Upcoming Events

Members are eligible to attend events in any part of Ireland, so don’t limit your browsing to your own location. The categorisation by geographic region is for administration and organisational purposes only.

Non-members are very welcome at our events though there will be a charge for insurance purposes. Do come along and join us and, perhaps, become a member. There will be events which will be restricted to members only – perhaps because of the size of the garden and the need to restrict numbers or because this is the wish of the garden owner – and, on these occasions, unfortunately, we cannot accommodate non-members.

We occasionally list events of other groups in the ‘Other Events’ category, generally for groups we regularly work with. These are not part of the official IGPS programme but may be of interest to members.

Sep
29
Sat
Rowallane Autumn Plant Sale @ Rowallane Gardens
Sep 29 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

The Plant sale is organised as part of the National Trust’s Autumn Plant Fair at Rowallane Garden and is an opportunity to acquire plants both from professional growers and enthusiastic amateurs alike. Enjoy light refreshments or lunch in the National Trust Café in Rowallane House and take the time to explore one of Northern Ireland’s finest gardens.

 

Donations of good quality plants and help on the stand would be very welcome. Plants may be left in advance by arrangement with Agnes Peacocke, 15 Finnebrogue Rd, Downpatrick, BT30 9AA Tel. 02844612766 or email apeacocke@hotmail.co.uk. Alternatively, plants can be dropped off at Rowallane from 9am on the morning of the sale.  Contact Agnes Peacocke as above for further information.

 

Note:  Visitors are asked to please use the main car park as the drop off point when bringing plants to the IPGS stall, as the main route along the front of Rowallane House is pedestrianised. There will be a signposted route from the Avenue for stall holders.

 

Oct
2
Tue
Autumn at Ballymaloe with Susan Turner @ Northridge House
Oct 2 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Susan Turner is Head Gardener at Ballymaloe House as well as Ballymaloe Cookery School Gardens. An expert in her field, she has worked extensively in Israel and Germany as well as her native South Africa and brings a wealth of experience to bear on her series of gardening workshops. Susan is extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of organic horticulture and has been lecturing since 1995.

This evening’s talk will be on all matters in the autumn at Ballymaloe.

 

 

 

Oct
12
Fri
In the Footsteps of Joseph Dalton Hooker: A Sikkim Adventure – Book Launch @ National Botanic Gardens
Oct 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

The Leinster Committee is delighted that Patricia Butler will launch  Seamus O’Brien’s new book In the Footsteps of Joseph Dalton Hooker: A Sikkim Adventure. The launch will take place in the auditorium of the Visitors Centre in Glasnevin on Friday 12th October at 7pm.

Seamus O’Brien

 

This is a much anticipated book on the travels of the renowned plant hunter, cartographer and geographer, Joseph Dalton Hooker. In this region of the Himalaya, Hooker collected a vast quantity of seed which he sent to his father, Sir William Hooker, then director of Kew. Hooker identified an abundance of  rhododendron species in Sikkim, many to be found today not only in Kew but also in Kilmacurragh and elsewhere. It was the desire to see these plants growing in the wild which brought Seamus to Sikkim on expeditions between 2012 and 2015  and retrace Hooker’s footsteps. The book intertwines the stories of both expeditions accompanied by over 500 coloured images and 60 black and whites.

 

Due to the expected demand, both from IGPS members and the general public, this is a ticketed event with everyone required to book a seat in the auditorium. A signed copy of the book is included in the price of the seat. Refreshments will be served afterwards in the Teak House, the glasshouse adjacent to the Car Park. There will be time there to chat to Seamus and catch up with other gardening enthusiasts. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Oct
20
Sat
Leinster Plant Sale @ Institute of Education
Oct 20 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Leinster Plant Sale @ Institute of Education

Stalls include:

  •         Irish Heritage Plants
  •         Rare and Unusual plants
  •        Shrubs,
  •         Bulbs 
  •         Herbaceous plants
  •        Irish Society of Botanical Artists

In the Footsteps of Joseph Dalton Hooker: A Sikkim Adventure by Seamus O’Brien will be on sale.

 Tours of the courtyard garden with its rare collection of plants arranged at regular intervals

All stallholders will be able to discuss the plants and how best to care for them.

A creche for plants will be provided so that you can browse, chat to friends and enjoy a coffee.

Free parking on campus with a convenient drop off/collect point.

There is a coffee shop on site open to IGPS visitors. Free entrance.  Card and cash payments accepted.

Donations of plants accepted. Please label your plant and include a photo, if possible.

Book Launch: In the Footsteps of Joseph Dalton Hooker – with Séamus O’Brien @ Fota House
Oct 20 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

The IGPS is delighted that Kristin Jameson will launch Séamus O’Brien’s latest book, In the Footsteps of Joseph Dalton Hooker: A Sikkim Adventure, at Fota House on October 20th.

