Latest News

Tánaiste Joan Burton, Michael White and Tony Kelly with newly named Rhododendron 'Tánaiste Joan Burton', named to mark her visit to Mount Congreve on Saturday,  29th August 2015

Tánaiste Joan Burton, Michael White and Tony Kelly with newly named Rhododendron ‘Tánaiste Joan Burton’, named to mark her visit to Mount Congreve on Saturday, 29th August 2015. Photograph by Mary Tobin. 

A New Irish Rhododendron named at Mount Congreve Gardens, Waterford.

Tánaiste, Joan Burton, with Michael White, Curator of Mount Congreve Gardens and Tony Kelly, Administrator at Mount Congreve. Michael has presented the Tánaiste with a rhododendron which he had bred, selected and named Rhododendron ‘Tánaiste Joan Burton’ to mark Ms. Burton’s visit to the gardens last Saturday night to support a fund-raising event in aid of Oasis House, a women’s refuge in Waterford. There was an attendance of approximately 200, the weather was wonderful for guided tours of the garden, a champagne reception in the Pleasure Garden with a jazz band playing and dinner afterwards in the courtyard of the house.

The rhododendron is a selection from seedlings Michael raised from a cross between ‘Actress’ and ‘Michael’s Choice’ both of which have ‘Lady Alice Fitzwilliam’ in their breeding background so, as might be expected, the new cultivar has an excellent fragrance.


Important note re our visit to the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh on 12th September: 
New roads have been opened in the area and new directions for getting to Kilmacurragh have been added to our Events Notices
The herbaceous borders at Kilmacurragh.

The herbaceous borders at Kilmacurragh.

Propagation Workshop at St. Enda’s Park, Rathfarnham
St Enda's workshop July 2015
Photo from Stephen Butler
Workshop on propagation and seed collecting, in St Endas Park, Rathfarnham Dublin, July 25th, a very relaxed and informal talk with only a few people attending, who were delighted by the attention they received – and some free plants. Great venue, lovely park, well used by local people too, and with historic features. And excellent coffee shop!
Libertia x butleri
- A name recently applied to mark the contribution of Stephen Butler to the study of this genus.
This name has been applied to acknowledge the contribution Stephen Butler has made to the study of the taxonomy of the various libertia species and cultivars.

Stephen Butler has maintained a collection of Libertia at the Zoo for many years. As well as collecting a wide range of these plants he has prepared herbarium specimens and pictures and identified naming issues which all proved a significant help to Julian Shaw, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Registrar, who has been conducting a review of the genus Libertia over the past number of years.

When Libertia chilensis and L. ixioides are grown in gardens hybrids regularly occur between them – distinguished by wider leave than ixioides and a much more open inflorescence than chilensis – and it is botanically useful to have a name for these hybrids and Julian Shaw has named such hybrids “Libertia x butleri” in recognition of Stephen’s work.

Stephen is Curator of Horticulture at Dublin Zoo, Chairperson of the Leinster Branch  and a member of the Executive Committee of the IGPS and the person who has organised the IGPS members’ Seed Distribution over many years.

Well done, Stephen!

Libertia x butleri 'Amazing Grace

Libertia x butleri ‘Amazing Grace

Dahlia ‘Matt Armour’
Dahia 'Matt Armour' 2 SMALL
This photograph is from Victor and Roz Henry’s garden. This is the plant of Dahlia ‘Matt Armour’ which they (and all who attended) the Annual General Meeting at Glenveagh Castle Gardens received from Sean O Gaoithin, Head Gardener at Glenveagh. Victor and Roz are the first to report having it in flower. A fabulous plant and a wonderful souvenir of our visit to Glenveagh.
Blarney in Bloom
IGPS at Blarney Castle 2015
Ted Kiely and Margaret McAuliffe on the IGPS stand at Blarney in Bloom in early July.
Leinster Branch Summer Lunch
This is one of the favourite events of the summer programme for the Leinster members and this year was no exception with visits to Kilmurry Nursery (Paul & Orla Woods) and to The Bay Gardens (Iain and Frances McDonald). There was a warm welcome at both gardens and the travellers were well taken care of as well as enjoying the wonderful gardens and plants.
Two photographs from Kilmurry Nursery, courtesy of Orla Woods.
Leinster summer lunch at Kilmurry Nursery 2

Kilmurry Nursery – enjoying lunch. Photo from Orla Woods

Leinster summer lunch at Kilmurry Nursery 1

Kilmurry Nursery – enjoying lunch. Photo from Orla Woods

The Bay Garden

The second visit on the Summer Lunch outing was to The Bay Garden – photo from Ali Rochford

Dublin Zoo Visit 
The Leinster branch had a great night out at Dublin Zoo, big attendance, wonderful meal and a fabulous guided tour of the Zoo – to see plants, not animals – with Stephen Butler who is Curator of Horticulture there.
Have a look at photographs posted by Stephen on our Facebook page here: Dublin Zoo VisitDublin Zoo


A Message from Jane Powers:

I am looking for a knowledgeable gardener in the Republic of Ireland with a collection of Irish roses (introduced pre-2000). Could this be you? Do you have 10 or 20 or more Irish-bred roses, and do you know a bit about the stories behind them? If so, please email me as soon as you can on:, or message me on Facebook.

