Kennedy Arboretum, Co Wexford

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 🙂

More fungi.

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.

I link this post to the lovely blogs I follow  – Derrick Knight  and The garden Impressionists, both sharing beautiful photographs of gorgeous gardens.

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.’

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Each one of your photos tells a story! Such gems, Lady Inese. I am very fond of the tree with a lovely face — I hope she thanked you for including her? 🙂 ❤

    1. Thank you so much! Living in Ireland you learn to love Hawthorn trees, and believe that they have a fairy inside 🙂 I spent a long time walking around these Hawthorn trees collected from around the world, and this particular one caught my eye. It surely had a soul 🙂

  2. I think I need to move to your part of the world!. Fabulous place, I love trees and I love those pics of the mushrooms especially the white ones. Your photos are amazing. Did you know the Cypress tree gets its name from Cyparissus , a boy, in Greek mythology, who accidentally kills his pet stag. Apollo transformed him into a Cypress tree which is the symbol for mourning. The sap forms droplets on the trunk which resemble tears. Fascinating! 🙂 x

    1. Thank you so much for your comment and for the piece of Mythology! There were several different species of Cypress along the walk, and the fragrance was very strong. I used to have a piece of cypress wood, it was so fragrant and pleasant to touch. There were no tags on the trees with the silvery trunks, so I presumed they were dead. The trees were glowing in twilight, pretty ghostly. I want to go there next spring. Wonder if the trees will still be there. xx

  3. Hello Inese, A lovely post. as always, which I read late today, after a most moving funeral on Friday – we went for a walk in a nearby Forest Garden on Saturday, to reflect. Trees and woodland are wonderful places to walk and think…

    And then I read your very kind link to my blog at the end of your post, which is lovely.
    So thank you,
    best wishes

  4. Yet another walk of beauty and life…just the thing I needed to end the day. So very blessed, you are, and blessed I am to see it through your lens. xxxx

  5. Breathtakingly beautiful pictures, Inese. Another place I must put on my never ending list of places to visit. Thanks very much!

  6. May you keep walking my darling. These pix are in the OMG category. I keep slavering over the one that comes up …then I slaver even more over the next one. You are amazing. xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Thank you so much, my kind friend. I was in the area and thought I could spend a couple of hours in the gardens and then drive to the Hook Head which is only some 20 km away. It was a fantastic afternoon, very needed since I was quite down and depressed, as you know. Mature trees have that healing power, especially the conifers with their strong fragraance. xxxxxxxxxxx

      1. I think nature has wonderful healing power. To be out in it takes you away from yourself and the things that weigh heavily. They don’t go away, these things, but you get that wee bit time apart from them that you do feel your heart lift. Then you are right about the fragrance. It fair clears the cobwebs. It looks as if you were there a good while letting the gardens speak to you and you even managed to capture another ‘ghost’. :Lovely work. A real visual treat.

        1. Thank you so much again ❤ Sorry for the late reply – cannot make my brain work after the infection. Must be because of the lack of Oxygen. If I had the Arboretum closer to where I live, I would be a different person 🙂 Seriously. Lacking positive emotions, catastrophically.

        2. Oh Inese, nothing worse. I remember you were poorly before some time back. Hard to have any positive thoughts when you just feel lousy. You need another walk. One closer. Or to get some kind person to take you if there’s none. The dudes send all their love ( Hell, the thought of their love might just throw you into speedy recovery mode. ) Don’t worry about any replies. They will get in the way of my sending you positive vibes. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

          1. Thank you so much! This year doesn’t give me a break, ever. 2017 is my Chinese animal year, and I do hope for the better 🙂 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

        3. Yeah sometimes the fates just don’t like yah. I have years like that too. But this one is nearing its end and we must hope that is the case with all the bad luck you’ve had xxxxxxxxxxxx

          1. But isn’t it true. Some years are like that. To be honest I don’t expect anything good from the Rooster year either – despite being ‘my’ year, it was always a pure disaster, and I even almost died when I was 24. 2005 was OK though, which gives me a hope 🙂 I believe in all these things 🙂 xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    2. I remember you talked about that year where you almost died. Now….. I have the one up on you in that I almost died twice. In fact the second time? I am an impossibility. A hybrid. So you can well bet I believe in all kinds of odd sorts. I mostly believe that we didn’t die so therefore we live to fight another day, whatever that day is and whatever the battle, or indeed the scars we carry, how lousy the year, whatever the reason for any of it, and we always hope for better and to count what we have around us. I know you do. I know I do. You will keep walking because, however low you feel, however unequal to the task, you still have so much to keep walking for. SO this better be a good year for you coming up. Positive thought my darling Big ones xxxx

      1. Nah, it was the first time I was talking about 🙂 In 1981 it was #2. Don’t want to talk about that too much. Just a hint – it was neither illness nor accident. Did you write anything about your experiences?

        I believe we won’t die 🙂 This Universe has no end for a reason 🙂 xxxxxxxxxxxx

        1. Well lady, we are in the same club that way eh! I have never written of my experiences. But I do agree with you. As well as talented you are one smart lady xxx

  7. Hope that that wretched cold has left you and all is well? Almost missed this! Planned to take a follow-up look last evening having spotted your post earlier, yet the rugby distracted me! I imagine all of Ireland is celebrating. Today I shall, indeed must, comment on your sublime use of ‘focus’…a thing that separates the artist from the likes of me. Truly superb.

Comments are closed.