Archives for October 2016

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 County Wexford Garden and Flower Club.

The opening of the exhibition of botanical art and the launch of the book will be on Saturday, 12th November at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin – by invitation only to all IGPS and ISBA members. The exhibition will continue to early December and the book will be on sale during that time.


There will be further events at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, on the 19th of November where contributors to the book will make a presentation and on the 26th when the artists will give demonstrations of their work. These latter events are open to the public and we would be delighted to see you there.




The book is not yet on sale but may be ordered online  from The Irish Society of Botanical Artists and will be available at the National Botanic Gardens from Sunday, 13th November, onwards.

I have been involved in this project and am absolutely delighted with the final product and am sure you will be also. Here are some sample pages from the book – simply photographed at home, I’m afraid, but enough to give you a peep into the beauty of the illustrations, all done by members of the Irish Society of Botanical Artists.



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 Macer with Neal Porteous and Victor Henry at Mount Stewart Gardens.

Nick Macer with Victor Henry looking at some of the wonderful plants at Mount Stewart recently

Nick Macer with Victor Henry looking at some of the wonderful plants at Mount Stewart recently

Nick was himself wowed by a visit to Mount Stewart where he was shown round by Neil Porteous, the Head of Gardens there; Victor Henry and Maeve Bell were lucky enough to accompany them. We saw fabulous autumn colour combinations in the Italian Garden, the autumn hues of the Sunk Garden, rare and unusual specimens including the tall, multi-headed Cordyline indivisa, and the new collections of ferns and Rhododendron maddenii.






Text and photographs from Maeve Bell. 

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 we went to The Botanic Gardens in Belfast where he met some of the staff of Belfast Parks together with members of the Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens who are also IGPS members and heard about the project to restore the Victorian Tropical Ravine. While the building housing the Ravine is being refurbished, Parks staff are taking the opportunity to propagate the rare Killarney Fern.




Text and photographs from Maeve Bell.


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 day. If you would like to view a full album you can do so on the IGPS Facebook page and if you would like to read of the background story of this garden you can do so on the IGPS Blog.








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 plants propagated by society members and kindly donated to the sale. Several nurseries are also very generous with their contributions.

Stephen Butler, Chairperson IGPS Leinster, would like to extend a special “Thank You” to the nurseries that donated plants: Kilmurry Nursery, Sedum and Sage Nursery, Mt. Venus Nursery, Ravensberg Nursery, Tullys Nursery, and Flannery’s Nursery and the numerous donations from members, a wonderful mix of plants again, very many not seen for sale generally.

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Plant Sale, Saturday 15th

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!


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

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

Agapanthus ‘Kilmurry Blue’

Agapanthus ‘Kilmurry White’,

Bergenia ‘Ballawley’, Ballawley Park, Dundrum, 1940

Crocosmia ‘Irish Dawn’

Crocosmia ‘Kilmurry Orange’

Crocosmia masoniorum ‘Rowallane Orange’, from Rowallane, 1998

Crocosmia masoniorum ‘Rowallane Yellow’, from Rowallane, 1970

Dierama ‘Kilmurry Seedling’

Eryngium x zabelii ‘Donard Variety’, Slieve Donard Nursery 1950

Iris chrysosgraphes ‘Kilmurry Black’, no info own selection

Osteospermum ‘Lady Leitrim’, Mulroy House, 1970

Rodgersia pinnata ‘Irish Bronze’, Ballawley Park, Dundrum

Rudbeckia ‘Dublin’

Tradescantia ‘Kilmurry Purple’

Verbena hastata ‘Kilmurry’,
3 x Berberis darwinii Nana, Daisy Hill intro before 1910
3 x Rosmarinus officinalis Prostrata, Daisy Hill pre 1906
3 x Parthenocissus henryana

3 x Azara microphylla ‘Variegata’, from Gumbletons house in Cork, pre 1910
3 x Berberis x stenophylla ‘Corallina Compacta’, Daisy Hill 1905
3 x Garrya x issaquanensis. ‘Glasnevin Wine’, Celbridge, 1985
3 x Dasiphora (Potentilla) fruticosa ‘Longacre’, Newcasatle, Down, pre 1950
2 x Emmenopterys henryi

5 x Omphalodes ‘Starry Eyes’, Rathfarnham, 1981
5 x Crocosmia ‘Rowallane Yellow’, 1970, at Rowallane
5 x Anemone nemerosa ‘Robinsoniana’, possibly Irish, maybe not!!
5 x Geranium himalayense ‘Irish Blue’, Leixlip, 1947
10 x Geranium psilostemon ‘Mt Venus’, no info, new from there

3 x Hebe ‘Headfortii’, from Headfort, seeds from NZ though
3 x Griselinia ‘Bantry Bay’, McKenzie, Illnacullin, 1950, branch sport
3 x Escallonia ‘Glasnevin Hybrid’, NBG 1910
4 x Berberis x carminea ‘Buccaneer’, Watsons Nursery Killiney, pre 1940
3 x Philadelphus ‘Rose Syringa’, pre 1890
1 x Dianthus ‘Chomley Farran’, Braemor Park, Dublin 1975
4 x Cryptomeria japonica ‘Kilmacurragh’, pre 1922 there
3 x Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Kilmacurragh’, pre 1933 there
2 x Cotoneaster bradyi, intro to NBG 1995 named for Director, raised from seed from China in Sweden
2 x Berberis x carminea Barbarossa’, Watsons Nursery Killiney, pre 1940
3 x Sambucus nigra f, porphyrophylla ‘Guincho Purple’, pre 1970, from Scotland intro by Mackie at Guincho

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, led a tour of the formal gardens which were resplendent with late summer colour, exciting plant combinations and a superb collection of salvias.

Text and photographs from Maeve Bell, Chairperson IGPS North. 


Neil Porteous, Head Gardener at Mount Stewart, leading a group in the gardens