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 was hugely popular with visitors, and was the highlight of the show. (It drew people to the IGPS stall also and to our plant sale)

On the stage Rory also gave a great talk about the IGPS and Irish heritage plants, and I was nabbed at the end to say a few words as IGPS Munster Chair. I gave an overview of the IGPS and briefly thanked everyone for what
they had achieved.

Bruno Nicolai. 





Billy McCone, Chairperson of the Executive Committee of the IGPS, sent this message:

The garden looks great and I love the concept of a ‘forgotten garden’.  Obviously a lot of work went into this and you are both to be commended on your achievement. 

From the photos and Bruno’s email, it is clear that you have done a lot in raising the profile of the IGPS and highlighting the conservation of heritage plants.

On behalf of the IGPS executive committee I would like to offer our sincere thanks and well deserved congratulations. 

Well done guys.      Billy McCone




Many thanks to Adam Whitbourn for the images of the garden – and, indeed, for all his work in promoting Irish heritage plants and the work of the IGPS.

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 2006

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 […]


The Rectory Garden, Lismacloskey

The Rectory Garden, Lismacloskey (2)

Here’s some photos from Barbara Kelso of a recent IGPS visit to the Lismacloskey Rectory Garden, at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, Cultra, a few miles east of Belfast.  The sun shone, the garden was looking fantastic and all had a wonderful morning. Just a little on the background of the garden: The garden […]


Our AGM weekend in Blarney, Co. Cork.


Many thanks to the Munster committee of the IGPS who organised our AGM weekend in Blarney, Co. Cork. It was a great success and enjoyed by all. Our first garden visit of the weekend was to Blarney Castle Gardens where we had a range of wonderful guided tours and this set the tone of the […]


A “Thank You” to Martin Edwardes


To mark Martin Edwarde’s ten years on the Munster committee of the IGPS Bruno Nicolai, Chairperson of the IGPS Munster committee, made this presentation at the AGM dinner in Blarney    


IGPS Stand at Russborough

IGPS stand at Russborough  (3)

There was a big turnout for the Rare and Special Plant Sale at Russborough House today and the IGPS had a stand there with Stephen Butler, Ricky Shannon and Kirsten Walker meeting people and promoting the IGPS. Mary and I dropped in to say “Hello”  


Lismacloskey Daffodils

Narcissus 'Lemon Cocktail'

Ireland and particularly the north of Ireland has a fine reputation for breeding daffodils and the garden at Lismacloskey Rectory in the Ulster Folk Museum, which is planted and maintained by volunteers from the IGPS and the Museum, now has a collection of almost 40 different cultivars. The chilly spring this year has meant their […]


IGPS at the Clare Garden Festival

Clare Garden Festival 20160424

Bruno Nicolai had an IGPS stand at the Clare Garden Festival today – as well as presenting a talk to those attending. A great day was had, with lots of requests for an IGPS branch to be set up in the west. If there is anybody interested in helping set up a branch in the […]


A Woodland Garden


A large group of IGPS members made their way to Co. Meath on Saturday, 23rd of April. We were blessed with good weather, and everybody thoroughly enjoyed the visit. The woodland was planted with a great mixture of native spring flowers and choice woodland plants with an imaginative uses of ivy as ground cover. Photographs from […]


IGPS at Fota Plant Fair.

Blarney stand at Fota with Bruno Nicolai  (3)

    There was a huge attendance at the Plant Fair at Fota Island on Sunday, 17th April, and the IGPS had a presence there, sharing a stand with Blarney Castle Gardens to both promote the upcoming Blarney in Bloom Festival on the 10th of July and to promote the IGPS itself. Bruno Nicolai, Chairperson […]


A Visit to David Ledsham’s Garden – 9th March

Primula megaesifolia

It was a testimony to David Ledsham’s garden that we enjoyed it enormously despite poor weather conditions. We met with so many beautiful plants, so well cultivated, that is was a joy from beginning to end. Hellebore, trilliums and primulas were especially fabulous. Here are just a few photographs of plants which caught the eye. […]


Narcissus ‘Countess of Annesley’ An Irish cultivar presumed extinct – alive and well

Narcissus 'Countess of Annesley' SMALL IMAGE

Narcissus ‘Countess of Annesley’   An Irish cultivar presumed extinct – alive and well   Narcissus ‘Countess of Annesley’, a late nineteenth century, large early-flowered daffodil that originated at Castlewellan in Co. Down, Northern Ireland, and long presumed extinct, has recently been found alive and well in a number of Irish gardens. The discovery was […]


The Lismacloskey Garden at the Ulster Folk Museum

The Rectory with a pair of Irish junipers either side of the central path.

The volunteers at Lismacloskey Garden at the Ulster Folk Museum near Belfast are busy getting the garden back into shape after a very wet but mild winter. The weather obviously suited the Irish Primroses introduced by the Fitzgerald Nursery in recent years as they are putting on a great show in the long bed leading […]


Dedication of Escallonia ‘C. F. Ball’ – Tuesday, 28th June

Escallonia CF Ball Photograph from

Dedication of Escallonia ‘C. F. Ball’ This dedication is taking place at the National War Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge, Dublin. It is a free event organised by the Office of Public Works(OPW) and we would like to see a good number of IGPS attend on the day.  Tuesday, 28 June 2016 from 14:00 to 16:00 AT […]


‘New and Exciting Herbaceous Perennials from around the World’ with Jimi Blake’


‘New and Exciting Herbaceous Perennials from around the World’ with Jimi Blake’, in association with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.  The Northern Area Committee’s Spring Lecture, ‘New and Exciting Herbaceous Perennials from around the World’ with Jimi Blake’, in association with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, was an entertaining and inspiring guide through Jimi’s favourite […]


Heritage Irish Plants – Plandaí Oidhreachta: Place a Pre-publication order now! €25

Heritae Irish Plants Publication Brochure 1

The Irish Society of Botanical Artists and The Irish Garden Plant Society have joined forces in a project titled Plandaí Oidhreachta, which celebrates our Heritage Plants. It highlights the wealth of good Irish Garden Plants and celebrates the beauty of botanical illustration. In late 2016, the end product of the collaboration will be an exhibition […]


Oliver Schurmann – ‘Prairie Style Gardening in an Irish Climate’

Oliver Schurmann talk cork March 2016 SMALLER IMAGE

A Report from Adam Whitbourn on Oliver Schurmann’s IGPS Munster lecture  ‘Prairie Style Gardening in an Irish Climate’on Tue 1st March. Oliver gave an extremely interesting and informative lecture. His passion and knowledge of plants and great eye for design were evident throughout. He described his formative days of training in Germany where he first […]


Ulster Garden Scheme 2016 – with IGPS Members Involved

Mary and Berkley Farr with Charles Stewart

In Northern Ireland the very active Ulster Gardens Scheme raises money for local National Trust gardens each year through a series of open gardens. This year eight gardens will open for a day or two days over a weekend at their peak season while another 15 are open by appointment between April and October. As […]