John Kennedy Arboretum in Co Wexford dedicated to the memory of the 35th president of the United States was opened in 1968 just a couple of miles from Kennedy ancestral home I recently wrote about in my blog Irish Ancestry.
For those who plan a visit – the map you will get with your ticket looks confusing in the beginning, but as soon as you figure out where you are, you won’t have any problems. To help with that, here is my edited version 🙂 Ignore the Visitor Centre drawing because it is in the wrong place. Maple Walk takes you to the lake; the other path is for those who don’t mind walking a little longer. There are no boring walks, each of them is amazing in their own way. SHELTER on your map means a roof, and one of them has a toilet block. If you want to drive to the viewing point on Sliabh Coillte ( which I suppose has a free access) don’t take the right turn as my arrow points, but keep driving and take the first left turn, and drive until you reach the summit. I was very restricted in time and didn’t make it to the summit. I have been there before – you have beautiful countryside at your feet, and you can also see the bird’s view of the Arboretum and Kennedy Homestead.
The empty green areas are not empty at all – there are many single trees and other plants. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed being there.
Kennedy Arboretum with Sliabh Coillte in background.
You can also take a ride.
There are some 4500 species and cultivars of trees, shrubs and climbing plants in Arboretum, to compare with less than 30 native tree species. Since I wasn’t commissioned to illustrate the variety and range of this collection, I just enjoyed myself photographing everything I found amusing 🙂 Like those red Fly mushrooms in my opening photograph – Amanita muscaria. In the ancient times people would dry them and mix with milk to kill the flies. Fly mushrooms definitely attract insects, but I am not so sure about the killing part. I think that insects just drowned in milk 🙂
Maple Walk. We have a mild autumn this year, and the leaves haven’t turned yet except for some maple trees.
Maple walk takes you to the lake (I didn’t take any pictures of it).
Raining. I stood under a Beech tree for a minute.
Wild Fuchsia is beautiful throughout the year.
I am walking from one path to another in spite of the drizzle.
I spotted a Quince flower deep in the bush.
Quinces are decorative and have edible fruit.
Green Quince is too hard for birds to eat, but they snack on the seeds.
There is quite a variety of Quince cultivars in the Arboretum.
Hawthorn walk is one of my favorites. Some fruit are as big as a crab apple.
This old Hawthorn tree with the crooked branches could host a Wexford fairy – I have recently written about another fairy that lives in County Waterford 🙂
I don’t know what these lifeless Cypress trees used to host. Their silver-white trunks glow in the dark, and strong conifer fragrance fills the air.
Western red cedar, or Thuja, might host a dragon 🙂
Beech tree hosts a squirrel.
It is getting dark. I don’t trust the map and walk out of the forest plot to check on the Sliabh Coillte hill. It is a very helpful landmark.
One more hour until the Arboretum will close. Many families and dog walkers are still there, but I have to leave.
Twenty two countries each sent gifts of trees and shrubs that represent their country to the Arboretum. It is a delightful place to visit in any season.
Memorial fountain made of a single block of Wicklow granite, has the words of President Kennedy engraved on it:
‘Ask not what your country can do for you… ask what you can do for your country.’
Have a wonderful weekend!