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Garden Visit: At Home with June Blake in Ireland’s County Wicklow

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Garden Visit: At Home with June Blake in Ireland’s County Wicklow

March 16, 2015

Irish plantswoman June Blake used to be a jeweler, so it’s perhaps no surprise that her garden, in the words of garden writer Fionnuala Fallon, “is startling in its beauty like the spilt contents of a jewelry box.”

Blake, who lives in an Victorian steward’s cottage on the outskirts of Blessington in County Wicklow (about 15 miles from Dublin), operates a rare plants nursery–and experiments in her own garden beds to test color theory and unusual combinations. Also on the three-acre property is the Cow House, a renovated stone building she runs as a guesthouse. (Read on for rental information.)

Photography via VRBO.

June Blake garden County Wicklow Ireland via VRBO

Above: Since 2000, Blake has been working on the garden, creating its winding paths, a woodland grove, colorful perennial beds, and a peaceful reflecting pool. Smooth rocks and gravel surround–and frame–the glassiness of a rectangular pool.

A garden bed is a riot of color with perennials such as lilies in bloom in summer.
Above: A garden bed is a riot of color with perennials such as lilies in bloom in summer.
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Above: June Blake’s garden in late morning.
The view from the garden to the Cow House.
Above: The view from the garden to the Cow House.
Alliums surround a garden bench in early summer.
Above: Alliums surround a garden bench in early summer.

Above: Architect Michael Kelly oversaw a three-year renovation of Blake’s property, creating two new courtyards. During the renovation, a ruined stone farm building was gutted and renovated while preserving its historic facade. The polished concrete floor was made by mixing local Wicklow cement with the same gravel Blake uses on her garden paths.

The Cow House is available for rent; for information and prices, see VRBO.

June Blake garden late summer via VRBO

Above: The garden in late summer.

For more of our favorite gardens in Ireland, see:

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