Deep in the countryside of the Hook Peninsula in Southeast Ireland is a beautiful old stone house called Kilmokea. It has been a luxurious six-room B&B for nearly 20 years. The property also features two very nice vacation rentals as well as a spa. A beautiful garden surrounds the stone house and there’s an adjacent mature seven-acre garden. There are tea rooms where visitors can enjoy meals made from organic foods grown on the premises.
The gardens are filled with trees and flowers of every kind including many tropical plants such as exotic palm trees. The garden near the house is in the formal style. Beautiful tulips bloom there in late spring. At the rear of the garden a gate leads to a country road and to the much larger garden with a pond on the other side.
Mark and Emma, the owners of Kilmokea, are creating a garden that will appeal to children. They have a “fairy village” with small houses hung high on tree trunks and a red-fenced pond with what appears to be the fairies’ party house in the center. There’s a “Viking settlement” with a very old style house. A pirate ship has been built and installed in one corner of the garden. (I know my 5-year-old grandson Colin would enjoy that!) Another structure made of wood says “I am a Smaug from the Hobbit.”
Kilmokea is situated in one of the earliest-occupied areas in Ireland. A water mill with a chute made of an oak log has been found and carbon dated to the late 7th century; a small mill stone lies beside it. A tiny cemetery is adjacent to Kilmokea. Some of the gravestones have been carved with names and dates as long ago as the 1700s and other graves are marked only with large stones, some roughly engraved.
Find more information about Kilmokea at its website enhanced by 120 photographs of the gardens and the property. Wander in the gardens for a small fee from April through October. Kilmokea is a fascinating place. I’ve been there three times in the past ten days and every time I’ve made many new discoveries.