Also, if there is anyone else out there with a significant collection of other Irish cultivars, I’d like to hear from you too.



Bloom in the Park 2015 – comments and photos
Have a read of our blog: Bloom 2015
Darkness into Light - Pieta House Garden by Niall Maxwell

Darkness into Light – Pieta House Garden by Niall Maxwell


Glenveagh Views  (16)

We have just had a most wonderful weekend in Co. Donegal for our Annual General Meeting.
We are most grateful to Seán Ó Gaoithín, Head Gardener at Glenveagh who arranged for us to have our AGM in Glenveagh Castle itself and then, along with other members of staff, gave us wonderful guided tours of the garden. To say this was a magical experience would hardly do it justice. It was outstandingly wonderful – and everybody came away with a plant of Dahlia ‘Matt Armour’, a beautiful red dahlia raised in the garden itself. What a delightful souvenir to have of our visit.
We are also most grateful to Seamus O Donnell who hosted a visit to his seaside garden at Cluain na dTor; to Brian and all the staff at Oakfield Park who gave us such a warm welcome  and gave so generously of their time and to John and Lady Maryette McFarlard who treated us with the warmth and kindness given to family friends when we visited Dunmore House.
A very special thanks to Yvonne Penpraze, Billy McCone, Lorna Goldstrum and Maeve Bell who organised the weekend for us – the bookings, the gardens, the hotel and meal, transport, information pack etc etc. It was a tremendous success and a huge pleasure to attend.
Best wishes to all who attended, almost 100 people. It was great to meet us with so many friends again and a delight to enjoy our gardening passion together.
Until next year!
Paddy Tobin, Chairman.

I will add photographs as I get to them: Click on the links below to be taken to a photo album.

This e-mail was sent to me recently and I would like to share it with you: 
“Dear Patrick I have just received once again my membership card for the year. I am now aged 94 and have slowed down to the extent that I no longer have time to read all my incoming mail. There seems no point in expecting the society to carry the cost of my membership including postage for the society’s publications which I do not have the time to read. I therefore suggest that we call it a day and tender my best wishes that you all continue to prosper and pursue your valuable work for plants in Ireland.Professor Amyan Macfadyen”
Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Congratulations to Dr. E. Charles Nelson, founder member of the IGPS, who will be awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Veitch Memorial Medal for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of the science and practice of horticulture. Charles was taxonomist for just over nineteen years at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. 

Previous Irish recipients of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Veitch Memorial Medal are Susan Andrews(2012) and Helen Dillon (1999).

The only previous recipient who has served at the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin is Sir Frederick Moore (1932)

Our most sincere congratulations and best wishes to Charles

You can read the full text of the RHS press release here

Congratulations to Seamus O’Brien who has been elected to the Royal Horticultural Society’s Hardy Plant Committee. 
It involves highlighting what’s happening with new woody plants in Ireland & awarding Award of Garden Merit – AGM – (through Wisley
Trials) to likely candidates.
Seamus has been member of the IGPS for many years and always a great supporter of the society’s aims and activities over all these years. We wish him our heartiest congratulations and best wishes.


36 past issues of our Newsletter have been added in pdf format. 

Check under “Publications” – “Newsletter”



‘Moorea’ is the journal of the Irish Garden Plant Society. It has been published occasionally over the years as suitable material was available. We are delighted to have Volume 16 to hand and this has been posted to all current members in the last week.

In this issue:

  • Belinda Jupp: Reviving a Late Eighteenth Century Town Garden (N0. 63 Merrion Square, Dublin)
  • Brendan Sayers, Charles Nelson and Alexandra Caccamo: Phaius tankervilleae (Banks Ex L’Her) Blume- An Early Orchid Portrait by Lydia Shackleton
  • Seamus O’ Brien: In the Footsteps of Joseph Dalton Hooker – A Sikkim Adventure.
  • Mary Forrest: Hooker Rhododendrons – Irish Interest in the 1850s
  • Carmel Duignan:  Aristocratic Ivies – Some Noble Cousins of the Humble Ivy.
  • Noeleen Smyth:  Global and National Strategies for Plant Conservation and their Implications for Public, Private and Botanic Gardens.
  • Seán Ó Gaothaín: An Overview of the History of Glenveigh Castle Gardens.

Note: ‘Moorea’ is free to members and is generally not available to non-members though we expect to have a small number available for sale by summer. This will be announced on this website.

Volumes 1 – 15 are available as PDFs on this website under “Publications” above.


  • Past issue of Moorea: All past issues of Moorea, the society’s journal, are available here on the website – check “Publications” above
  • New Members are always welcome and easy with our Quick web payment for Memberships and Renewals » Of course, you can always come along to one of our events and join the society at the same time if it would be more convenient for you.

Come and join us on Facebook: or on Twitter: