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Carlow Garden Festival 2015 lineup

Carlow Garden Festival 2015 lineup

Eye candy of all sorts will be on show at the 10 day Carlow Garden Festival 2015!

The Carlow Garden Festival is back, with Monty Don!

Saturday 25th July – Monday 3th August 2015

Featuring 14 celebrated garden experts over 10 days in 15 different venues, the 2015 Carlow Garden Festival returns with its best ever line-up. MONTY DON heads the panel and opens the festival with his own experiences of “My Life in Gardens”. The 2015 programme contains an interesting mix of top UK gardeners and the best of Irish garden broadcasters and writers, offering something to interest everyone from novice gardeners to garden connoisseurs, garden designers to nature lovers and events for all the family.

Blooming beautiful at Carlow Garden Festival

Blooming beautiful at Carlow Garden Festival

This year’s highlights include an extensive series of garden tours led by Seamus O’ Brien (National Botanic Gardens at Kilmacurragh), Fionnuala Fallon (Irish Times Gardening Columnist), Neil Porteous (Head Gardener at Mount Stewart), Roy Lancaster CBE (veteran UK broadcaster and gardening expert) and Dermot O’ Neill (broadcaster and garden author) along with tree trails headed by John McCullen (retired Chief Superintendent of the Phoenix Park and author of an Illustrated History of the Phoenix Park – Landscape and Management to 1880) and Seamus O’Brien. Entertaining and informative garden talks feature “My Life in Gardens” by Monty Don, Anna Pavord’s “The Curious Gardener” based on her bestselling book and Helen Dillon (undisputed Queen of Irish gardening and creator of the world famous Dillon Garden) who shares her unique insight into “What Makes a Good Garden”. Vegetable expertise is supplied by Kitty Scully (RTE’s How to Create a Garden and Food Gardener at Airfield) and Rob Smith, winner of BBC’s “Big Allotment Challenge”, while family days out can be enjoyed with a nature treasure hunt led by Wildways Adventures, investigating the flora and fauna of the River Barrow and the Duckett’s Grove Teddy Bears’ Picnic and Country Fair with teddy bear workshops, bouncy castle, traditional games and large local artisan food and craft market. See below for more details on all the events.

Late July and early August is the perfect time for a gardening festival  – there is still plenty of interest in the garden and with the majority of gardening work completed, it is the ideal time to relax, admire the work of others and make gardening plans for the coming months and year ahead. The Carlow Garden Festival is a wonderful opportunity to obtain practical advice from the many instructive workshops while exploring the diversity of the Carlow Garden Trail, a collection of 21 different gardening attractions which range from great old gardens that have been lovingly restored and maintained throughout the years, to smaller gardens, community gardens, award-winning garden centres and forest parks.

Good value accommodation breaks can be found at www.carlowgardentrail.com or alternatively ring Carlow Tourism on 059-9130411 for further details.

 

Carlow Garden Festival Events

Saturday 25th July                 

Una Halpin, Wildways Adventures in Leighlinbridge

River Walk with Una Halpin

Join Una Halpin from Wildways Adventures on a treasure hunt to explore the local flora and fauna along the banks of the River Barrow.  Aimed at families, the walk will encourage both children and adults to take a close up look at their surroundings and investigate trees, wild flowers and insects along the way.

Venue:                        Meet at the Garden of Remembrance, The Quayside, Leighlinbridge, Co.

Carlow

GPS:                52.736417, -6.978937

Time:               2 p.m.

Admission:      FREE

 

 Monty Don at Arboretum Home & Garden Heaven

An Evening with Monty Don – My Life in Gardens SOLD OUT

The Carlow Garden Trail is delighted to welcome Monty Don to the Carlow Garden Festival for the first time. The much loved UK broadcaster and author whose books include “The Complete Gardener”, “The Sensuous Garden” and “The Jewel Garden” will give a talk on his life and experiences in gardens. Due to unprecedented demand this workshop is fully booked out but the programme also features many other excellent workshops being delivered by a range of top class domestic and UK gardeners.

Venue:                        Arboretum Home & Garden Heaven, Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow

 

Sunday 26th July 

Seamus O’Brien at Newtownbarry House and Gardens

Garden tour

Tour these charming gardens in the informative company of Seamus O’Brien, covering everything from the lake to the Rose Garden and on to the recently renovated 19th century sunken garden.  A gifted plantsman, Seamus O’ Brien is Curator of the National Botanic Gardens at Kilmacurragh and author of “In the Footsteps of Augustine Henry” which took him on plant hunting expeditions across China, Nepal, California, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.

Venue:                        Newtownbarry House and Gardens, Bunclody, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford

t:                      053-9376383/087-0569805 w: www.newtownbarryhouse.com

GPS:                52.65673, -6.65035

Time:               12 noon.

Admission:      €5. Gallery, farm café serving refreshments and lunch and gift shop also open. House tours available.

 

Seamus O’Brien at Huntington Castle

Tree Trail 

Join Seamus O’ Brien as he discovers some superb trees and a number of Irish champions in the grounds of Huntington Castle including hickory, oak and Siberian crab. Discover the scenic avenue with its amazing lime tree collection and the famous Yew Walk. Enjoy the “Wilderness” woodland paths which lead to the newly restored ornamental lakes.

Venue:                        Huntington Castle and Gardens, Clonegal, Co. Carlow

t:                      053-9377160 w:www.huntingtoncastle.com

GPS:                52.690404, -6.649131

Time:               3 p.m.

Admission:      €5. Tea rooms open for tea, coffee and light snacks. Castle tours available and children’s playground open.

 Monday 27th  July    

 Fionnuala Fallon at Delta Sensory Gardens

Tour of the inspirational Delta Sensory Gardens

Fionnuala Fallon, Irish Times Gardening Columnist and author of “From The Ground Up”, is  your guide on a journey through this series of multi-sensory gardens, including the Celtic Walk, the formal Rose Garden, the Five Senses Garden, the Circle of Life and the Stolen Child Garden, which have been created by Ireland’s leading garden designers to indulge every one of the senses.

Venue:                        Delta Sensory Gardens and Garden Centre, Strawhall Estate, Carlow

t:                      059-9143527 w:www.deltasensorygardens.com

GPS:                52.844988, -6.924546

Time:               12 noon and 2.30 p.m.

Admission:      Adults Є5/Concs Є4. Tea, coffee, lunch and snacks available in the on-site restaurant.

 

Tuesday 28th July      

Matthew Jebb at Altamont Gardens and Altamont Plant Sales

Garden tour

The enchanting surroundings of Altamont, one of Ireland’s most romantic gardens, are the backdrop for an unmissable tour led by Dr. Matthew Jebb, botanist, taxonomist and Director of the National Botanic Gardens, who points out many rare and unusual features associated with these gardens before finishing his talk at Altamont Plant Sales where he will pick out his top 10 plants which can be easily incorporated into your own garden.

Venue:                        Altamont Gardens, Tullow, Co Carlow

t:                      059-9159444/087-9822135 w:www.opw.ie

GPS:                52.735129, -6.720966
Time:               11 a.m.

Admission:      FREE. The Walled Garden Café in Altamont Plant Sales is open for tea, coffee and light snacks.

 

Anna Pavord at Hardymount Gardens

The Curious Gardener

The delightful Hardymount Gardens play host to Anna Pavord, author of “The Tulip” and “The Naming of Names” and Gardening Columnist for the Independent (UK), who will give a talk based on her bestselling book “The Curious Gardener”. Afterwards, stroll through the lovely old walled garden containing herbaceous borders full of unusual plants, espaliered fruit and a vegetable garden while finishing the afternoon with tea on the lawn featuring sandwiches and splendid home baked cakes under the Spanish chestnut tree..

Venue:                        Hardymount Gardens, Tullow, Co. Carlow

t:                      059-9151769

GPS:                52.798787, -6.7612269
Time:               3 p.m.

Admission:      €10 includes afternoon tea on the lawn

 

Wednesday 29th July

Dr. John McCullen at Borris House

Tree Trail

Borris demesne is a fine example of how a formal Baroque landscape has evolved over centuries into the impressive parkland setting visible today. Dr. John McCullen, retired Chief Superintendent of the Phoenix Park and author of an “Illustrated History of the Phoenix Park – Landscape and Management to 1880”, will offer his unique insight into this mature estate with its many specimen trees, original Stew Pond and 18th century Ice House.

