Kilmokea gardens, Co. Wexford”

  1. joy
    October 7, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    a very exciting garden I also love the door handle

    • thebikinggardener
      October 7, 2014 at 10:39 am #

      The trouble is you need a door and a wall and a secret garden to go with it! Even so I think if the garden was mine I would search visitors for screwdrivers!

  2. gardeninacity
    October 7, 2014 at 11:44 pm #

    Thanks for the tour. This is a garden I would visit but as you say it has seen better days.

    • emma hewlett
      February 1, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

      We invite you to actually visit this garden and spend time in it yourself when you are in Ireland next. You are most welcome. Do make yourself known when you arrive. A blog from one man, writing his own opinion about a short visit to a seven acre private garden which is looked after by a couple who give their heart and soul to kilmokea which looks after, not only thousands of plants but thousands of guests too, none of whom have voiced such an opinion as this. We encourage conversation with all our visitors and welcome suggestions and comments about this haven. We would happily say Better days are here right now as we work very hard to keep this Garden open to visitors with absolutely no government funding at all.On Easter Saturday, Kilmokea Country Manor & Gardens are re opening for the 2015 season. We have created a Fairy Village and ‘The Myrtle Wood’ children’s story has been created in the woodland and will be launched. To connect the incredible history of Kilmokea for visitors we have spent all winter creating these, together with a Viking settlement along with The Norman Motte. All these great new additions will create the perfect day out for everybody. Entry is FREE on Easter Saturday when you LIKE our face book . https://www.facebook.com/kilmokeacountrymanor
      Is Mise Le Meas

      • thebikinggardener
        February 1, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

        Hello and thank you for visiting the blog and commenting. I am living in Ireland and I did say that my visit was short and I was not seeing the garden in the best of circumstances and it was not my intention to be over critical and I do not think I was. I am working in Ireland as a gardener and I understand the problems and I think I made this clear too. As I said, it is my intention to visit the garden again and I did enjoy my visit for the good things that I did see when I was there. Good luck with everything and I will see you this year.

  3. Maria F.
    October 10, 2014 at 7:09 am #

    What an amazing and magical place.

  4. John
    October 17, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

    Kilmokea Country Manor is a great place, I have had the pleasure of walking the grounds of these magnificent gardens many times!!. In the last year or so there has been a great deal of work done to ensure this garden is kept at an optimum level. The walled garden is fab the colour is quiet astounding!! Maybe you should go and have another look at the place , it’s privately owned and funded so of course there are areas that aren’t going to be kept at there best but to keep financially successful in the current climate we are currently experiencing is a achievement in itself. Great picture of the garden congrats on them! Hope you return and see what KIlmokea has to offer! šŸ˜„

    • thebikinggardener
      October 17, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

      Thank you for the comment. It was my first visit and I was impressed with the layout and thought it charming and interesting. I do intend to return because I was aware that I was not seeing it at its best. I am glad to hear that things are on the way up and not down! I will definitely be back. Thank you for your input šŸ™‚

  5. patinaandcompany
    October 25, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    What a serene and breathtaking place. Thanks for sharing.

    • thebikinggardener
      October 25, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

      It is and I will be back to see it in spring. It was lovely to have the whole place to myself when I went

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