Home & Garden Garden 10 Celtic Gardens to Inspire Your Moment of Zen By Sidney Stevens Writer Allegheny College University of Michigan Sidney Stevens is a writer and editor for magazines, websites, and books, with a focus on health and environmental issues. our editorial process Sidney Stevens Updated July 12, 2021 The sculptures that adorn the Dubh Linn Garden in Ireland are inspired by Celtic symbolism and spirituality. William Murphy / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 Share Twitter Pinterest Email Home & Garden Planting Guides Indoor Gardening Urban Farms Insects Celtic design influences can be found in gardens across the world. Celtic religious practices, which predate Christianity, were filled with symbolism and reverence for the natural world. This ancient connection to nature is still evident in garden design today. Some Celtic gardens make use of popular Celtic design patterns, like crosses and knots. Others feature sculptures of animals, druids, and goddesses. Mazes, labyrinths, and spiral patterns serve as prominent symbols in many gardens. While most Celtic gardens are found in England and Ireland, even gardens as far away as Australia show signs of Celtic influence. Here are 10 tranquil gardens found around the world that are inspired by Celtic design. 1 of 10 Brigit's Garden Brigit's Garden is an outdoor museum and garden near Galway, Ireland. Created by Mary Reynolds, an award-winning garden designer, the attraction is named after the pre-Christian Celtic goddess Brigit. The garden is composed of four different sections, each one representing a different season and named after the seasonal Celtic festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine, and Lughnasa. Stone circles and monoliths, a sunken garden, spiral-shaped stone walls, and a "crannog"—a type of prehistoric dwelling made of oak poles and a thatched roof—are among the garden's attractions. Native wildflower meadows, woodland paths, and a lake can be found along the garden's edge. 2 of 10 Celtic Knot Garden Eve Hermann / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 The Celtic Knot Garden is one of the highlights of the Inniswood Metro Gardens, a 123-acre nature preserve near Columbus, Ohio. The carefully manicured knot garden features hedges and bushes arranged to form a Celtic knot, one of the most enduring symbols of Celtic design. Interwoven strands without beginning or end are the hallmark of the knots, and serve as symbols of eternity and the cycle of life. The garden was once the private estate of Mary and Grace Innis, who donated the property to become a public park in 1972. 3 of 10 Taylor Conservatory and Botanical Gardens The Taylor Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a Celtic-inspired garden near Detroit, Michigan. The non-profit space features sprawling gardens, walkways, and pavilions and hosts public events like concerts and art exhibits throughout the year. Much of the garden's maintenance and upkeep is done by volunteers. The garden's layout is the work of John Cullen, an award-winning garden designer influenced by Celtic patterns and symbols. 4 of 10 Peace Maze Minchen Liang / EyeEm / Getty Images The Peace Maze is a three-acre maze of yew trees in Northern Ireland's Castlewellan Forest Park. It pays homage to the reconciliation process in Northern Ireland in the 1990s following decades of ethnic and political conflicts known as "The Troubles." The maze, which is heavily influenced by Celtic design, is one of the largest hedge mazes in the world. It's made up of about 6,000 yew trees, which were planted by volunteers from across Northern Ireland. A bell in the center of the maze called the Peace Bell can be rung by visitors who complete the maze. 5 of 10 Celtic Cross Knot Garden Mark / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 The Celtic Cross Knot Garden is a Celtic-inspired attraction within the Abbey House Gardens in Malmesbury, England. The garden features hedges styled into the shape of a Celtic cross. The original meaning of Celtic crosses is lost, but experts believe they may symbolize the bridge between heaven and earth, or the four elements of earth, fire, air, and water. The Abbey House Gardens, which are privately owned, are perhaps most famous due to the "clothing-optional days" it offers. On these days, nudists and naturists make up the majority of visitors to the gardens. 6 of 10 Bruno Torfs Art & Sculpture Garden Located in the lush Australian rainforest, the Bruno Torfs Art & Sculpture Garden might be far from the homeland of Celtic culture, but Celtic influence in the garden is undeniable. Bruno Torfs, an artist and sculptor, created a garden filled with handcrafted terra cotta figures inspired by the natural world and Celtic gods and goddesses. Much of the garden was destroyed during a series of catastrophic bushfires in 2009 known as the "Black Saturday fires." Torfs elected to rebuild after the fires, and has since repopulated the garden with more fanciful woodland characters and creatures. 7 of 10 Columcille Megalith Park and Celtic Arts Center Tracy Gruver / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0 Nestled on 20 acres of woodland in eastern Pennsylvania, the Columcille Megalith Park is home to a landscape of Celtic-inspired giant standing stones. The park is the creation of William Cohea Jr., who was inspired by the Scottish island of Iona, known for its tranquility and historical importance as a Celtic religious site. The park is adorned not just with Stonehenge-like standing stones, but a chapel, bell tower, and stone circles as well. According to the Smithsonian Institution, Columcille is the only park of its kind in the United States that recreates Celtic standing stone monuments. 8 of 10 Ballymaloe Cookery School Valerie Hinojosa / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 Ballymaloe Cookery School is a culinary school in Shanagarry, Ireland that features a 100-acre organic farm replete with a Celtic garden and maze. The school was co-founded by Darina Allen, an Irish chef, author, and TV personality. Ballymaloe’s Celtic maze, planted in 1996, is made up of yew, beech, and hornbeam trees. The pattern of the maze is adapted from designs found on ancient Irish manuscripts like the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow. 9 of 10 Puzzlewood photorom / Getty Images It’s not a Celtic garden in the traditional sense, but Puzzlewood, an ancient woodland in Gloucestershire, England, is certainly Celtic in both history and spirit. With its moss-covered rocks, twisted yew trees, rustic wooden bridges, and hidden caves, this forest grove seems to embody the Celtic religious belief that plants and animals possess a spiritual essence. Puzzlewood is also home to evidence of ancient Celtic civilization. It is the site of a pre-Roman Celtic iron mine that dates back at least 2,700 years. A landowner in the 19th century created the trails and wooden bridges that allow modern visitors to explore the area. Puzzlewood was then opened to the public in the early 20th century. 10 of 10 Dubh Linn Gardens Digital Eye / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0 The Dubh Linn Gardens, located on the grounds of Dublin Castle in the heart of Ireland's capital city of Dublin, feature design elements of Celtic origin. The central lawn is adorned with a swirling knot pattern that represents two intertwined sea serpents. The entrance to the garden is marked by wrought iron gates with spiral patterns of Celtic origin. The garden is also the former site of the "black pool" (or "dubh linn" in Irish) on the River Poddle that gave the city its name. The river has since been diverted underground.