Venue:                        Borris House, Borris, Co Carlow

t:                      059-9771884   w: www.borrishouse.com

GPS:                52.598644, -6.926618
Time:               11 a.m.

Admission:      €5 in aid of charity. House tours €10 p.p. Craft gallery open.

 

 Rob Smith at Kilgraney House & Herb Gardens

“Growing for Success – Companion Planting in a Kitchen Garden”

Rob Smith, winner of the 2015 “Big Allotment Challenge” on BBC, will talk about his gardening successes and, in particular, will focus on the essentials of companion planting for pest control, pollination and crop productivity in the kitchen garden.

Rob’s second workshop “Make and Eat” features two demonstrations inspired by the “make” and “eat” tasks from the Big Allotment Challenge.

Venue:                        Kilgraney House, Borris Road, Kilgraney, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow

t:                      059-9775283   w: www.kilgraneyhouse.com

GPS:                52.653681, -6.957602
Time:               From 2 p.m.

Admission:      € 10 for both talks and tea

 

Thursday 30th   July     

Helen Dillon at Rathwood

What Makes a Good Garden

Often described as the undisputed queen of Irish gardening, Helen Dillon is a legendary plantswoman, author, international lecturer and creator of the world famous Dillon Garden. A firm festival favourite, this year Helen offers a personal reflection on the pleasing aspects of good garden design in an intriguing workshop blending a vast knowledge of gardening with an entertaining and witty presentation. Many of the plants discussed will be available in Rathwood’s Garden Centre.

Venue:                        Rathwood, Rath, Tullow, Co. Carlow

t:                      059-9156285 w: www.rathwood.com

GPS:                52.796597, -6.660739
Time:               11 a.m.

Admission:      FREE. On site restaurant with fresh wholesome food and baking.

 

Helen Dillon at The Meadows

Garden Tour

A new garden for 2015, Helen Dillon will lead a “walk and talk” through the Meadows, using this town plot as an example to demonstrate what can be achieved with a small budget and limited time.  Helen’s creative tips and recommendations are sure to inspire ideas as to what can be accomplished in your own garden.

Venue:                        No 7, The Meadows, Myshall, Co. Carlow

t:                      059-9157530 w: www.philippabayliss.com

GPS:                52.6870338, -6.777797

Time:               2.30 p.m.

Admission:      €5

 

Art in the Garden with Gethyn Gibson at Kilgraney House & Herb                 

                                     Gardens

Take your pencils, pens and paints outside for an afternoon of exploration and sketching. Artist Gethyn Gibson is on hand to offer helpful advice and guide your brush and pen strokes. Event unsuitable for children.

Venue:                        Kilgraney House, Borris Road, Kilgraney, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow

t:                      059-9775283               w: www.kilgraneyhouse.com

GPS:                52.653681, -6.957502

Time:               2 – 6 p.m.

Admission:      Donation to charity welcomed.

 

Friday 31st   July               

Neil Porteous at Burtown House

Garden Tour

Neil Porteous, head gardener at the outstanding Mount Stewart Gardens in Co. Down and worldwide plant hunter will escort you around the enticing gardens at Burtown made up of several areas including splendid herbaceous borders, shrubberies, a rock garden, a yew walk with dividing pergola, an old orchard, a walled organic vegetable garden and a large woodland surrounded on all sides by water.

Venue:                        Burtown House, Athy, Co. Carlow

t:                      059-8623148 w: www.burtownhouse.ie

GPS:                52.996672, -6.870744

Time:               11.30 a.m.

Admission:      €10. The Gallery Café serves tea, coffee, snacks and light lunches from seasonal home grown produce.

 

 Roy Lancaster at Altamont Gardens

Garden Tour

A visit to Altamont’s captivating blend of formal and informal gardens with riverside walks covering over 40 acres is the highpoint of the Carlow Garden Trail. Roy Lancaster, veteran UK broadcaster and author, who has been awarded a CBE for services to horticulture, tours the scenic formal grounds offering his own impressions on the gardens, before ending in Altamont Plant Sales to select some of his own favourite plants.

Venue:                        Altamont Gardens, Tullow, Co. Carlow

t:                      059-9159444 w: www.opw.ie

GPS:                52.735129, -6.720966
Time:               3 p.m.

Admission:      FREE. The Walled Garden Café in Altamont Plant Sales is open for tea, coffee and light snacks.

 

Saturday 1st  August

Dermot O’Neill at  Huntington Castle

Garden Tour

Dermot O’Neill, one of Ireland’s most popular garden experts, comes to Huntington Castle for the first time. Explore the many delights of these historic surroundings with him, from the 17th Century parterres, the ancient Yew Walk, the “Wilderness” woodland to the kitchen gardens, with the Greenhouse and the recently restored Rose Gardens.

Venue:                        Huntington Castle, Clonegal, Co Carlow

GPS:                52.690404, -6.649131

t:                      053-9377160 w:www.huntingtoncastle.com

Time:               12 noon

Admission:       €5. Tea rooms open for tea, coffee and light snacks. Castle tours available and children’s playground open.

 

 Dermot O’Neill at Newtownbarry House

Walk & Talk

Dermot O’Neill heads a “walk & talk” in the magnificent two acre walled Sunken garden which has retained its original 18th century grottos and features a formal oval pool, a fountain and a series of borders filled with shrubs and herbaceous perennials enclosed by lines of dwarf hedges. Mature trees, a rose garden and a lake complete the picture.

Venue:                        Newtownbarry House, Bunclody, Co. Wexford

t:                      053-9376383 w:www.newtownbarryhouse.com

GPS:                52.65673, -6.65035

Time:               3pm

Admission:      €5. Farm cafe open for refreshments. Gallery open

 

Sunday 2nd August    

Teddy Bears’ Picnic and Country Fair at Duckett’s Grove

Enjoy Summer fun and entertainment in the magical setting of Duckett’s Grove Walled Gardens and Pleasure Grounds close to Carlow Town. Bring a rug and picnic and enjoy a fun day out for the whole family. Take Teddy and dress him in his Sunday best to win a prize. Face painting, together with teddy bear workshops, bouncy castle and games complete the line-up for this fun packed afternoon which also features dedicated displays of traditional crafts including basket making, weaving, a blacksmith, a falconry display by Woodlands Falconry and an extensive local artisan food and craft market.

Venue:                        Duckett’s Grove, near Carlow town

t:                      059-9130411 w: www.carlowtourism.com

GPS:                52.858748, -6.812787

Time:               12 noon – 6pm

Admission:      €5 per car

 

Monday 3rd August   

Kitty Scully at Clonegal Community Gardens

Situated in Ireland’s Tidiest Village 2014, the Clonegal Community Garden was developed in early 2013. The garden is primarily used for growing fruit and vegetables but it also has a small native tree nursery, polytunnel, wild garden, herbaceous border, a composting area and water harvesting system. Kitty Scully of RTE’s How To Create a Garden and Food Gardener at Airfield is on hand to demonstrate how the benefits of a community garden can be enjoyed by all.

Venue:                        Clonegal Community Gardens, Clonegal, Co. Carlow

t:                      086-2111942 w: www.clonegalkildavin.ie

GPS:                52.693884, -6.64658

Time:               12 noon

Admission:      FREE

 

Kitty Scully at Rathvilly Garden Centre

Resilient Vegetable Gardening 

Life has its ups and downs and so too will your garden.  In this talk Kitty, will provide plenty of inspiration to help make your plot more resilient and to ensure it is producing tasty, seasonal vegetables all year round.

Venue:                        Rathvilly Garden Centre, Baltinglass Road, Rathvilly, Co. Carlow

t:                      059-9161594

GPS:                52.898638, -6.697199

Time:               3 p.m.

Admission:      FREE

If you’d like to see what the 2014 Carlow Garden Festival was like, have a look. if you love flowers, have a look at these stunners from when Dublin hosted the World Flower Show!


Bloom 2015; Dublin, Ireland

Bloom 2015; Dublin, Ireland

Bloom!

Bord Bia’s 9th annual gardening, food, & family festival, Bloom 2015, is on in the Phoenix Park, Dublin from 28 May to 1 June

Flowers, fab food & Irish craft are some of my favourite things, and I’ve got a feeling many of you enjoy some of these, too! So gather up yourself, family (kids under 16 free,) & friends and go feast your eyes and tum on the delights of Bloom 2015!

