The magnificent gardens at Powerscourt Estate in Co. Wicklow were voted by National Geographic as the third best formal garden in the world and they are also the most ambitious formal gardens of the Victorian area in Ireland uniting sculpture and architecture with pools and planting.
Alex Slazenger, Head Gardener at Powerscourt Gardens, describes the place as his 'childhood playground'. He has remarkable insight, having spent summer holidays at Powerscourt rolling down the banks and running through the lawns, spending hours outdoors playing and appreciating just what this magnificent estate has to offer.
His love of nature has led him to take the role of heading up the gardening team at Powerscourt and he shares his highlights through the seasons as the pleasures are revealed. His cousin Sarah Slazenger is the Managing Director and along with Anthony Wingfield, Lord Powerscourt, he has developed new audio guides about the gardens narrated personally by the two families and owners of Powerscourt over the past 400 years.The trio share family stories that have been passed down the generations in English, Spanish, German, French and Chinese opening up the wonders of these gardens to visitors from Ireland and internationally.
From Spring and Summer to Autumn and Winter there are stunning highlights to look and enjoy at Powerscourt House and Gardens all year round:
Longest Double Herbaceous Borders in Ireland
No formal gardens would be complete without Herbaceous borders and Powerscourt boasts the largest double borders in Ireland. They are beautiful and colourful and the final product in the middle of the summer is a sight to behold. "All the work is worth it!", says Alex.
The Rose Gardens which appear through golden gilded gates is one of the most romantic strolls on the estate. "With over 3 acres of roses, this really is a showstopper in summer", he explains.
"In Springtime, the Rhododendrons are really beautiful as are the pinks and vibrant reds of the azaleas in the quiet and peaceful Japanese gardens at Powerscourt."
Statues Standing Proudly in Winter
Visitors often think there may not be much to see in winter at Powerscourt, but some of the fantastic collection of statues at Powerscourt are "best seen in winter light".
Powerscourt Gardens are the life's work of Alex Slazenger so far and a true classical oasis hidden in the wild and wonderful Co. Wicklow.