If you are a regular visitor to our blog you will know that we have a lot of colours everywhere in our home and garden. Flowers, mosaics, vegetables, fabrics, flowering trees and shrubs fill almost every available space creating an ever changing palette throughout the seasons.
Yesterday we visited a garden that was very different to ours but breathtakingly beautiful and creative. We were lucky enough that it was raining for as we were to find out, the diffused light created a magical illumination that intensified all the different shades of green, making them shine as if they were lit from within.
Our eyes fell first on some hedges, cleverly cut in tiers, glistening tree ferns and tall stands of bamboo as we advanced along the path towards the main part of the gardens.
It is difficult to find words to describe what followed. In front of our eyes was a massive cork tree, sprawling out in all directions, branches covered in thick, ridged bark. On the ground a glorious tangle of ferns, groundcover plants and mosses created a thick green carpet.
Our eyes wandered across to an area where symmetrical topiary created a striking contrast to the natural trees and plants. Architectural pieces of sandstone from a former building had been cleverly put together to create focal points and a sense of grandeur.
A path took us through a small, wild woodland with massive Sequoias, Yew trees and many other species of unusual origin, most of them planted around 1815 when the garden was first created.
A bridge brought us back into the more manicured parts of the land with more topiary, sandstone and bricks, all arranged with a clever artistic hand. A garden filled with equal parts marvellous architecture and playful exuberance. But most of all with the colour green. The grey skies and drizzle created a sense of being cut off from the rest of the world, and transported to a place filled with every nuance of green imaginable.
We wandered on towards the back of the house where cordylines created a small grove with a path cutting across the middle. The conservatory has beautiful stone mullion windows looking out onto the magnificent cork tree. We stepped back out onto the lawn and our walk around the garden had come full circle.
We must admit however that we did go around the whole place one more time, like children at a funfair, going on the same ride twice. There was so much to discover, enjoy and marvel at.
This stunning, refreshing and breath-taking garden is located at Corke Lodge, close to Bray in County Wicklow. You can read about its history and current state on its website here. We are very thankful that the owner, architect Alfred Cochrane opened it for charity yesterday, and gave us the chance to experience it first-hand. It is certainly a place worth a visit and we hope to come back again next summer for the open day. It is part of the Dublin Garden Group.