Kilmacurragh Arboretum

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Garden Category: Republic of Ireland Gardens

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  • The arboretum at Kilmacurragh, Kilbride, Co. Wicklow, has been managed by the National Botanic Gardens since 1996. It is particularly famous for its conifers and calcifuges and was planted during the 19th Century by Thomas Acton in association with the curators of the National Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin. During the early part of the twentieth century the estate passed from the hands of the Acton family and fell into a state of neglect. In 1970 the property was taken over by the land commission. A 58 acre portion comprising the house, arboretum, walled garden and entrance drive-way was handed over to the Forest and Wildlife Service. Coillte still manages the walled gardens and some 20 acres of seed orchards as part of its forest tree genetics programme.

    Thomas Acton and his sister Janet began planting the arboretum in 1850. It is said he had a rule of thumb to plant three of every tree or shrub: one to be planted where others told him it would definitely survive, one where he thought it would thrive, and one where he was informed it would definitely not survive. Read more …

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