National Heritage Week is an event celebrated annually in Ireland, this year taking place August 17 - 25. We usually go to one of the events (which are listed online), and this year I saw that the Botanic Gardens had a satellite garden in Kilmacurragh, Wicklow which was having a family day. Looking at the map it seemed to be just a half hour drive south of us, so we planned a picnic if the day was fine. And a fine day it was! The park was beautiful, with a pond, picnic area surrounded by grazing hills and avenues of trees. Kilmacurragh was formerly a big house estate (with the hulk of the big house still on the property - awaiting redevelopment is my guess) bought by the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin a few years ago. I think "family day" consisted of a tour around the gardens, but we opted to do our own free nature walk. I think this gnarly old tree is a yew, but am not too sure...
Here is another view of the same tree.
Walking through an avenue of rhododendron, I came across this old tree whose trunk reminded me of an elephant's leg. There was another one nearby, so I half expected to see a prehistoric elephant among the foliage. Happily I didn't!
I particularly liked this tree with the ropey vines all over it. At the moment I think these gardens at Kilmacurragh are a hidden gem, but won't be for long since I keep telling people about how great they are! There is a dedicated meadow of wild flowers and the rhododendron avenues will look glorious in the spring - I am looking forward to a return visit when everything is blooming.