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Garden Category: Republic of Ireland Gardens
The giant Wellingtonian redwoods in the broadwalk at Fernhill form a cathedral-like aisle. Beyond them stretches the greeness of the Victorian laurel lawn and a magnificent springtime blaze of colour from rhododendrons and azaleas. Many of these specimens were introduced from the Himalayas by the William Hooker expedition. At Fernhill you can see an increasingly rare example of an enclosed Victorian vegetable and flower garden. Many of the trees in the estate date back 200 years and the work of Judge William Darley, who collected plants from all over the world, has been continued by the Walker family.
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) has recently acquired Fernhill Park and Gardens and intends to develop the property as a Regional public park. Fernhill House and Gardens form an important component of the historic landscape on the fringe of Dublin City and an impressive example of a small estate dating back to around 1723. The former substantial family residence with ancillary buildings is surrounded by gardens, parkland, woodland and agricultural land in an elevated location overlooking Dublin Bay.
Historic records indicate that the estate gardens and an arboretum were established in the 1860’s, and extended towards the turn of the 19th century with the inclusion of a number of water features, rockeries and a collection of many unusual Rhododendron varieties. The general design is said to have been strongly influenced by the Irish ‘naturalist’ gardener William Robinson (1838–1935), who spurred the movement that evolved into the English Cottage Garden style. Further improvements during the mid-20th century to the walks, additional topographical features and upgrading of the information on the plant collections, facilitated the opening of the gardens to the general public. Read more ….