Annual General Meeting Weekend 2018
Join us for the Society’s AGM weekend and visit an outstanding selection of gardens where the Mountains of Mourne, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, sweep down to the sea. South County Down has a rich heritage of horticultural excellence. Castlewellan Arboretum which along with Annes Grove in Co Cork belonged to the Annesley family has been described as “…a world-class gem”. Also world class in their time were the Slieve Donard Nursery in Newcastle and Daisy Hill Nursery in Newry, both sadly defunct but their legacy lives on in the names of some of our most beautiful plants such as Pieris japonica ‘Daisy Hill’ and the outstanding Himalayan poppy, Meconopsis x sheldonii ‘Slieve Donard’.
Following the meeting which starts at 9.45am, there will be tea/coffee and scones after which we will share cars and drive the few miles to Castlewellan Forest Park; here there will be a guided tour of the Arboretum with its internationally important collection of trees and shrubs including magnolias and rhododendrons which should be in bloom. A light lunch (included in the ticket price) will be followed by a further visit to a nearby well-established private garden. On Sunday morning we drive through the heart of the Mournes to Ballyedmond Castle on the shores of Carlingford Lough; after light refreshments in the Orangery there will be a choice of guided tours taking in among other things the kitchen garden, the magnolia walk and the newly developed woodland area. We make our own arrangements for lunch in the villages of Rostrevor and Warrenpoint before our final visit is to the garden of two knowledgeable and enthusiastic gardeners on the outskirts of Newry before a cuppa and tray bake (included in the ticket price) to fortify us for the journey home.
NB For the comfort and enjoyment of all concerned, the garden visits will be limited to 100 people.
The comfortable 4* Burrendale Hotel Country Club and Spa on the Castlewellan Road in Newcastle – www.burrendale.com telephone +44 28 4372 2599 has agreed an excellent package for our stay:
One night B&B per person sharing (pps) £75
One night B&B pps including the AGM dinner £85
Two nights B&B pps including the AGM dinner £145
Single supplement £20 per night.
The hotel is holding rooms for us until 14th February. Book directly with the hotel mentioning the Irish Garden Plant Society to secure these rates. A deposit of £50 is required. After this date, although the special rate will continue, there is no guarantee of getting a room. If you wish to stay elsewhere, details of how to contact the local Council’s Visitor Information Centre can be found on www.newrymournedown.org.
There are different ticket prices depending on whether you are staying in the Burrendale Hotel or not. Be sure to have secured your accommodation in the Burrendale before making your booking so that you pay the correct amount.
- The cost of the weekend for members who have booked the package with the Burrendale Hotel inclusive of dinner is £59.
- If you are staying elsewhere and wish to attend the dinner on Saturday night, the cost of the weekend is £92 (£59 plus £33 for the dinner).
- Members may bring one guest; guests pay a £10 supplement on the above prices.
- If you have special dietary requirements, eg vegetarian, gluten-free and so on, please email Barbara Kelso (see below) with details as otherwise we won’t know to inform the hotel.
- For further enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Barbara Kelso +44 7449 484050 or Maeve Bell +44 7713 739482.
- Please use online booking if at all possible.
Booking will close 30th April. As an alternative to booking online you can return the booking form in the January newsletter to Barbara Kelso, 25 Farm Lodge Drive, Greenisland, Co. Antrim BT38 8XN.