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Mount Usher Gardens

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Like all the great gardens of Ireland, Mount Usher offers varying pleasures at different seasons of the year. Rhododendrons in Spring, a blaze of Summer colour and the wistful tints of Autumn, all elegantly set off by the crystal waters of the river.

In addition to the Gardens, Mount Usher offers a comprehensive home produced menu in the Avoca Garden Cafe, as well as a Shopping Courtyard which is open all year round. Ample car parking and coach spaces are available and the Gardens are within easy reach of Dublin.

The History of the House & Gardens
Mount Usher was once a working mill. It was first a tuck mill and later a corn mill. The mill used the Killiskey river, a tributary of the River Vartry, to turn its wheel. Where the main house is today, there was a small cottage with less than an acre in front of it which was used to grow potatoes.

The gardens came into being in a romantic way. Edward Walpole Senior, a Dublin businessman, was very fond of walking in the Wicklow hills. He often stayed at Hunter's Hotel, Newrathbridge, which is still, as it was then, a comfortable hotel.

He seems to have met with the owner of the mill, Sam Sutton, and become friendly with him. At all events Walpole began to stay at the miller's house rather than the hotel. When Sutton's lease expired, Walpole took it over in 1868. Thus began an association which was to last over 100 years. In 1980, the property was bought by the current owner, Madelaine Jay.

In the early days of the garden, the Walpoles were fortunate in having a great deal of expert help and advice. Yet the garden is not a manicured showpiece and it is not a botanical warehouse. It is a collection of felicitous natural plantings according to Robinson's principles and must be approached with that in mind.