Dhu Varren Garden

Dhu Varren Garden, Milltown: Hours, Address, Dhu Varren Garden Reviews: 4.5/5

Dhu Varren Garden
4.5
11:00 - 18:00
Monday
11:00 - 18:00
Tuesday
11:00 - 18:00
Friday
11:00 - 18:00
Saturday
11:00 - 18:00
Sunday
11:00 - 18:00
About
Dhu Varren Garden provides all the elements of a botanical garden within 2.5acres. Two large landscaped glasshouses provide both subtropical and arid plant displays. Outdoors, landscaped palm and succulent gardens have been created. Alpines, water gardens, herb garden, fernery, yucca avenue and more provide variety. The garden is a wildlife haven for birds and insects. Trees, shrubs and bamboos provide contrast. The centre-piece of a Japanese garden is a koi carp pond with bridge and tea house. Raised decks with seating provide panoramic views of both the garden and the landscape beyond.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

4.5
29 reviews
Excellent
20
Very good
7
Average
1
Poor
0
Terrible
1

libertia
Dublin, Ireland60 contributions
A real jungle there
Jun 2019 • Friends
I'd heard of and seen pictures of this garden and wanted to see it in the flesh, there seemed to be an endless number of most unusual and rare plants. Walking round is the wrong term. You need take one pace at a time, because at every step there is something to stop and admire. That starts at the front gate with unusual Aeonium, not what I expected in a wet part of Ireland, but that's the gist of planting here, find the right place for the plant to grow well, and that spot is dry (read well drained) and very sheltered. The real jungle starts behind the house, as the path, if you can see it among the vegetation, runs up and down the site, between towering bamboos of many very different sorts, native trees left for shelter from wind and sun, and masses of great foliage plants - large leaved Schefflera and Pseudopanax, enormous leaved Rhododendron great in flower too. More unusual again is the often rampant large leaved herbaceous plants such as Petasites, Gunnera, and Lysichiton. Felt to be room enough here to let them roam free, which is the ethos of the planting, plant it, watch it, help it establish, prune back nearby plants a little if need be, let the whole lot mingle together, no lines, no order, as nature would have them. If you know your plants, you'll love it. If you don't you'll enjoy the sheer exuberance of the growth alone. Just go. Enjoy the wonderful koi carp too, but deep water, take care!
Written 7 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Canucksontheloose
Victoria, Canada596 contributions
Impressive Garden.
Jul 2018 • Family
Firstly, we were lucky to find the place and then have Mark, the owner allow us to see the Gardens. The website is ambiguous and should begin BY APPOINTMENT for all the days listed for visiting. But we misinterpreted it and did not make an appointment. The other thing was he didn't give us change for our admission of 4 adults and 3 children. But again, I suppose we were lucky to have him let us in and entertain the kids with the wondrous koi pond and feeding the beasts within. There is a lot of effort put into these Gardens, which we see as a personal labour of love, with a book of before and after photos when they purchased the plot, and a handout to advise of your Garden route to see everything. Maybe July isn't the best time to see the Gardens because I was hoping to see more flowers and colours. There were quite a few labels missing from the plants so that was disappointing not knowing what we were looking at. Some areas seemed overgrown and needed some tidying. But the Gardens as a whole landscape was impressive, with the winding well-built walkways, and different views if you came back the same way instead of doing a loop. If you know your plants, this is likely a good place to visit. But if you like to know what you are looking at, this may not be the place for you.
Written 18 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you - for your review and apologies for the delayed response. We are sorry about the mix up in change, it's a shame you did not alert Mark to it at the time. We will happily refund you what is outstanding if you private message us through our Facebook page. You are correct, it is a labour of love by Mark who is passionate about plants and growing rare and unusual species from all over the world at this latitude. Our garden has a wide variety of plants which flower in different seasons, so there is never an abundance of flowering at any one time but it can also be dependent on wind and weather conditions! Some plants are for fragrance, some for Spring and/or Autumn foliage colour and, of course, some for their flower. Our labeling is due to be improved in the coming 12-24 months but we are always on hand to help with names and other details - we like to engage with customers and hope this will continue. I am glad you were impressed with the gardens in general and we do try to keep it in check during high season, but we are only two and we also keep down 'regular' jobs. In addition last year we had a bereavement in June so we're not quiet as on top of things as usual and didn't open the garden too often - sometimes your heart isn't in it and you have to give yourself space. Hope to see you again soon in the garden. Laura
Written 9 June 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Roxanne C
1 contribution
Well thought out garden
Jun 2017 • Friends
Mark and Laura are excellent plantsmen. But what makes it effective is how they have given structure to the garden's hardscape. Walkways are pleasant, even with some extra gridding to keep folks from slipping. Many plants are labeled (apparently some fools steal their labels!), It is a wonderful example of blending known and unknown plants.
Written 11 June 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks very much for your review. We hope to continue adding to the garden for years to come and enhance it further, so hope to see you some time again in the future.
Written 11 July 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

colindkavanagh
London, UK175 contributions
Wonderful experience
Apr 2017 • Family
We visited this garden on a very wet Saturday afternoon yet it was still incredibly enjoyable and there's lots of areas to shelter. The garden is beautiful, there's been years or thought, inspiration and passion to create what is there today. Owners are very friendly, they actually opened it up earlier in the season for our visit and another couple who had also enquired about visiting on the same day. They're very happy to chat about the history and give some advice on our own garden. Really enjoyed it and fully recommend a visit. We hope to visit in the summer months at some stage in the future.
Written 28 May 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for taking the time to write a review and we are pleased that you realised that garden is a passion and labour of love that we hope other people can appreciate as it develops. Due to variety of plants, there are noticeable differences between the seasons with mid to late Summer being the best time depending on ones particular botanical interest. Look forward to seeing you again.
Written 8 June 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