Seamus O’Brien has made several journeys to the Kingdom of Sikkim following the journeys of the famous plant hunter and cartographer Joseph Dalton Hooker. Séamus was inspired by his reading Hooker’s accounts of his travels, the wonderful plants he introduced, some of which grow at the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh, which is in Séamus’ charge.

With this background, Séamus travelled throughout the Kingdom following in the footsteps of Joseph Dalton Hooker, and using his sketches and illustrations in his books to compare the country as it is now with how it was in Hooker’s time. The book combines Séamus’ travels and those of Hooker in a wonderful narrative.

Séamus will introduce the book at the book launch with insights into his time in Sikkim so it will be an informative and enjoyable occasion. Books will be available on the day.

Admission to this event is free but, with demand on places, it is necessary to register your intention of attending and you can do this via this link to Eventbrite

 

 

 

 

Oct
25
Thu
Book Launch: In the Footsteps of Joseph Dalton Hooker @ Antrim Old Courthouse
Oct 25 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Book Launch: In the Footsteps of Joseph Dalton Hooker @ Antrim Old Courthouse

In the Footsteps of Joseph Dalton Hooker – Book Launch with Seamus O’Brien 

The IGPS is delighted that Anthea Forde will launch Seamus O’Brien’s second book, ‘In the Footsteps of Joseph Dalton Hooker: A Sikkim Adventure’.  Seamus, Head Gardener at the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh, Co. Wicklow, will present a talk and  signed copies of his books will be available to buy at a discounted price £30 (from £40) at this book launch.

Joseph Dalton Hooker ranks as the greatest botanical explorer of the 19th century.  From 1848-1851, he explored the Himalayan ranges of east Nepal and Sikkim, discovering a plethora of new plants, the seeds of which he sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.  Some of those seedlings found their way to Ireland and inspired by those growing at the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh, Seamus O’Brien led four expeditions ‘In the Footsteps of Joseph Dalton Hooker’.  His talk recounts those journeys.

This is our Autumn lecture in Association with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Refreshments provided, plant raffle on evening. Everyone is welcome!

 

“The Gardens of Scotland” – with Colin Wren @ National Botanic Gardens
Oct 25 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
"The Gardens of Scotland" - with Colin Wren @ National Botanic Gardens

Colin Wren, Gardens and Designed Landscapes Manager (Edinburgh and East) at the National Trust for Scotland  will bring us on a journey of the must see gardens under his care. He will guide us on some of the rare and unusual plants to look out for and also tell us about the challenges and privileges of leading these gardens. Trained at the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens, Wisley and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Edinburgh, Colin has also worked as Gardens Manager at Edinburgh Zoo, and nursery mangarer at Binny Plants, a renowned nursery and on-line plant supplier in Scotland.

This lecture will be for all of us who face similar challenges. There will be time at the end of the lecture to answer your questions regarding plant choice and care. Colin’s lecture will be a great introduction to the many great gardens of Scotland to be visited.

For further details and to register your interest in this event, visit EVENTBRITE

Nov
6
Tue
Patthana through the Year with T. J. Maher @ Northridge House
Nov 6 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Patthana Garden is situated in Kiltegan, Co. Wicklow, and is the garden of artist, T. J. Maher. It opened to the public for the first time in 2017 and attracted visitors in great numbers. T. J. is a  painter and his eye for colour and colour combination has made the planting at Patthana Garden perfectly beautiful.

Join T. J. this evening for an overview of the garden through the seasons.

Nov
10
Sat
‘Woodland Gardening’ with Ken Cox @ Malone Presbyterian Church Hall
Nov 10 @ 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Ken is Managing Director of Glendoick Garden Centre and mail order nursery in Perth. Born into a family of renowned plantsmen, Ken is grandson of planthunter, writer and nurseryman Euan Cox and son of Peter Cox VMH. The three generations were and are considered the world’s leading experts on rhododendrons. Ken has written many books on rhododendrons, plant hunting & Scottish gardening, raised many new hybrid rhododendrons & azaleas and introduced many species from his plant hunting expeditions. He also advises the National Trust for Scotland on several of their woodland gardens. In this fascinating lecture, Ken gives his insights into many woodland gardens of the world, history, plant hunting, botanical gardens, from Japan to New Zealand to North America and Europe and of course the great gardens of Sussex, Cornwall and Scotland.

This afternoon lecture is organised by the Alpine Garden Society (Ulster Group) and, by their kind invitation there is free admission to IGPS members. Parking is available in the church grounds.  Please note the change of venue from the usual AGS meeting hall.  Refreshments will be provided and for catering purposes, the AGS would like to know numbers attending.  Please inform Barbara Kelso by email (barbara.kelso@yahoo.co.uk) or phone 028 90861854 if you plan to attend.

