‘Green thumb’ is not an adjective that would describe me. In fact, the reason that plants flourish in my house is because they are artificial. So, until recently, I would simply drive by places that had ‘garden’ in its name.
September 2013 changed that. A friend accompanying me wanted to see two things – architecture and gardens. Since we were flying into Dublin, we stopped the first day at Powerscourt Estate located in Enniskerry, County Wicklow. Jet lagged and under a time constraint, we went through the grounds pretty fast. But when we left, I knew that I would return.
I have been back two more times. Once in the summer and now, in the winter. Powerscourt delivers in all seasons.
If you like architecture, there is the large estate house. While it is home to Avoca (speciality shopping and cafes), it outside facade is picturesque. Don’t forget Pepperpot Tower. It is a short walk from the house. Standing by itself, it is surrounded by trees that probably could tell a story or two.
There are two primary ponds, Triton Lake and Dolphin Pond. Lily pads are plentiful, the ducks are quite happy, and the water fountains provide a hypnotic atmosphere.
The statues and wrought iron are a favorite of mine. While many are drawn to the winged horses, I prefer the Triton statues that are nestled closer to … Triton Lake. With their backs to you as you walk down the grand stairs, a strength seems to radiate from them. It is as if they are ignoring you. So, I always like to take up the challenge and stand ‘level’ with them. But when you do, not only see that they are keeping watch over the lake, but also the Great Sugar Loaf.
If you are looking for gardens, you will find a Japanese garden that has a water theme to it. Bridges and earthen stairs let you leisurely wind through the flora. Next to the house are the formal gardens. If you love roses, this one is for you. Every color seemed to be represented.
But what captures my attention and draws me back is the contradiction in the landscape … simple and breathtaking. I suggest walking a bit off the trails, especially towards the back of the property. The Great Sugar Loaf makes a grand statement. Many days it can be shrouded in haze, but it doesn’t take away from its majestic stand. In the foreground, you might even be able to catch a horse or two grazing.
Needless to say, I will be back. While it can be busy, there is enough open space to find more than a few peaceful moments. I personally suggest one of the benches by Dolphin’s Pond. Even in a soft rain, there is something magical about the area.