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.
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.
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.
Above: The garden in late summer.
For more of our favorite gardens in Ireland, see:
- Steal This Look: Irish Cottage Garden.
- Garden Visit: Helen Dillon’s Garden in Dublin.
- Best Outdoor Room Winner: Wall Morris Interior Design’s Irish Cottage.