Nov
11
Sun
Commemorating Armistice Day at National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh. @ National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh.
Nov 11 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Commemorating  Armistice Day

National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh, Co. Wicklow

November 11th 2018 marks one hundred years since Armistice Day when a hard-won peace reigned over Europe. By the time soldiers were returning to Ireland, almost 50,000 of their fellow countrymen lay buried in distant lands. Many years later, Phylis, Lady Moore, wife of Sir Frederick Moore, Keeper of the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, sadly related that after the Great War, ‘many an Irish demesne gate had closed, never to open again.’ It was a time of shocking death duties and with staggering changes of land ownership, as a result of so many casualties. The war meant the loss of an entire generation of young men, many of whom were professional gardeners or owners of large gardens and demesnes.

The three major botanic gardens of Great Britain and Ireland; Edinburgh, Glasnevin and Kew, all suffered badly. It’s said that material coming into this renowned trio, from the great plant hunters of the time, fared badly because many of their most skilled staff had been lost on the European battlefields. The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh named a number of newly described species after their war dead, while at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the garden’s war dead are honoured on commemorative plaques in the Temple of Arethusa near the Victoria Gate.

No such memorial exists at Glasnevin, though the Kew plaque carries the name of Private Charles Frederick Ball, of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers (who had their headquarters in Naas, Co. Kildare). C. F. Ball was Glasnevin’s Assistant Keeper and had formerly worked at Kew. He was killed at Gallipoli in September 1915, aged just 36, and had apparently collected seeds of various plants, including Gallipoli oaks for Kew and Glasnevin during his time there. He was one of three staff members never to make it back to Glasnevin.

The Temple of Arethusa, designed as a folly for Princess Augusta by Sir William Chambers in 1758, overlooks Kew’s iconic Great Palm House and pond, and until recently, one of the garden’s most famous trees grew on the Victoria Gate side of the pond, by a pair of Chinese lion dogs.

The Verdun oak (Quercus petraea), photographed at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in November 2012

The tree in question was a sessile oak, Quercus petraea, grown from an acorn collected on the muddy battlefields of Verdun, France in the autumn of 1916. One of the longest battles of WW1, lasting from February to December 1916, it also devastated massive swathes of Verdun’s oak and chestnut forests.  It is hard to think of so many young horticulturists and plant enthusiasts forced into such ferocious fighting, yet this un-named soldier found the time to gather acorns from beyond the trenches and send them to Kew where a sapling was planted in a prominent spot by the Great Palm House in January 1919.

It was sad then, when this notable tree was hit by the severe St Jude’s Day storm that hit the south of England in October 2013 and was so badly damaged that it needed removal just before the Armistice Day remembrances for that year. By chance Thomas Pakenham, on a visit to Kew, had gathered acorns from the tree, before its sudden demise, and raised several at Tullynally Castle in Co. Westmeath. After a visit there a number of years ago, I left with one of Thomas’s young seedling and so the progeny of Kew’s historic Verdun oak persists in a number of Irish gardens. The Tullynally seedling is now almost 2 m tall here at Kilmacurragh and thriving.

As a mark of respect to those Irishmen who died in the Great War, particularly those who were gardeners, a gathering will take place at Kilmacurragh at 11 am on November 11th 2018, when on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Thomas Pakenham, will plant the Verdun oak seedling on the 18th century Pond Vista, by the ruins of the drawing room of Kilmacurragh House, which saw two consecutive owners die in 1915 and 1916, alongside several tenants and gardeners from the estate.

The event will be attended by the principal Irish gardening and arboricultural societies; the Irish Garden Plant Society, the Irish Tree Society, the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland, among others.

 

November 11th 2018 at 11 am. National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh. Meet in visitor car park at 10.45.

Text and image: Seamus O’Brien

 

 

Dec
5
Wed
‘From Show Gardens to Real Gardens’ with Oliver Schurmann @ Malone House
Dec 5 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

The IGPS are delighted to welcome Oliver Schurmann from Mount Venus Nursery in Dublin.  Oliver presents an illustrated talk on designing cutting edge show gardens and how these creations have a positive or negative influence on our real gardens.

 

This lecture is in Association with Belfast City Council.

Refreshments provided, plant raffle on evening.  Everyone is welcome!

Mar
21
Thu
‘My Thirty Best Plants’ with Bob Brown @ Antrim Old Courthouse
Mar 21 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Bob Brown is proprietor of Cotswold Garden Flowers nursery and Just Must Perennials, a wholesale nursery.  He has a life-long obsession with gardening and is known for having opinions (many very critical) about all the 16-17 thousand kinds of plants he’s grown or tried to grow.  Bob oversees herbaceous trials for the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) for the Royal Horticultural Society. He is a prolific writer and has a monthly section in ‘Which? Gardening’ and he is holder of the Veitch Memorial Medal awarded for the science and advancement of horticulture. His specialist nursery, based in Evesham, stocks a huge range of unusual perennials, with a focus on good old-fashioned plants, newly introduced plants bred for not only colour and form but for vigour as well, and plants newly introduced from the wild.

This is our Autumn lecture in Association with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Refreshments provided, plant raffle on evening. Everyone is welcome!