The Jungle, complete with its bamboo viewing platform, is our newest garden development and runs along the rear of our Tropical Border. Another favourite with the younger generation, it is designed to showcase some of the more exotic plants that can be grown in our climate. On wandering into this area, amongst the banana plants, giant tree ferns and bamboo, you really could believe that you are somewhere else in the world entirely.
The three wise men. The three yew trees are known as the three wise men which probably alludes to their longevity and that they are the oldest trees on the estate. All three taxus baccata(The common yew tree) are in the region of 500 to 600 years old with dendrology studies having proffered this estimate. The Yew tree is one of the longest living trees with some surviving more than 2000 years and they are in existence throughout Europe and as far east as Iran. When visiting Christian graveyards throughout Europe you should be able to locate a yew tree where they are planted due to their lasting stature. One note of caution is that the leaves are highly toxic, especially when crushed or burned.
The leaves are so toxic that Yew trees are hardly ever found on farmland. Blarney Castle’s arboretums and pinetum contain a collection of specimen trees that is one of the finest in the country. Many of the trees in the collection are rare and unusual, such as the Wollemi Pine Wollemia nobilis, Foxglove TreePaulownia tomentosa,
Formosan Redwood Taiwanea cryptomerioides and Water Pine Glyptostrobus pencilis. They were mostly planted in the late 1970’s and 80’s, with many coming from the famous Hilliers Nursery in the UK. Some already existing mature trees such as Yews, Limes, Spanish Chestnuts and various conifers are much older, maybe up to 600 years old. The arboretums are currently being renovated and new specimens are being added every year to further enhance the collection.