Archives for April 2016

IGPS at the Clare Garden Festival

Clare Garden Festival 20160424

A photo of the Irish Garden Plant Society stand at Clare Garden Festival today.

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 west, we would love to hear from you.


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 Stephen Butler and Jenny Constable. 





IGPS at Fota Plant Fair.



Blarney stand at Fota with Bruno Nicolai  (3)

The Plant Fair at Fota Island today with Bruno Nicolai promoting the Irish Garden Plant Society at the Blarney Castle Garden stand reminding all to come to the Blarney in Bloom Festival on the 10th of July

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 of IGPS Munster, was at the stand and reported a very good response from those attending the fair. Bruno will also be at the upcoming Clare Garden Festival to promote interest in the IGPS and to deliver a talk.

Blarney stand at Fota with Bruno Nicolai  (2)

Caught by surprise!

Caught by surprise!




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

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.

Primula megaesifolia

Primula megaesifolia

Polylepsis australis, fabulously shaggy bark

Polylepsis australis, fabulously shaggy bark

Narcissus minor with fritillaries

Narcissus minor with fritillaries


Many thanks to Maeve Bell for the photographs!

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

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 made by Alwyn Sinnamon, Foreman Gardener at Castlewellan Arboretum and Annesley Garden, at Castlewellan, and it was possible to trace its identity using original descriptions and drawings of the cultivar.

Narcissus 'Countess of Annesley' SMALL IMAGE

Narcissus ‘Countess of Annesley’ is an extremely vigorous and distinctive daffodil with bright sulphur-yellow, twisted perianth segments and a rich full-yellow trumpet that’s reflexed at its apex.

The cultivar was first found by Thomas Ryan, Head Gardener to Hugh Annesley (1831-1908), the fifth Earl Annesley, and was named by William Frederick Burbidge, the former Veitchian plant hunter and Curator of the Trinity College Botanic Gardens in Dublin.

During the 1890s Narcissus ‘Countess of Annesley’ was grown as a cut flower in Ireland and the Isles of Scilly, and several tonnes of blooms were annually sold to the English and Scottish markets. It was planted en masse in front of Kew’s Great Palm House in the late 1890s, and it also became extremely popular in New Zealand.

During the twentieth century it was superseded by modern cultivars and was presumed extinct until plants were positively identified from stock at Castlewellan and nearby, at Rowallane Gardens. Further investigations have found a third population is thriving at Annesgrove House and Gardens in Co. Cork.


With thanks to Seamus O’Brien, National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh, Co. Wicklow.

RHS Woody Plant Committee (corresponding member).