 

Peter Pan, stiletto heels, WB Yeats, home brewing and botanical beauty provide just some of the inspiration for this year’s Bloom show gardens

Bloom 2015 is a five day annual event packed full of gardening inspiration, gastronomic delights and good old fashioned family fun!

Not just for those with green fingers, the festival has firmly established itself as one of the most anticipated social events of the year for all who enjoy a fantastic day out in the beautiful surroundings of the Phoenix Park in Dublin. Attracting a nationwide audience – over 106,000 people attended last year – this year Ireland’s largest garden, food and family festival will run from Thursday, 28th May until Monday, 1st June 2015.

Gary Graham, Bord Bia spokesperson, said; Bord Bia is delighted to launch the 9th annual Bloom festival, once again taking place in the magnificent Phoenix Park in Dublin this June bank holiday weekend. Our flagship horticulture and food event provides the ultimate platform to showcase our incredibly talented garden designers, food producers, chefs and crafts and design people. Visitors to the event are once again in for a real treat, and can expect to see 25 breath-taking show gardens, sample some of Ireland’s finest food, enjoy wonderful entertainment and witness the passion of some of Ireland’s most skilful craft workers.” 

Bloom 2015 fun for all ages!

Bloom 2015 fun for all ages!

Often referred to as the jewel in the crown of the festival, there will be 25 captivating Bloom show gardensThe designers have continued the tradition of repeatedly raising the bar on previous years, to develop beautiful, imaginative and thought provoking designs. Organisations such as Pieta HouseThe Ronald McDonald HouseGOALThe Atlantic Youth TrustITB Blanchardstown & Fingal County Council have also teamed up with designers to create gardens with powerful messages around social and cultural issues.

This year’s bespoke garden creations will include; Yeats Secret Garden in Sligo, which is part of the 2015 celebration of WB Yeats, and is based on his well-known poem, ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’, Beauty Full, a wonderful garden creation from Bloom veteran Fiann Ó Nualláin which aims to highlight the amazing botanical and plant based beauty treatments which can be found in the garden, Water In The Air, a ‘dry aquarium’ which will give visitors a unique underwater feeling whilst coming alive with colour at night, Saison, a garden partnership between designer Breffni McGeogh and master brewer Alex Lawless inspired by the current trend towards craft beer, Footfall, a concept garden which will see over 144 pairs of stiletto heels used to dramatic effect and The GOAL Garden – What you call a slum, I call a home!, a  garden created to present a ‘slum’ from a different perspective that highlights the work and initiatives of aid agency GOAL.

The Pieta House Garden – Darkness into Light, created by designer Niall Maxwell, will shine a light on attitudes towards mental health issues. Husband and wife Liat and Oliver Schurmann will create The PAN Garden, inspired by the upcoming Peter Pan movie by Warner Bros.

To inspire those who wish to create their own garden at home, the gardens will vary in size from large, medium and small gardens, each developed with a unique theme and style. For the third year, Bloom will also feature a number of Postcard Gardens designed and constructed by passionate amateur gardeners from all around the country. This year the gardens will once again be judged by experts renowned in the world of horticulture. They include Andrew Wilson (award-winning garden designer, lecturer and writer), Mark Gregory (winner of 55 Chelsea medals), Karen Foley (landscape architect and educator) and Paul Maher (curator of the National Botanic Gardens). They will be joined by guest judges, award-winning landscape architect and garden designer Feargus McGarvey, Francis MacDonald, a regular columnist with Irish Gardening Magazine and shadow judge Sally Brown, a landscape architect and garden designer based in New Zealand.

Bloom 2015 will inspire you to garden!

Bloom 2015 will inspire you to garden!

A new feature at this year’s festival will be Bloom in Transition (BIT), showcasing the creative expression of transition year students via installation/projects in the fields of agriculture, food science, horticulture, environmental and ecological management, human health or societal issues. Facilitated by ongoing mentorship of Fiann Ó Nualláin and a number of experts associated with the project, the aim of the scheme is to promote the areas of horticulture, agriculture and health with 15-17 year olds and to create a space within Bloom 2015 for them to explore concepts in garden design, gardening as pastime, economic botany, food, nutrition, health, biodiversity, climate change, food security from a teenage perspective.

The Banter at Bloom 2015 marquee is another new and exciting feature for this year’s festival.  At Banter, they talk… a lot! Chaired by Jim Carroll, the Banter marquee will host a series of discussions, talks, and conversations on topical issues around food, sustainability, agriculture, and everything in between.

This year’s Floral & Nursery Pavilion will showcase the very best of plant nurseries in Ireland. The marquee will will house over 50 exhibits from some of the country’s top floral artists. The AOIFA Floral Art Stage also returns to 2015’s Bloom, offering advice and demonstrations on the techniques and artistry required to achieve a perfect floral display at home. For those with green fingers, the Garden Expert Stage will provide a comprehensive range of expert advice from leading experts in horticulture, gardening and floristry. Speakers will include Gerry Daly of Irish Garden Magazine and Michael Kelly of GIY. Guests can also enjoy live entertainment at the Picnic Area and visit an Irish Craft Village hosted by the Craft and Design Council of Ireland. Following its recent launch, GroMór experts and Ambassadors will host gardening expert talks daily from the Plant Village podium. GroMór experts will also be on hand throughout each day to answer your questions and help you get the most out of your garden space.

Bord Bia's Bloom 2015

Bord Bia’s Bloom 2015

The kids will love‘Budding Bloomers,’ the children’s area, which will host a vibrant mixture of family friendly features to keep children entertained and active, from toddlers to fifth classers. We want children to play, learn and grow at Bloom. There is no entry charge for children under 16 years of age.

Home to even more gastronomic delights and palette pleasers, the Food Village at Bloom will offer a wide range of artisan produce on sale and onsite dining options. Guests can also dine at Bistro Bloom restaurant, café and seafood bar, or visit the all new Country Crest Food Fayre, a 370-seater restaurant. Visitors can also try a wide range of tasty handcrafted Irish beers and spirits in the Bloom Inn.

For those in need of foodie inspiration, the Quality Kitchen stage is a must, with a number of cookery demonstrations taking place throughout each day with Ireland’s top chefs, including Neven MaguireCatherine FulvioRory O’ConnellThe Lazy Chef Simon Lamont, David and Stephen Flynn (The Happy Pearand Fiona Uyema, to name but a few.  They will be demonstrating their culinary genius and showcasing exciting new recipes made from Bord Bia Quality Assured products and the best of local ingredients. Well-known TV personality Ella McSweeney will act as MC and will also introduce Bloom visitors to some of Ireland’s top food producers live on stage. There will also be daily competitions in the Quality Kitchen, with visitors encouraged to drop by from 10.30am each day for the first demonstration to be in with a chance to win daily prizes.

 

For more Bloom 2015 information and tickets, visit www.bloominthepark.com –kids go free!

Follow Bloom 2015 on www.facebook.com/bloominthepark or join the conversation on Twitter @Bloominthepark @bordbia and #bloom

 

Here is the list of all the show gardens at Bloom 2015. Are you looking forward to seeing them? I sure am!

Large Gardens:

 
·Yeats’s Secret Garden in Sligo, sponsored by Glen Dimplex and designed by Lorely Forrester
·Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin garden, brought to you by Kildare Growers and designed by Anthony Ryan with Kieran Dunne
·Our Origin is Green, sponsored by Savills and designed by Jane McCorkell
·Santa Rita – the moment is yours, sponsored by Santa Rita Wines and designed by Ingrid Swan
·Sculpture at the Boatyard, designed by Ingrid Swan and Ruth Liddle

Medium Gardens:

·Saison, sponsored by White Label Brewing Company and designed by Breffni McGeough
·Sunwood’s Contemporary Expression, designed by Declan McKenna
·The GOAL Garden– What you call a slum, I call a home!, sponsored by GOAL and designed by Joan Mallon
·PAN garden, sponsored by PAN and designed by Liat and Oliver Schurmann
·Specsavers Wonderful Awakening, sponsored by Specsavers and designed by Karen M. Butler
·The Solus Garden of Light, sponsored by Solus and designed by Alan Rudden
·Darkness into Light – The Pieta House Garden, sponsored by Pieta House and designed by Niall Maxwell
·Freddy Buttons Garden, sponsored by Glenisk and designed by Fiona Dillon and Outside Options
·Irish Country Magazine Garden, designed by Fiann Ó Nualláin and Lisa Kelly
·          Ronald McDonald House Garden, presented by Dawn Meats and designed by Anthony Ryan
·Atlantic Youth Trust, designed by Annmarie Bowring 
·Footfall, supported by John West and designed by Hugh Ryan

 

Small Gardens:

·Beauty Full, designed by Fiann Ó Nualláin
·Beech Park Garden, sponsored by Fingal County Council and ITB Blanchardstown
·Connect, sponsored by Schram Plants and Lily O’Briens and designed by Karen Butler
·Urban Oasis, designed by Nathalie Markiefka of Blackrock Further Education Institute
·Cetriz Summer, sponsored by Cetriz and designed by Christopher Byrne
·Calor’s Coast Garden, sponsored by Calor and designed Dawn Aston
·Water in the Air designed by Tünde Szentesi

See you at Bloom!


