This unique exotic garden is one of the most attractive in Ireland. Situated in the mild climate of Glengarriff, it contains thirty different species of bamboo surrounded by palms and other tropical plants, all amidst romantic paths and breathtaking views.
The modern areas of the Bamboo Park were created in 1999 by Serge de Thibault and his wife Claudine, on the same pattern of the Bambouseraie in Anduze, near Alès in the South of France which is the largest bamboo park in Europe. However, where the gardens at Anduze only have bamboos, the Park in Glengarriff also has a magnificent range of palm trees and tree ferns.
Located in the townland of Reenmeen East, a large part of the Bamboo Park is much older. First established by Lady Ardilaun, on lands subsequently bequeathed by her to her godson, Captain White, the Old Garden, is now open to the public and is adjacent to the Bamboo Park.
Bamboo belongs to the Graminae or grass family. Bamboos hold the undisputed record for speed of growth. It takes a bamboo culm approximately two months to grow, and the young shoots can grow one metre in 24 hours. After this initial period, which is a very short part of its total life, bamboo stops growing. Its wood becomes harder and can be cut after a minimum of four years.
Tree Ferns are probably the oldest plants in the world. Native to Tasmania and South Australia, the species Dicksonia antartica grows particularly well in the shady coastal gardens of South West Ireland.
Palm trees probably have existed for over 85 million years. Since the beginning of human civilisation in Mesopotamia - the Garden of Eden - the palm has become a symbol of life and an important element of cultural and religious practice.
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