Things That Turn Nick Macer On!

Nick Macer speaking to the IGPS group in Cork. Photograph from Bruno Nicolai

Nick Macer speaking to the IGPS group in Cork. Photograph from Bruno Nicolai

There was a large turn out of IGPS members and guests for Nick Macer’s talk on the 24th of January in Cork. Nick has travelled extensively in search of new and interesting plants and has introduced many of these through his Pan Global Plants Nursery. He presented his plants in groups “Small”, “Big”, “Bigger” and “Bark” rather than in a geographical arrangement matching his expeditions, a generally more common approach, which added to the amusing – as with the title – approach he took to his subject.

Those plants which turn Nick on were, by and large, his own discoveries and introductions and as many are not as yet widely available were generally unfamiliar to the audience. A talk which is educational as well as entertaining is always enjoyed and appreciated.

The talk was in Northridge House, St. Luke’s Home, Blackrock, the new venue for Munster winter talks. It is an excellent location with ample parking and ease of access and should encourage more people to attend.

The ever popular raffle at such events was especially popular last evening as there was a beautiful selection hellebores on offer and the winners went home delighted with their good fortune.

The next talk at Nortridge House will be presented by Billy Alexander of Kells Bay Garden in Co. Kerry on the 7th February. Do come along and join us!

Nick Macer visiting Blarney Castle Gardens with Adam Whitbourn, Head Gardener at Blarney, Martin Edwardes, Margaret McAuliffe, Chairperson  IGPS Munster, and Janet Edwardes.

Nick Macer visiting Blarney Castle Gardens with Adam Whitbourn, Head Gardener at Blarney, Martin Edwardes, Margaret McAuliffe, Chairperson IGPS Munster, and Janet Edwardes.     Photo supplied by Margaret McAuliffe. 

Paddy Tobin


Colin Crosbie – “Shady Characters”

Mike Snowden with Colin Crosbie

Thanks to the kind invitation of the Alpine Garden Society, Northern members had the opportunity to enjoy a lecture by Colin Crosbie on ‘Shady Characters’ on the afternoon of Saturday 21st January. It was entertaining and informative, full of useful recommendations for good ‘doers’ in shade, whether dappled or deep which, as he pointed out, […]


The Bay Garden – A talk by Frances McDonald

The Bay Garden photo

A report from Maeve Bell on a very enjoyable evening in Belfast! There was a packed room at Malone House Belfast on Wednesday 7th December to hear Frances MacDonald, so much so that there had to be a short delay while extra chairs were fetched and installed. Frances delighted the audience with her account of […]


Plandaí Oidhreachta – Irish Heritage Plants Launch, 12 November 2016


Martin Rix, editor of Curtis’ Botanical Magazine, officiated at the opening of the Plandaí Oidhreachta – Irish Heritage Plants exhibition of works by the members of the Irish Society of Botanical Artists and the launch of the associated book at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, on Saturday, 12th November. There was an exceptionally good attendance […]


Irish Heritage Plants – Plandaí Oidhreachta


Hot off the presses – an advance copy of “Irish Heritage Plants/Plandaí Oidhreachta” the result of a project between the Irish Garden Plant Society and the Irish Society of Botanical Artists. The project has been generously and enthusiastically supported by the National Botanic Gardens (The Office of Public Works), An Bord Bia and by the […]


Nick Macer in Northern Ireland


Recently 70 IGPS members and friends were wowed with ideas for new plants for their gardens by Nick Macer of Pan-Global Plants when he spoke at Antrim Old Courthouse. Even better, almost all the plants he talked about were relatively hard and capable of surviving our winters outdoors. Nick was himself wowed by a visit […]


Nick Macer – “Confessions of a Plant Freak”


Nick Macer’s recently delivered his talk “Confessions of a Plant Freak” to IGPS members in Northern Ireland. Beforehand he visited the garden of our members David and Janet Ledsham where he admired some of the birches which David had grown from seed and Eucryphia moorei which was in full bloom.     In the afternoon […]


Lafcadio Hearn Gardens, Tramore


IGPS  Munster organised a late season outing to the Lafcadio Hearn Garden in Tramore, Co. Waterford on Saturday, 15th October. There was a good attendance, reasonable weather, an excellent guided tour and a day that was enjoyed by all who attended. Many thanks to Margaret McAuliffe who took on the role of  photographer for the […]