Waterford Country Fair at Mount congreve gardens

Fun for all the family at Waterford Country Fair this June!

Waterford Country Fair shines the spotlight on Ireland’s country life!

Inaugural Country Fair destined for Waterford’s Mount Congreve Gardens

On June 14th Mount Congreve Gardens will host the first Waterford Country Fair, a festival celebrating the very best of country life & living.

This one day event will feature a host of field sports and country pursuits including dressage, side saddle displays and sheep dog trials, along with falconry, beekeeping, artisan craft producers and local food producers.

In this video, I’ll tell you a bit more about Mount Congreve and the Waterford Country Fair, plus share some flower photos taken there in Summer:

Jo Breheny, Chair of the Waterford Country Fair is delighted with the reaction to the festival so far.  “A few months ago, some friends and I discussed the idea of a festival that showcases the best of country pursuits, but we also wanted to ensure it was a festival that would have a wide appeal to all ages.”

“The day itself will have something for everyone, not just those with an interest in equestrian and country pursuits.  There will be pony club games, sheep dog trials, and dressage.  There will be an exciting falconry display as visitors can learn more about these majestic birds, hot-shoeing farrier demonstrations, carriage driving displays, beekeepers will give a fascinating insight into the busy life of bees, traditional artisan crafts such as basket weaving and some of the county’s finest food producers will have stalls at the event.”

Horses! At Waterford Country fair, 14 June 2015 at Mount Congreve

Horses! At Waterford Country Fair, 14 June 2015 at Mount Congreve

The event setting is stunning. Mount Congreve Gardens are regarded as “one of the great gardens of the world.”   Situated just outside Kilmeaden in Co. Waterford, the gardens consist of seventy acres of planted woodland gardens and a four acre walled garden.

Ray Sinnott, Mount Congreve Estate Manager, is looking forward to hosting the Waterford Country Fair.  “The festival and the gardens complement each other very well.  The Fair will put the focus on country living and we believe that Mount Congreve Estate is the perfect example of country living at its best.  We have wide open spaces to accommodate the myriad of events on the day with plenty of room for country pursuits’ enthusiasts, families and tourists.  Visitors will also have the chance to explore the largest collection of plants in Ireland and thousands of trees and shrubs.”

The Waterford Country Fair will also work with the charity CRY, Cardiac Risk in the Young.  According to Ms. Breheny, “We chose CRY as our charity partner in order to raise awareness of the crucial work this organization does tirelessly.  It raises awareness of Sudden Cardiac Death Syndrome, provides free counselling and support for families affected by sudden cardiac death and supports the Centre for Cardiovascular Risk in Younger Persons.  We hope the day will help spread the message about sudden cardiac death syndrome and raise funds for this remarkable charity.”

Birds of prey & falconry at Waterford Country fair, 14 June 2015 at Mount Congreve

Birds of prey & falconry at Waterford Country fair, 14 June 2015 at Mount Congreve

To find out more about Waterford Country Fair, which takes place at Mount Congreve Gardens on Sunday, June 14th, visit www.mountcongreve.com or keep up to date with Facebook and Twitter.


Altamont Gardens tulips


 

Waterford Harvest Festival 2014

Waterford Harvest Festival 2014

It’s Harvest Time!

Waterford Harvest Festival is back for  12-14 September 2014 with tons to tempt your tastebuds!

I find that Waterford City always throws a good festival, and this year’s Harvest should be no different. Two years ago I had the good fortune to be invited along on a Harvest tour which showcased some of Waterford’s local food producers, and I was mighty impressed with both the taste of the products and the passion of the producers.

Waterford Harvest Festival local food producers Picture: Patrick Browne

Waterford Harvest Festival local food producers Picture: Patrick Browne

One of them is pictured below; Grainne Walsh, owner of Irish craft beer brewery, Metalman. Even if you are like me & aren’t the biggest beer fan, see can you try a sample or two. Craft beer is miles away from mass produced beer, and there are many fantastic flavour combinations. Alternator was my favorite, with a slight hint of banana. Yum, really!

We also met Dermot of M&D Bakery, had a tour of the bakery, and Dermot cooked us up some breakfast baps! Some welcome! M & D Bakery was founded in 1985 by brothers Dermot and Michael Walsh. Continuing on three generations of bakers in the Walsh family the two brothers made the decision to continue on this legacy by combining their decades of personal experience in baking and so securing the centuries old tradition of “the blaa”, and what has now become a trademark taste of Waterford and known the world over.

The Waterford Blaa is an indigenous food here, one of Ireland’s most traditional baked items. The blaa recently won a prestigious Eurotoque “Taste” award for uniqueness and quality. M &D are rightfully proud of their own unique version, and I can promise you it is very tasty with a nice rasher in the middle 😀

looking forward to Waterford Harvest Festival 2014 are little Bee Keepers

looking forward to Waterford Harvest Festival 2014 are little Bee Keepers

This year’s Harvest Festival will showcase the best of what Waterford and the South East food producers have to offer, from the smallest food businesses working from home kitchens to international market leaders of the food industry.Visitors can expect a variety of succulent street food from festival favourites, and a smorgasbord of celebrity chefs such as Darina Allen in the Grow HQ Kitchen event.

Since pagan times, the harvest festival has been a time to celebrate the crop, where family and community to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labour, and this year’s festival intends to do just that. New events to the programme include The Big Taste in John Robert’s Square, The New Street Garden Party and Wyse Weekend, along with the welcome return of the Enterprising Food Village, Picnic & Play in the Park and The Viking Rocks Craft Beerfest.

Chair, Paul Nolan looks forward to this year’s Festival, “We want to make it a city wide festival that encompasses city centre retail, the historic Viking triangle and amenities such as New Street Gardens, Wyse Park and the People’s Park. We hope everyone supports their local food producers and enjoys what will be a wonderful weekend.”

A Taster of Waterford Harvest Festival Events

In New Street Gardens there will be cookery demonstrations, bee-keeping classes, GIY workshops, puppet making, live music and plenty of family fun!

Wyse Park kicks off with a Hoedown on Friday thanks to St Brigid’s Family & Community Centre and Inner City Youth Project, so don’t forget to swing your ‘pardner do-si so’.

There will also be herbal remedy stalls, storytelling, food craft, not to mention Building -a- Bed led by Waterford Civic Trust St John Priory Project and the GROW Project.

Keep an eye out for The Grow Project’s latest creative outdoor installation- a colourful makeover for the gardener’s humble friend, the wheelbarrow!

Follow the ‘Green Trail’ and discover guerrilla gardens and pop up planting, all adding a Harvest feel to the Waterford landscape. The ‘Green Team’- GIY Waterford, Ballybeg Greens and Ucasadh – has been busy planting and plotting to lay a living carpet under the Viking Long Boat

People’s Park is all about Picnics and Play with giant Jenga, boules and chess, not to mention the muddy mayhem, games, science and foodie fun activities all Saturday afternoon proudly brought to you by Caulfield’s SuperValu.

Let the kids’ creativity and imaginations run wild as they make their own cupcakes, pasta art, noodle doodles or paper gardens in the City Square Shopping Centre.

The City Library will be transformed by the mad cap antics of clowns, acrobats and all things circus! City POP is brought to Harvest by an eclectic mix of skilled local people and artistic innovators. It aims to bring an exciting and eye-catching visual element to the streets of Waterford

Stroll along Scarecrow Street, watch out for frying pans and watering cans overhead and check out the giant veg patch in John Roberts Square, or spot the amazing signposts built with skill and care from Traditional Craft by Waterford.

