Glenveagh National Park
Many famous Irish Gardens are set in natural landscapes of great beauty and nowhere else is the contrast between the luxuriance of the gardens and a rugged and exposed environment as marked as at Glenveagh. Situated at the foot of a steep, wooded hillside sloping down to Glenveagh Castle on the windswept shore of Lough Veagh, the uncompromising conditions of high rainfall and acid soil have been successfully exploited and the gardens feature a range of exotic plants from places as far afield as South America, Tasmania and China. The acid soil is particularly suited to the growth of rhododendrons, of which there is a fine collection.
Much of the general layout of the gardens dates from the ownership of Cornelia Adair whose work provided the basis for more recent plantings.
The transformation of Glenveagh into one of Ireland’s foremost gardens, imaginatively designed and supporting a rich variety of rare and tender plants, was the work of Henry McIlhenny, who personally supervised it’s development from 1937 until 1983. Mr McIlhenny began collecting plants from all over the world, and his knowledge of plants and sense of artistry were augmented by expert landscaping advice firstly from James Russell and then from Lanning Roper.