Plant Sale – IGPS Leinster at Trinity Botanic Gardens, Dartry


The most popular event of the year is the annual plant sale organised by IGPS Leinster which has been held for the past few years at the Trinity College Botanic Gardens in Dartry. It is an opportunity to purchase plants which are quite rare and generally not available in the trade as well as special […]


Plant Sale, Saturday 15th

Anemone nemerosa 'Robinsoniana', one of the Irish heritage plants available at the Plant Sale next Saturday

Plant Sale on Saturday next – see Fixtures for full details – look to the right column here. Come along early and you could get one of these Irish heritage plants. They are in very small supply so it is a case of first come, first served. Good plant hunting!   Agapanthus ‘Kilmurry Blue’ Agapanthus […]


The Planters’ Seminar at Mount Stewart


About 30 IGPS members formed part of the audience for the Planter’s Seminar at Mount Stewart Garden, Co Down over the weekend at which Dan Hinkley, Roy Lancaster and Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones talked about the special plants they have seen while exploring remote areas. As part of the seminar Neil Porteous, the Head Gardener, […]


Plant Sale at Rowallane


Photographs from the Irish Garden Plant Society Plant Sale at Rowallane Gardens, Saintfield, Northern Ireland today. It was a wet day but the society members turned out in force and had a good day. 


Heritage Irish Plants – Plandaí Oidhreachta: NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE!

Gloxinia sylvatica 'Glasnevin Jubilee' by Heather Byers

Would you like to purchase our upcoming book: “Heritage Irish Plants – Plandaí Oidhreachta?   Here’s the link:                 PURCHASE ONLINE!  


Glenarm Castle Gardens, August 2016

Hot border. Herbaceous border filled with bright reds, pinks, oranges and yellows throughout the season; from tulips and peonies in early summer to bright dahlias and penstemons later in the season. Barbara Kelso

The Northern group of the IGPS organised a visit to Glenarm Castle Gardens in Co. Antrim and had almost 50 members and friends in attendance on what proved to be a most enjoyable tour of a really stunning garden. This is an historic site dating to about 1820 with strong design elements, fabulous herbaceous colour […]


Helen’s Bay Walled Garden – A Venture in Vegetables 

Ulster Folk Museum Head Gardener Andy Bingham , Lorraine Small, owner of the walled garden at Helen's Bay and Maeve Bell, Chairperson of IGPS North.

IGPS member and plants woman Lorraine Small has taken on a challenge in restoring a 4 acre walled garden in Helen’s Bay, County Down. Barely one year into the project the garden is already supplying some of Belfast’s top restaurants and selling at local markets.   Her Head gardener David Cameron brings a wealth of experience […]


IGPS Munster has a New Lecture Venue

Northridge House SMALL

We are very excited to tell you we are moving to Northridge House in Blackrock. There is plenty of onsite parking, the building is fully wheelchair accessible, has comfy seats, a sound system, air conditioning, and best of all, tea and coffee making facilities. Northridge House (at St. Luke’s Home), Castle Rd, Mahon, Cork For […]


Blarney in Bloom 2016: The Forgotten Garden


This project, to build a garden highlighting Irish heritage plants, raising awareness of them, of the trail of Irish heritage plants at Blarney Castle Gardens and of the IGPS was led my Rory Newell and overseen by Adam Whitbourn, with many Blarney staff helping out in it’s design, construction and planting, in their own free time. It […]


Visit to Victor & Roz Henry’s Garden

Victor Henry greeting the visitors as all admire the wonderful delphiniums.

We had a very enjoyable visit to Victor and Roz Henry’s garden in Newtownards yesterday despite the most unseasonable weather – heavy downpours, gusts of wind which caused the gazebo for the plant sale to lift off, and a temperature of about 12*C. But IGPS members and their friends are a hardy lot and made […]


The Ceremonial Planting of Escallonia ‘C. F. Ball’ at the War Memorial Gardens.

Peter Acton with his daughter Gemma Acton accepting Escallonia 'C. F. Ball'

The National War Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, are dedicated to the memory of 49,400 Irish soldiers who died in the First World War. They are in a wonderful setting, along the River Liffey, and adjacent to the Phoenix Park. Escallonia ‘C F Ball’ is named for Charles Frederick Ball, who was killed at Gallipoli […]


A Visit to Hillsborough Castle Gardens, June 2016

Hillsborough  (5)

      IGPS members visited Hillsborough Castle House and Garden on the 4th June. The House was built in the 1770s by Wills Hill 1st Marquis of Downshire and was remodelled in the 1800s and then again in the 20th century. It passed to the British Goverment in 1922 and is now the official […]