Art on the Railings is another colourful addition to the festival on Saturday, September 13th from 11am to 4pm. With over 35 artists showcasing their talents on the railings around Bishop’s Palace and Christ Church Cathedral you can be sure to pick up a quirky, affordable and original piece of work.

The Harvest Festival’s full programme of events is available on http://www.waterfordharvestfestival.ie/

 

  Posts from the 2012 Harvest festival are here and here.


Altamont Gardens, Carlow

Altamont Gardens, Carlow

Gorgeous!

The past week has been just fantastic, and the Carlow Garden Festival is not over yet! Here are  some photos, and the upcomimg events on Saturday, Sunday & Monday 2-4 August:

Saturday 2nd August 2014

Dick Warner at Newtownbarry House and Gardens

Wander through the glorious grounds of Newtownbarry along with Dick Warner, environmentalist, broadcaster and Irish Garden columnist, as he highlights aspects of the natural habitat in lush woodlands and around the tranquil lake.

Time: 11.30 a.m.  

Venue: Newtownbarry House and Gardens, Bunclody, Co. Wexford. 

Admission: €5. 

Tea Rooms open for tea, coffee and homemade scones and cakes. House tours also available.

 

Huntington Castle lake

Huntington Castle lake

Dick Warner at Huntington Castle: Tree Trail

Explore the wonderful surroundings of Huntington Castle  and discover some rare and unusual trees, including the scenic avenue with its amazing lime tree collection, hickory, Siberian crab, buckeye chestnut, as well as the impressive Yew walk, with Dick Warner, acclaimed tree expert, as your guide.

Time: 2.30 p.m. 

Huntington Castle, Clonegal, Co. Carlow. 

Admission: €5. 

Tea Rooms open for teas, snacks, etc. Tours of the castle available and children’s playground open.

 

River Walk with Éanna Ní Lamhna

Éanna Ní Lamhna, environmentalist and RTE personality, leads a leisurely walk along the lovely banks of the River Barrow in Leighlinbridge, highlighting the history and heritage of this great river while identifying a wide variety of local flora and fauna. Éanna also provides practical, easy steps to garden for wildlife. Find out which plants attract songbirds, butterflies, frogs and other interesting wildlife.

Venue: Meet at the Garden of Remembrance, The Quay, Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow 

Time: 3 p.m. FREE admission 

Sunday 3rd August 

 

Duckett's Grove at night, Carlow, Ireland

Duckett’s Grove at night, Carlow, Ireland

Duckett’s Grove Teddy Bear’s Picnic

Bring a rug and picnic and enjoy a fun day out for the whole family in Duckett’s Grove, a ruined gothic mansion dating to the 18th, 19th and early 20th century. Take Teddy and dress him in his Sunday best and win a prize. On hand will be a special Teddy Bear’s hospital where Teddy’s ailments are tended to with love and attention. All old, ill or torn teddy bears can be brought here to be mended and loved back to health. Face painting, together with teddy bears workshop, bouncy castle and games complete the line up for this fun packed afternoon.

This is a great opportunity to visit Duckett’s Grove Design – Craft and Gift Emporium, selling high quality artisan craft and also three individual craft workshops featuring products made on site by a jeweller, felter and stained glass artist. Take a glimpse into the past history of the Duckett family and enjoy self-guided tours of this fabulous ruined mansion which can be booked at Duckett’s Grove Design at a cost of €2 per person extra. Tea room on-site.

Time: 2-6 p.m. 

Venue: Duckett’s Grove, Historic House and Walled Garden, near Carlow Town.

Admission: €5 per car

 

Monday 4th August

delta-sensory-5-flowers.jpg.jpegFionnuala Fallon at Rathvilly Garden Centre

Fionnuala Fallon, Irish Times Gardening Columnist and author of “From The Ground Up”, offers her considerable expertise while delivering two informative workshops.

Summer maintenance and Top Ten Plants for August 

Fionnuala chooses her top 10 plants for August that everybody should find room for in their gardens. Fionnuala also highlights key lessons for successful border and flowerbed planting including pruning, deadheading, second flowerings, delayed flowering, watering and feeding.

Time: 2.30 p.m. 

Venue: Rathvilly Garden Centre (on N81), Rathvilly, Co. Carlow. FREE admission 

Planning Flowerbeds and Borders/Health checking your plants

Heralding the changes of each new month, flowers provide seasonal variation in colour, form and texture. Fionnuala introduces key lessons for successful border and flower bed planting while also highlighting the importance of plant health checks to ensure a flourishing garden

Time: 4.00 p.m. 

Venue: Rathvilly Garden Centre (on N81), Rathvilly, Co. Carlow. FREE admission

Enjoy the Weekend!


Carlow Garden Festival - Dee & I have prizes for you to to win!

Carlow Garden Festival – Dee & I have prizes for you to to win!

Come enjoy colourful Carlow at the Carlow Garden Festival!

Full of flowers and fun for garden lovers and families, the Carlow Garden Festival will run 25 July- 4 August 2014. Find out what’s on, and how you can win 3 delightful prizes.

Admittedly, Carlow is off many peoples’ radar. Yet this county in Ireland’s sunny southeast is home to several garden gems, varied and unique festivals, and has a fascinating history. I live right on the Kilkenny/Carlow border, and my friend Dee of GreensideUp.ie lives in Carlow. We feel that you all may like to discover more about this underreported county, and we would like to help give Carlow a boost in our own small way. So, we’ve decided to start by being social media ambassadors for the Carlow Garden Festival. And as part of this we’ve 3 prizes for you to win 😀

Carol Klein tickets - win for Carlow Garden Festival

Carol Klein tickets – win for Carlow Garden Festival

Prize #1

First up will be a prize of 2 tickets to hear Carol Klein’s talk on 25 July! This prize has a value of just under €50, so it is well worth entering!

**** THIS HAS NOW BEEN WON**** 

Cheers to the Festival for donating these tickets!

 

garden hand tools prize

Comment on this post to be in to win!

The next two prizes we have to give away were thoughtfully chosen for you by Carlow’s Arboretum Garden Centre manager Eamonn Wall. Huge thanks to Arboretum for donating these prizes!

Prize #2: Set of Garden Tools

Worth €45, this set of garden tools will be an asset in the garden whether you’re green fingered or not. Of course, during the Garden Festival you’ll get lots of tips on becoming green fingered if you feel you aren’t!  

 

To enter contest #2: ( NOW CLOSED)

Leave a comment at the bottom of this article, in which you say whether you are greenfingered or not.

Leave your comment by Friday, 1 August 2014 at 6pm Irish Time.

*****WINNER: JAMIE BEE– congratulations!!****

The winner will be drawn at random, so your yea or nay inclination is neither help nor hindrance to winning. 😀  I can post the tools out to you anywhere in the Republic Of Ireland.

Coronet Patio family apple tree, thanks to Arboretum Garden Centre

Coronet Patio family apple tree, thanks to Arboretum Garden Centre

Prize 3: Patio-sized Coronet Family apple tree

Prize 3 is a wonderful patio-sized Coronet family apple tree worth €40! These trees are fantastic as they fruit with 2 apple varieties and can live in a nice-sized pot or in the ground.

To enter contest #3:

Share a photo of your own of flowers from your garden,

OR any of the Carlow garden trail gardens

OR any Carlow Garden Festival events you attend.

Be sure to include the hashtag #CarlowGardenFest

You can share via your Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram accounts, and as long as you include #CarlowGardenFest you will be entered in the draw.

Do so by 9pm Irish Time Saturday, 2 August 2014.

You can also post your photos to either the Vibrant Ireland Facebook page, or to the Greensideup Facebook page. You may enter on all 3 social media platforms;Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Each platform’s post will be counted as a separate entry =more chances to win!

WINNER—>TRISH DARCY Here’s her photo tweet:

 

The Coronet Patio Apple Tree winner will be contacted via their social media profile, and will need to collect their Tree either at the Teddy Bear Picnic at Duckett’s Grove on Sunday, 3 August, or otherwise at the Arboretum Garden centre, Leighlinbridge, county Carlow by 31 August.