kindredspiritIreland
County Limerick, Ireland21 contributions
"Must see" garden.
May 2016 • Couples
Absolutely stunning collection of plants from all over the world.
If you're a gardener in the South West you should not miss visiting Dhu Varren. Particular mention to the Cacti & Tropical Houses.
Written 21 May 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Peter H
Abbots Langley, UK10 contributions
A proper plantsman's garden
Sep 2015 • Friends
A little gem of a garden full of interesting plants. It was very informative talking to the owners about the garden's history - they've worked tirelessly creating said gem from an old farmyard. And for the koi carp lovers amongst you, they’ve some genuine monsters in their 7 feet deep pool!
Written 24 September 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for posting your review, we are glad you enjoyed your visit and appreciate the selection of plants we chose. Mark is the avid plantsman! Hope to see you again if you are ever in Kerry. Laura
Written 30 September 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Madeleine H
Watford, UK69 contributions
Lovely garden made by real gardeners
Sep 2015 • Friends
To see what has been done to make this garden from a farmyard is amazing. There is a lovely flow through the various parts with a large variety of interesting plants from around the world.
Written 16 September 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks Madeleine for taking the time to post your review and we are delighted you appreciated what we have done here and we hope to continue developing the garden for years to come. Hope to see you back here again if you are in the Kerry area.
Written 30 September 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Alan B
38 contributions
Beautful and fascinating garden
Jun 2015 • Family
We spent a very pleasant few hours in Dhu Varren Garden last Sunday, strolling through the wide variety of plants and flowers. We might have been quicker through except that I'd brought my camera and just had to take a few hundred photos of colours, shapes and textures.

They have packed so many kinds of plants into the garden, and were so helpful in explaining their origin and history, and so considerate in providing resting spots along the path that the one thing I needed to know when leaving was how soon we could come back to see the garden when the next phase of flowers were blooming.

Luckily they had some of my favourite plants available in pots (seeded or cut from the garden), so I need to finish the review now so I can go planting.
Written 8 June 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for taking the time to both visit and comment on our garden. We are glad you enjoyed it enough to spend several hours on a beautiful sunny day and hope you will post some of the photos here too. It is always good to see the garden from another photographers view. We wish you well with the plants you purchased and feel free to contact us if you need any more advice on cultivation. Hope to see you again during the season.
Written 12 June 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Wally and Lorna D
Stoke-on-Trent, UK57 contributions
How can such a small area hold so much?
May 2015 • Friends
How can just two people have done all this work and keep the gardens looking so good? And how can they pack so much into a modest space? There is a suggested route, but it is impossible to stick to it, as at each intersection of paths, you are so easily side-tracked!

One thing would take it to new heights, which would be a guided tour, pointing out the special and rarer plants, allowing for questions and adding to our knowledge
Written 5 June 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for visiting and taking the time to give our first review of 2015. We, particularly my husband, spend several hours a day in the garden and enjoy every minute of it. We both have professional jobs as well so it takes a lot of juggling and energy to maintain the garden. At 2.5 acres it is a big garden but not an estate and is the maximum area we feel both of us can personally manage. It now contains thousands of plants, as you probably noticed! We do offer guided tours to groups of ten or more, if requested. This normally takes over one hour and is mainly of interest to gardeners and botanists. We hope you will visit again as we continue to develop it.
Written 12 June 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Una D
Greystones, Ireland82 contributions
A little piece of magic in the Irish countryside
Aug 2014 • Friends
I read about this garden in 'Kerry Gems', a magazine I picked up in a hotel in Tralee. I'd never heard of it before and was intrigued so planned a visit. It's easy to get to, towards Milltown. About 7 miles down a straight road after the turn off for Killorglin from Killarney.
It's not very well sign-posted, so we came to a screeching halt after seeing the small sign on the left. We parked and rang an old bell to get the attention of Mark Collins, the owner, who immediately enthralled us with his deep passion for all things horticultural. It was €6 each to enter, which goes against paying for the garden only.

We were handed a map outlining 18 themed sections of the garden from 'red rock canyon' to 'Yucca Avenue'. The paths beautifully and carefully lead the visitor along rows and rows of tropical delights. All of the plants are labelled so if something takes your fancy and you're lucky enough to be able to find it in Ireland, you can hope to add it to your own garden! They even sell some of the plants at the garden too.
The Oriental Garden and Tea House was masterfully built by Mark and offered a serene area for pure relaxation beside a pond filled with the most enormous coy fish I've ever seen. Mark threw in some fish feed so we could get a closer look at the colourful and clearly content fish.

Every step we took required a 360 turn, to see everything in our path. We spent a few hours walking the paths but could have stayed much longer. The comfortable seats placed at regular welcome intervals were most inviting.

The work, sweat, tears, love and passion that has gone into this magic garden is apparent from the first to the last step. Even Holly, the aging resident golden retriever looked content in her surroundings! We couldn't recommend this place more. Even those lacking any interest in gardens would have to be affected by the beauty and serenity of this place. We plan to visit here again and again when next in Kerry and would recommend anyone to add it to their list of 'must sees'.

Congratulations and thanks to Mark and his wife Laura for building such a piece of magic and for sharing it with all of us.
Written 27 August 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woo! What can we say? Our garden has been and will continue to be an all consuming passion which will never be finished and hopefully gets better with each passing year. Aside from the collection of rare and unusual plants we are very gratified that you have both identified and enjoyed the bigger picture, which is to create a peaceful green oasis where one can simply relax, enjoy the wonder of nature and escape the 'rat race' for a few hours. We hope Holly will be able to explore the garden for a few more years. Both Laura and myself wold like to thank you for visiting and taking the time to record your observations and we look forward to seeing you again in the future.
Written 3 September 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 26
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing