The Gardens

The Gardens

Between the entrance gates and the distant lake lie 60 acres of surprises, delights and mysteries waiting to be discovered. There is a network of paths hat lead visitors through various gardens, arboretums, and avenues, which are a constantly changing and evolving environment throughout the seasons.

Explore Blarney Garden


  • Board Walk and Water Garden
  • Carnivorous Courtyard
  • Fern Garden & Ice House
  • Great Trees
  • Herbaceous Border
  • Himalayan Valley
  • Poison Garden
  • The Rock Close
  • The Seven Sisters
  • Tropical Border
  • Vietnamese Woodland

Board Walk and Water Garden

Board Walk and Water Garden The raised board walk, surrounded by Gunnera manicata and water loving plants growing in profusion. The numerous waterfalls add a coolness and calm to this stunning garden!

Carnivorous Courtyard

Carnivorous Courtyard Carnivorous plants are plants that derive some or most of their nutrients from trapping or consuming animals, typically insects and other arthropods but in some cases frogs, lizards and even rats! These plants have adapted to grow in places where the soil is thin or poor in nutrients, especially nitrogen, such as acidic bogs. With colourful, fluid-filled leaves, pungent scents, glistening glue or grasping tentacles, they lure their victims to a nasty end.. and many life right here in Ireland.

Fern Garden & Ice House

Fern Garden & Ice House One of our visitor’s favourite gardens is The Fern Garden. The tall Dicksonias (tree ferns) growing here, brought from the other side of the world, are survivors of the Jurassic period. Light is filtered through the immensely high trees and then through the fronds of the ferns. The place is magnificently still and quiet.

Great Trees

Great Trees The gardens at Blarney Castle contain an exceptional collection of specimen trees, some the largest of their kind in Ireland. Many of the rare trees, such as the foxglove tree and the tree of heaven were planted in the 1970s and 1980s, but many of the limes, cedars and chestnuts are much older. The evergreen oaks overhanging the Fairy Glade and the Druids’ Altar and Stone Circle, are almost 300 years old, and the yews in the Rock Close are even older. Our most photographed tree is the gigantic Western Red Cedar, planted in the 1900s, with branches bigger than many full-sized trees, while the Monterey pine may be the tallest in Ireland.

Herbaceous Border

Herbaceous Border A 100-metre-long double herbaceous border, topped off with an 80m rose pergola is certainly a sight to behold. A display of floral magnificence awaits you here as drifts of mixed herbaceous plants form a rich tapestry of colour. Mid-summer brings the roses, and a glorious scent fills the gardens to compliment the abundant display.

Himalayan Valley

Himalayan Valley A glorious spring garden, full of rhododendrons, magnolias, and other Himalayan species, that captures the spirit of the wild Himalayas. A 150-year-old giant Rhododendron arboreum ‘Cornish Red’ overlooks a flourishing valley of exotic specimens.

Poison Garden

Poison Garden This garden was created with the purpose of educating visitors about the poisonous plants that can be found both in the wild and in our own gardens. It aims to show both the positive and negative aspects of these plants by looking at their various uses, both traditionally and in modern times. Although the plants are dangerous there are very few deaths as a direct result of poisoning from plants. They do however cause millions of deaths every year, just not in their natural state. The huge numbers of deaths occur once we start to make products from plants. These plants also can be of great benefit to us and are often used as the source of modern medicines or other materials that we use in our daily lives.

The Rock Close

The Rock Close Perhaps the most extraordinary part of the garden is its oldest, the Rock Close, the first stop on the circuit on the eastern side of the Castle. The Rock Close is a mystical place, said to be the site of an ancient druidic settlement. Shaded by a leafy canopy of ancient yew trees, this part of the garden has a feeling of magic. Most of the curious rocks stand today as they have stood for over 2,000 years, though some arrangements were created by the Jefferyes family in the 1750s as a fitting response to the natural features of the area and to the gaunt old Castle itself. In this mysterious and hidden landscape are a druidic sacrificial altar, a hermit’s cell, a witch’s kitchen, and other features beneath ancient yew trees, with roots clinging to the bare rock like the veins on a witch’s arm. It is said that the yew over the witch’s kitchen is more than 600 years. Then there are the stones of the witch’s staircase which will grant your wish IF you perform the necessary ritual CORRECTLY! Beware of the witch’s stone. Witches as we have seen, have mysterious powers. And finally, you are advised not to approach the druid’s altar when dusk falls…</p

The Seven Sisters

The Seven Sisters The Blarney Stone is not the only stone with legends attached to it. Just northeast of the Castle can be found a circle of nine standing stones, two of which have fallen. It is said that in medieval times a chieftain who had two young sons and seven daughters took his sons on their first battle against a troublesome neighbour who was constantly raiding his cattle. The chieftain was victorious in the battle but at great cost: both his sons were killed. Returning to his cattle with his troops and the bodies of his sons, he stopped at this familiar spot and to mark the death of his sons the grieving chieftain ordered his men to knock over two of the stones.

Tropical Border

Tropical Border Banana, yuccas and cordylines provide structure in a border filled with vibrant colours, including the Bird of Paradise plant (Strelitzia reginae) and other species.

Vietnamese Woodland

Vietnamese Woodland The Vietnamese woodland is an ex-situ conservation project that is aimed at preserving plant species from Northern Vietnam. Many of the plants growing in the woodland are highly endangered in their native habitat due to intensive agriculture and forest clearance, and all were wild collected in the mountains by our own intrepid head gardener.