Other Terms & Conditions: Anyone is eligible to enter all of the 3 contests. All 3 winners will be chosen at random. These prizes are not exchangeable for any monetary value. The Carol Klein tickets may be be collected at the door. The tools can be posted anywhere in ROI, but not further, sorry.  The Coronet Patio Apple Tree winner will have to collect their Tree at The Teddy Bear Picnic 2Aug, or at the Arboretum Garden centre, Leighlinbridge, county Carlow by 31 August. You retain all rights to your photographs, knowing that we may also share them, fully credited to you, on social media and perhaps on a blog post on both vibrantireland.com & greensideup.ie.

Here is more about the Festival:

Carlow Garden Festival Friday 25th July – Monday 4th August 2014

CAROL KLEIN of Gardeners’ World opens the 2014 Carlow Garden Festival as it returns with its best ever line-up, in this its 13th year. Featuring 15 celebrated garden experts over 11 days, the festival offers something to interest everyone from novice gardeners to garden connoisseurs, garden designers to nature lovers and grandparents to grandchildren.

The Carlow Garden Festival is a wonderful opportunity for budding and experienced gardeners and nature lovers to obtain practical advice from a range of informative workshops while visiting the many beautiful gardens in the county. August is the perfect month for a gardening festival  – gardens are in full bloom and with the majority of gardening work completed, it is the ideal time to relax, admire the work of others and make gardening plans for the coming months and year ahead.

This year families are well catered for with a Teddy Bears’ Picnic at Duckett’s Grove while  Éanna Ní Lamhna’s River Walk along the Barrow will appeal to all. The creative side of gardening will be explored with a painting workshop at Kilgraney House and Herb Gardens and there are art galleries to enjoy at both Newtownbarry House and Gardens and Burtown House.

Carol Klein of Gardeners’ World heads the panel of gardening experts and opens the festival with her own experiences of “Life in a Cottage Garden” followed by a Q&A session on Friday, July 25th. Dermot O’ Neill, well known to viewers of RTĒ, is joined this year by acclaimed UK Financial Times columnist Robin Lane Fox, Seamus O’ Brien, Head Gardener at Kilmacurragh Gardens, Helen Dillon of the Dillon Garden, Paul Martin, RHS Hampton Court Gold Medal Winner, June Blake of June Blake’s Garden, Fionnuala Fallon of the Irish Times and Shirley Lanigan, author of “100 Best Gardens in Ireland” will also feature on the festival programme. Popular radio presenters and environmentalists Ēanna Ní Lamhna and Dick Warner deliver a range of entertaining environmental talks and workshops while Ross Hennessy and Marina Kesso cover all aspects of growing herbs and herbal remedies.

Visitors can also explore the Carlow Garden Trail, a collection of 18 different gardening attractions which feature two gardens in the surrounding counties of Kildare and Wexford. The trail includes great old gardens that have been lovingly restored and maintained throughout the years, and smaller gardens which are maturing beautifully with time, where visitors will enjoy guided tours, usually with the owner or head gardener. Award winning garden centres and forest parks complement the joy of a visit here.

Great value accommodation breaks along with details of the festival programme can be found at www.carlowgardentrail.com or alternatively ring Carlow Tourism on 059-9130411 for further details.

Here are some of the Carlow Garden Festival’s Events, and you can download the full colour Festival Programme here: Carlow Garden Festival 

Friday 25th July 2014

Carol Klein at the Woodford Dolmen Hotel: Life in a Cottage Garden

Carol Klein will chronicle a year in her own Glebe Cottage Garden in Devon, as seen in the book and series “Life in a Cottage Garden, followed by a chance to pick her brains with Q&A’s. Join Carol and members of the Carlow Garden Trail to launch the 2014 Carlow Garden Festival at this very special event. The Organisers are delighted to welcome Carol Klein to the Carlow Garden Festival for the first time. Carol is the popular presenter of Gardeners’ World and Open Gardens and author of many books including the bestselling “Grow Your Own Veg” and “Wild Flower: Nature’s Own to Garden Grown”.

Time: 7.30 p.m. 

Venue: Woodford Dolmen Hotel, Kilkenny Road, Carlow  

Admission: €24.50. Tickets available from Carlow Tourism t: 059-9130411, Delta Sensory Gardens t: 059-9143527 or Altamont Plant Sales t: 087-9822135. All major debit and credit cards accepted. 

Woodford Dolmen Hotel special rates – 25th July €50 B&B p.p.s. €70 Dinner, Bed & Breakfast p.p.s.

 

Saturday 26th July

Dermot O’ Neill at Arboretum Home and Garden Heaven: 

Container Gardening

Container plants add versatility to gardens large and small, lending instant colour and providing a focal point. If you would love to plant garden containers but don’t know where to start, then Dermot O’ Neill will introduce you to its basic principles including planting and best container options.

Time: 12 noon FREE admission

Low Maintenance Gardening 

This workshop covers all the important aspects of summer gardening including watering, grooming and summer pruning, pest control and much more. With Dermot’s valuable advice and tips you can ensure that your garden continues to look great from summer into autumn.

Time: 2.30 p.m. FREE admission 

Tour of the Arboretum Inspirational Gardens 

In a one hour tour of the Arboretum Inspirational Gardens, Dermot O’ Neill provides details of easy, low maintenance gardening schemes and solutions. A visit to this garden is a treat for the amateur or enthusiast who will enjoy seeing the themed planting and use of colour and texture.

Time: 3.30 p.m. FREE admission

Venue: Arboretum Home and Garden Heaven, Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow 

Rachel’s Garden Cafe is open for snacks, light lunches and main meals.

Dermot O’Neill, author, presenter of RTE’s “Dermot’s Secret Garden” and editor of “Garden Heaven”, is one Ireland’s best loved gardening experts.

 

Sunday 27th July

Helen Dillon at Huntington Castle and Gardens: Garden History

The history of gardening is explored in this lecture using the formal gardens of Huntington Castle as a case study. View the 17th century parterre, ornamental lakes, fish ponds and Yew Tree Walk, one of the oldest in the country in the company of Helen Dillon, world renowned plants expert, broadcaster and garden author.

Time: 12 noon 

Venue: Huntington Castle and Gardens, Clonegal, Co. Carlow 

Admission: €5. 

Tea rooms open for teas, light snacks and cakes. Tours of the castle available and children’s playground open. 

Helen Dillon at Newtownbarry House and Gardens: Garden Tour

Tour these charming gardens in the informative and entertaining company of Helen Dillon, covering everything from the lake to the Rose Garden and on to the recently renovated nineteenth century sunken garden.

Time: 2.30 p.m. 

Venue: Newtownbarry House and Gardens, Bunclody, Co. Wexford 

Admission: €5

Tea rooms open for tea, coffee and homemade scones and cakes. House tours also available.

Monday 28th July 2014

Paul Martin at Delta Sensory Gardens

Join Paul Martin, Gold Medal Winner RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, on a journey through the marvelous series of multi-sensory gardens, including the Celtic Walk, the formal Rose Garden, the Five Senses Garden, the Circle of Life, the Stolen Child Garden and his own award-winning garden designed for Bloom.

Time: 12 noon and 2.30 p.m 

Venue: Delta Sensory Gardens, Strawhall Estate, Carlow. 

Admission: €5.

Tea, coffee, lunch and snacks available in the on-site restaurant. 

Tuesday, 29th July 2014 

Seamus O’ Brien at Altamont Gardens and Altamont Plant Sales

Seamus O’ Brien will offer his unique insights into the enchanting gardens at Altamont Gardens. A gifted plantsman, O’ Brien is Curator of the National Botanic Gardens at Kilmacurragh and author of “In the Footsteps of Augustine Henry” which took him on plant hunting expeditions across China, Nepal, California, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.

Time: 11 a.m. 

Venue: Altamont Gardens, Tullow, Co. Carlow.  FREE admission 

The Walled Garden Café, tucked away in the far corner of the old walled garden at Altamont provides comfort and refreshment in a beautiful and unusual setting. Features fresh roasted coffees, speciality teas, homemade cake, and simple, savoury fare.

Robin Lane Fox at Hardymount Gardens 

Stroll through the delightful Hardymount Gardens with its herbaceous borders full of unusual plants, and on to the vegetable and fruit gardens and the great Spanish chestnut, accompanied by Robin Lane Fox, Financial Times garden columnist, Garden Master of New College, Oxford and author of “Better Gardening” and “Thoughtful Gardening”.

Round off the afternoon with a sumptuous afternoon tea featuring all kinds of delicious home baked goodies and sandwiches on the lawn of Hardymount Gardens.

Time: 2.30pm

Venue: Hardymount Gardens, Tullow, Co. Carlow.

