|Subject: Re: Gardens|
If you're going to Ireland I'd recommend a visit to the National Stud at Kildare, just west of Dublin. The Japanese gardens there are considered to be the best of their kind in Europe. They chart the journey from Birth to Death, through landmarks like the Tunnel of Ignorance (which represents a child's lack of knowledge), the Hill of Ambition, the Island of Joy and Wonder, and bridges representing engagement and marriage.
Also here is St. Fiachra's Garden, which I liked even better. It was designed to present "a natural environment which inspired the spirituality of the 6th and 7th centures monastic movement in Ireland." It is a lovely place for a quiet walk. If you go there, be sure to go inside the stone huts that are like the monastic cells on Skellig Michael, off the west coast of Ireland. Set in the floor of the main one is an illuminated garden of Waterford crystal that was so unexpected that it took my breath away.
Nancy Bowmanville, Ontario