And now, June Blake’s Garden, Blessington

After our wet, wild, wonderful day at Jimi Blake’s garden on our Irish holiday, we tore ourselves off to visit the garden of his sister June Blake, about five minutes away. It was almost closing, and our visit was cut decisively short by a sudden, intense deluge, a theme for the day.

The siblings share an exuberant planting style of inventive mix-and-match and surprising combinations. Where this garden differs is in its strong linear bone structure. The panorama shot below splays out the paths, which are actually set in a strong, rectangular grid, defined by boxes of clipped yew (Taxus) at the centre. June Blake’s home, with its collection of converted farm buildings, is a photogenic focal point from many angles. For the ambitious: The farm buildings have been converted into fab accommodations.

From the centre, this is a flattened panoramic photo of the grid of pathways that anchors June Blake’s garden

Click the images to see the slideshow, which gives you a rough take on our lightning visit. Come back later to read about one of the plants June Blake used to great effect here – one we could make use of in Canadian gardens, too.

As you go through the pictures, you might notice a plaque on a large stone. It quotes another piece by John O’Donohue, the same Irish poet whose work appeared in Jimi’s garden. It’s lovely, and reads:

“May I have the courage today
To live the life I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer,
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.”

Please let us know what you think of this second in our series of Irish gardens!

Want to visit more Irish gardens?

We know that Toronto gardeners like to visit gardens around the world. So for more on our garden travelogue of Ireland, you can also our posts on:


    1. Tina, it was. I wish we’d had more time there, and a chance to talk to June herself. Anyone planning a visit should know that it’s possible to book a personal tour. We just didn’t have our act together sufficiently to do it.

  1. I hope the series on Irish gardens continues, Helen. I loved seeing these photos. Some beautiful combinations. And so lush and green… a real contrast to my current rain-thirsty garden.

    1. It will continue, Pat. I very specifically thought of you and Glen Villa when looking at the planks in the meadow here. The arrangement seemed very Patterson.

You might also like