Admission:  €10 to include afternoon tea on the lawn.

 

Wednesday, 30th July 

Ross Hennessy and Marina Kesso at Kilgraney House & Herb Gardens: Growing Medicinal Herbs with Ross Hennessy of Blu Herbal and Bareroot Botanicals

This workshop covers the sowing, propagation, cuttings, caring, harvesting, drying and seed saving of medicinal plants including unusual herbs that can be grown in Ireland. There will be demonstrations on each of these aspects and an overview of the medicinal uses of the plants throughout.

Time: 2 – 4 p.m. 

Venue: Kilgraney House & Herb Gardens, Kilgraney, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow

Admission:  €10 to include both talks (see below details of talk with Marina Kesso)

Making Herbal Remedies with Marina Kesso of Iona Herbal

This workshop covers 3-4 different remedies that can be easily made at home from home grown medicinal plants and Irish wild plants. There will be lots of demonstrations and tastings. The medicinal properties and uses of the herbs will be discussed at length including common conditions they treat.

Time: 4 – 5.30 p.m. Admission €10 for both talks. 

Venue: Kilgraney House and Herb Gardens, Kilgraney, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow. 

 

Thursday 31st July 2014

June Blake at Burtown House

June Blake, creator of the exciting, contemporary and varied June Blake’s Garden in Wicklow will escort you around the enticing gardens at Burtown which includes splendid herbaceous borders, shrubberies, a rock garden and a walled organic vegetable garden.

Time: 12 noon

Venue: Burtown House, Athy, Co. Kildare. 

Admission: €10 

The Gallery Café serves tea, coffee, snacks and light lunches from seasonal homegrown produce. 

Matthew Jebb at Altamont Gardens and Altamont Plant Sales

The bewitching gardens of Altamont are the backdrop for a fascinating walk and talk led by Matthew Jebb, botanist, taxonomist and Director of the National Botanic Gardens. Matthew will point out many rare and unusual features associated with the gardens before finishing his talk at Altamont Plant Sales where he will pick out his top 10 plants which can be easily incorporated into your own garden.

Time: 2.30 p.m. 

Venue: Altamont Gardens and Altamont Plant Sales, Tullow, Co. Carlow. 

FREE admission.

The Walled Garden Café, tucked away in the far corner of the old walled garden at Altamont provides comfort and refreshment in a beautiful and unusual setting. Features fresh roasted coffees, speciality teas, homemade cake, and simple, savoury fare.

Art in the Garden with Gethyn Gibson at Kilgraney House & Herb Gardens

Take your pencils, pens and paints outside for an afternoon of exploration and sketching. Artist Gethyn Gibson is on hand to offer helpful advice and guide your brush and pen strokes. Event unsuitable for children.

Time: 2 – 6 p.m. 

Venue: Kilgraney House and Herb Gardens, Kilgraney, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow 

Admission: Donation to charity welcomed.

Friday, 1st August 2014 

Shirley Lanigan at Rathwood:

 All Year Interest in the Garden 

Shirley Lanigan, garden journalist and author of “100 Best Gardens in Ireland”, shares her extensive garden know-how in two enlightening workshops.

Shirley gives new planting ideas for every corner of your garden to create year round interest while also providing all the information you need to keep your plants healthy. Pick up some new ideas and practical tips to ensure maximum impact and keep your garden looking its best all year round.

Time: 12 noon 

Venue: Rathwood Home and Garden World, Tullow, Co. Carlow. FREE admission.      

Golden Rules for Buying Plants

Shirley introduces 10 golden rules for plant and vegetable purchases focusing on areas including soil composure, repotting, planting, watering and plant grouping.

Time: 2.30 p.m. 

Venue: Rathwood Home and Garden World, Tullow, Co. Carlow. FREE admission     

Country style restaurant with fresh, wholesome food and home baking.

Saturday 2nd August 2014

Dick Warner at Newtownbarry House and Gardens

Wander through the glorious grounds of Newtownbarry along with Dick Warner, environmentalist, broadcaster and Irish Garden columnist, as he highlights aspects of the natural habitat in lush woodlands and around the tranquil lake.

Time: 11.30 a.m.  

Venue: Newtownbarry House and Gardens, Bunclody, Co. Wexford. 

Admission: €5. 

Tea Rooms open for tea, coffee and homemade scones and cakes. House tours also available.

Dick Warner at Huntington Castle: Tree Trail

Explore the wonderful surroundings of Huntington Castle  and discover some rare and unusual trees, including the scenic avenue with its amazing lime tree collection, hickory, Siberian crab, buckeye chestnut, as well as the impressive Yew walk, with Dick Warner, acclaimed tree expert, as your guide.

Time: 2.30 p.m. 

Huntington Castle, Clonegal, Co. Carlow. 

Admission: €5. 

Tea Rooms open for teas, snacks, etc. Tours of the castle available and children’s playground open.

River Walk with Éanna Ní Lamhna

Éanna Ní Lamhna, environmentalist and RTE personality, leads a leisurely walk along the lovely banks of the River Barrow in Leighlinbridge, highlighting the history and heritage of this great river while identifying a wide variety of local flora and fauna. Éanna also provides practical, easy steps to garden for wildlife. Find out which plants attract songbirds, butterflies, frogs and other interesting wildlife.

Venue: Meet at the Garden of Remembrance, The Quay, Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow 

Time: 3 p.m. FREE admission 

Sunday 3rd August 

Duckett’s Grove Teddy Bear’s Picnic

Bring a rug and picnic and enjoy a fun day out for the whole family in Duckett’s Grove, a ruined gothic mansion dating to the 18th, 19th and early 20th century. Take Teddy and dress him in his Sunday best and win a prize. On hand will be a special Teddy Bear’s hospital where Teddy’s ailments are tended to with love and attention. All old, ill or torn teddy bears can be brought here to be mended and loved back to health. Face painting, together with teddy bears workshop, bouncy castle and games complete the line up for this fun packed afternoon.

This is a great opportunity to visit Duckett’s Grove Design – Craft and Gift Emporium, selling high quality artisan craft and also three individual craft workshops featuring products made on site by a jeweller, felter and stained glass artist. Take a glimpse into the past history of the Duckett family and enjoy self-guided tours of this fabulous ruined mansion which can be booked at Duckett’s Grove Design at a cost of €2 per person extra. Tea room on-site.

Time: 2-6 p.m. 

Venue: Duckett’s Grove, Historic House and Walled Garden, near Carlow Town.

Admission: €5 per car

 

Monday 4th August

Fionnuala Fallon at Rathvilly Garden Centre

Fionnuala Fallon, Irish Times Gardening Columnist and author of “From The Ground Up”, offers her considerable expertise while delivering two informative workshops.

Summer maintenance and Top Ten Plants for August 

Fionnuala chooses her top 10 plants for August that everybody should find room for in their gardens. Fionnuala also highlights key lessons for successful border and flowerbed planting including pruning, deadheading, second flowerings, delayed flowering, watering and feeding.

Time: 2.30 p.m. 

Venue: Rathvilly Garden Centre (on N81), Rathvilly, Co. Carlow. FREE admission 

Planning Flowerbeds and Borders/Health checking your plants

Heralding the changes of each new month, flowers provide seasonal variation in colour, form and texture. Fionnuala introduces key lessons for successful border and flower bed planting while also highlighting the importance of plant health checks to ensure a flourishing garden

Time: 4.00 p.m. 

Venue: Rathvilly Garden Centre (on N81), Rathvilly, Co. Carlow. FREE admission

 

overview of events Carlow Garden Festival

Overview of events Carlow Garden Festival

 

 Enjoy the Carlow Garden Festival, and good luck in the contests 😀

 


 

red Flowers in World Flower show Dublin 2014Be surrounded by beauty!

Photos: The World Flower Show Dublin 2014 !

Oh yes, it’s ace! I’m just back from the World Flower Show, Dublin and it is full of stunning designs! You won’t believe the amount of floral art displays; all sorts, for all tastes. From funky and vibrant, to clean & cool modern, to full flowery billowy, there’s plenty to enjoy.

UPDATE: The Flower Show is over now, but check out the photos!

I spent 3 hours oohing & ahhing and taking photos. I could easily have done an hour more. Give yourself plenty of time to see all you’d like– I wish I hadn’t had to leave!

To whet your floral appetite, or to give you a taste of the flower show if you can’t go, I’ve made a 2 minute photo video (at bottom,) as well as the photos here. Believe me when I say there is SO much more to see. Some shots of the amazing floral creations just didn’t come out, so there are loads of wow-factor designs not getting a hat-tip here. Go see for yourself!

judges pick best in show world flower show dublin

The judges pick Vinta Khemka’s (India) creation as Best In Show

I’ll see if I can easily add the list of winner for you shortly, but until then, here are the judges at the Winner of Best in Show. Vinta Khemka of India won it with her tranquil arrangement in the Quietude theme.

Northern Ireland had a great win when Rev William McMillian won Most Innovative with his Celtic inspired entry in Anthologia.  Check out the truly green Green Man on the pillar.

Fittingly, in the category of Fairy Ring, Ireland took 2nd and 3rd place, plus a load of commended. I don’t think I’ve any photos of that category. (FAIL!) I told you there is loads to see! I must have missed it.

You will forgive me- there are 31 different categories, and it is easy to just become enchanted by the beauty and artistry all around….hmmm, maybe the whole show is a fairy ring! 😀

Tips:

Get there early if you can. On Thursday by 11 there was a queue to get in, and it was quite busy. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy. I reckon a minimum would be about 3 hours.

There are also trade stands where you can buy bulbs, plant pots, glass craft, cute scarves & more. There are also interesting organizations’ stands; do call by the Carlow Garden Festival & Trail’s stand, for example. You could win tickets to Carol Klein’s talk at their fest!

Tempting shopping stalls at World Flower Show!

Tempting shopping stalls at World Flower Show!

The World Flower Show Dublin tickets can be bought on the door at the RDS. Cost is €25. The amount of top class floral art  on show here you just won’t get anywhere else! Tis well worth it if you enjoy flowers–compare to the cost of a movie & popcorn– and for a little more you can totally surround yourself in beauty 🙂

Click for more on Ireland’s World Flower Arrangers 

Enjoy The World Flower Show Dublin!

I’ll work on getting a list or a link to the list of all winners for you. I hope you enjoy the photos, and the video is at the bottom of this post. It will give you a taster of the show.

I’d like to dedicate these photos to Al & Barbara, who have hearts even more beautiful than the flowers. I know you’ll be on your feet dancing through life again soon. xx

 


World Flower Show 2014, dublin IrelandIt’s the Olympics in Ireland!

Olympics of of flower arranging, that is! Ireland is hosting the World Flower Show 2014 this June 18-22, and it’s going to be gorgeous.

If you love flowers, take a trip to Dublin’s RDS and spend some time being surrounded by beauty & floral design. I’ll be travelling to the show on the Thursday, and I’ll be sharing photos from my visit on Vibrant Ireland Twitter & Susan_VibrantIreland Instagram.

The World Flower Show being in Dublin is a unique opportunity for those of us living here, and visitors to Ireland, to see something special. Floral design really pushes envelopes theses days, and the raw material used by the designers is generally gorgeous no matter if the design is to your taste or not. Set a few hours aside to go and gander!

 

Here’s a bit more information from The World Flower Show 2014:

World Flowers show apron man

The WAFA has some attractive merchandise for sale themselves. (Man not included.)

600 leading floral artists from 31 countries will compete at the highest level. Internationally renowned floral designer Jane Godshalk of Longwood Gardens, one of the finest botanical gardens in the US, will be one of the high-profile demonstrators. When the World Association of Flower Arrangers says it’s international, they’re not kidding! Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, France, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay and Zimbabwe are all members.

There will be floral demonstrations by leading Irish and International demonstrators from Barbados, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, UK and USA; lectures including Seamus O’Brien on the famous Irish plantsman Augustine Henry, Prof George Sevastopulo on The Burren, and Dr Jennifer Goff on Eileen Gray; social evenings at the Preview Party and Gala Banquet, and tours to leading public and private gardens.

From floral art accessories and jewellery to Irish crafts and foods, the RDS Industries Hall will host a full selection of trade stands of Irish and international exhibitors.

Opening times for the World Flower Show at the RDS, Dublin are:

Wednesday 18th June 2014:  19:30—22:00 
Thursday 19th June 2014:  10:00—21:00 
Friday 20th June 2014:  10:00—21:00 
Saturday 21st June 2014:  10:00—18:00 
Sunday 22nd June 2014: 10:00—17:00 

Tickets available on the door, €25 

Find out more about The World Flower Show & World Flower Arrangers here.

Enjoy!flower: peony rose


Devonshire day Lismore Castle waterford ireland

Enjoy afternoon tea in the Pugin Room at Lismore Castle and experience a unique preview of Lismore Castle Spring Gardens takes place on Sunday March 16 – served by the castles very own Butler Mr. Denis Nevin – Photograph Patrick Browne.

A unique opportunity!

Afternoon tea in Lismore Castle & tour of the Spring Gardens.

If you don’t already have plans for Sunday 16 March, do consider this, as these teas & tours are not normally offered; tis for the annual ‘Devonshire Day’ at Lismore Castle in county Waterford.

Don’t miss out! It’s an interesting way to  change the pace in addition to your traditional St. Patrick’s weekend festivities. 

Plus, Devonshire Day is a fundraiser for one of my favorite festivals, the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing. The festival itself will run from June 12 to 15, 2014, and will be extra good this year as it features the always entertaining Mark Graham launching his A Year Of Festivals In Ireland book. I had him speak back in 2012 at Graiguenamanagh’s Town of Books festival and he was a huge hit. Keep an eye out for his book & talk at Immrama.

Here’s a bit more about the day, why Devonshire Cream Tea is special, and more on the Lismore Castle gardens:

Commenting on the launch of Devonshire Day Mr Jan Rotte, Event Manager of Immrama said, “We are delighted to host Devonshire Day at Lismore Castle, it is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy Devonshire Cream Tea in the most picturesque surroundings. We understand that Devon have recently applied for Protected Geographical Status for Devonshire Cream Tea but we are sure it will always be available to be served at the Irish home of the Duke of Devonshire and for guests to the castle to enjoy each year at Devonshire Day. After enjoying tea visitors can experience a guided tour of Lismore Castle Gardens, given by the Head Gardener. The gardens are set in seven acres within the 17th century outer defensive walls and have spectacular views of the castle and the surrounding countryside.”

Serving Devon Cream Tea:

The Devon method is to split the scone in two, cover each half with clotted cream, and then add strawberry jam on top.

Traditionally it is important that the scones be warm ideally, freshly baked and that clotted (rather than whipped) cream and strawberry jam, rather than any other variety, are used. Butter is generally not included, and the tea should be served with milk. Last year the classic “Devon cream tea” was voted the Devon region’s favourite ‘food speciality’.

 About Lismore Castle Gardens

The Lower Garden was formerly known as the Pleasure Grounds and is spectacular in the Spring Time. A number of camellia, rhododendron and some particularly magnificent magnolias can be found here. There has been extensive planting over the last number of years and the gardens are being constantly refined and improved. The walls surrounding the garden date from the early 18th century and have been planted with roses such as Francis E, Lester, Bobbie James, Rambling Rector to name a few. The Lower Garden also boasts some spectacular sculptures by well-known artists Eilis O’Connell, [Note- one of my fav Irish artists; whenever you have a chance to see her work, do have a look] Anthony Gormley and Marzia Colonna.

The Upper Garden is one of the few Jacobean gardens to survive in anything like its original form. The first Earl of Cork helped by his gardener John built a high surrounding wall and a raised terrace terminated at either end by turrets. The Central Walk, which is between the herbaceous borders, is backed by yew hedges and was laid in dramatic alignment on the Pain spire of the Anglican Cathedral. The hedges provide a suitable background for the herbaceous borders as one walks towards the top terrace. Located here are some artistic works by Bridget McCrum, Simon Thomas, Emily Young and Edwin Whitney Smith.

The Immrama Travel Writing Festival Committee is hosting this event and proceeds will help fund the 2014 festival programme.

Tour Times:

11.30 a.m.,  12.40 p.m.,  1.50 p.m.,  3.00 p.m.  and 4.10 p.m.

Entrance is by ticket only, Children under 10 go free but must be pre-registered with the ticket office. Tickets are available from the Immrama office and Lismore Heritage Centre and cost €20.00.

For further enquiries and bookings contact 058-53803 or 058-54975 or see facebook.com/lismoreimmrama

Sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Enjoy!