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.

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.

Farewell to the Zoo with Stephen Butler. @ Dublin Zoo
Jun 23 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Book you tickets on EVENTBRITE

IGPS member and hertiage plant expert Stephen Butler will retire on the 30 June after 34 years as curator of the gardens at the Zoo. Come along and walk with him as he guides us through his years of work and how he has transformed the Zoo for both visitor and animal.

As Stephen explains, “Over the past 30 years Dublin Zoo has, like many older zoos, undergone a radical change to how animals are kept, completely changing the old style approach that had no sign of interdependence or co-evolution, and had no attempt at creating a natural habitat for the animals. Our inspiration for new developments always comes from the wild, and we try to imitate the natural habitat to stimulate not just the animals, but the zoo visitors as well, immersing them in landscaped surroundings where our design hides buildings and fences, and our planting palette reflects the wild. Many of the plants used will be familiar to gardeners, but maybe we use them differently! There are also challenges selecting plants that the animals will not eat to make their habitat more interesting.”

While the general public may visit a zoo to see and learn about the animals, Dublin Zoo has a deserved reputation as a garden in its own right attracting garden tours and horticulturalists from around the world. It is the home of Libertia Butlerii – named, as you can probebly guess, for Stephen.

The Leinster Committee hope to see as many of you as possible for this visit.

Book your tickets on EVENTBRITE

A visit to CASTLE DOBBS. @ See directions below
Jun 30 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

This castle/garden has a fascinating history and I would recommend a visit to the web site for some background information on the Dobbs family.

The present house of 1730 stands in a splendid position overlooking Belfast Lough and the County Down shore. Features include woodland, parkland and avenue trees with vestiges of a formal garden from an earlier house. There is a landscaped park for the 18th century house with a lake, a bridge and a cascade.

There is a walled garden looks that looks magnificent.

David Ledsham, with whom I’m sure you are all familiar, and a personal friend of the family, will be conducting the visit




From Belfast drive through Carrickfergus and on to Kilroot, turn left into Tongue Loanen and proceed to the entrance to the estate which will be indicated.



Summer Lunch @ Warble Bank Garden
Jul 7 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Summer Lunch
This year’s Summer Lunch marks a change in pattern for this event: we will incorporate two gardens – both being visited by the IGPS for the first time.

We will start at 11am with Anne Condell of Warblebank Garden. The Condell family have lived here for many generations and Anne would be delighted to tell you the history of the garden which has been lovingly looked after by Anne and by her late mother over the years. Warblebank Garden is home to many unusual varieties of aconitums, astrantias and geraniums.

After our tour lasting just over an hour, we will then head the short distance to Cloncallow, the home of the Kennedy’s. This is a family affair with Mum Noreen as head gardener, Dad being dragged in on occasion and of course the main event here – our summer lunch by daughter Ella. With an entrance framed by two myrtle trees, there is a duck pond home to 5 resident ducks. A gentle slope draws us down to a natural stream which has been planted up and restored over the last 12 years. Lilies are a particular favorite of mum Noreen. The polytunnels are where much of our organic lunch will be sourced – tomoatoes, courgettes and a wide variey of salads, Cloncallow also boasts many fruit trees to cater for our dessert, apricots and strawberries have been mentioned!

Bookings close the 2nd July.

Plants from both of the gardens will be for sale at the end of the day along with jams, preserves and free range duck eggs from Cloncallow.

Link to tickets: EVENTBRITE
Plant Sale at Blarney in Bloom @ Blarney Castle Garden.
Jul 15 all-day
IGPS Munster’s Annual Plant Sale @ Blarney in Bloom
Sunday 15th July, 10am to 5pm

IGPS Munster will once again be holding its Annual Plant Sale at Blarney in Bloom. We’re asking members to please try support the plant sale by donating plants and books, and/or volunteering their time to help out for a couple of hours on the day. 

We would be delighted to accept plants at our stand from 9-9.45 on the morning of the show. Looking for people to look after the stand also. Contact Margaret McAuliffe! 

We’ll be in touch with more information about donating and volunteering closer to the date, but now is the time to start setting some plants aside in your own gardens and getting them ready for the big day.

The money we raise on the day goes back into helping us fund enjoyable lectures and events for the year ahead.


Visit to Curraghmore House, Portlaw, Co. Waterford @ Curraghmore House
Jul 21 @ 11:30 am – Jul 22 @ 2:00 am

We are visiting Curraghmore House in Portlaw on Sat. July 21 at 11.30. There will be a guided tour of the house, gardens and shell house. Cost is €15 for members and €20 for guests. Lunch is extra.

Curraghmore House in Waterford is the historic home of the 9th Marquis of Waterford. His ancestors (the de la Poers) came to Ireland from Normandy after a 100-year stopover in Wales around 1170, or, about 320 years before Columbus ‘discovered’ the New World.

A view to Curraghmore House. (photo taken from the Currahmore House website: curraghmorehouse.ie

Some 2,500 acres of formal gardens, woodland and grazing fields make this the largest private demesne in Ireland and one of the finest places to visit in Ireland.

A Sitka Spruce planted on the estate in the 1830s is among the tallest tree in Ireland and stands guard over King John’s Bridge. Built in 1205 this stone-arched structure, spanning the Clodagh River, is the oldest bridge in Ireland. Twelve miles of famine relief boundary walls and four sturdy wrought iron gates surround the estate.

Gnarled pink chestnut trees line the approach to the big house and original castle tower. St Hubert’s stag with crucifix between its antlers – genuine horns on the de la Poer family emblem – gazes across the large Courtyard from atop the old castle.

The Shell House at Curraghmore House, Portlaw, Co. Waterford (photo from the Curraghmore website: curraghmorehouse.ie
Visit to Helen Dillon’s New Garden @ Helen Dillon
Jul 28 @ 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Visit to Helen Dillon’s new garden
Helen Dillon, honorary IGPS member and gardener extraordinaire, has downsized to suburban coastal Monkstown. Join us as we tour her delightful new garden and see how she has transformed it in her own inimitable way.
This is a members-only event and limited to 20. Tickets will go on sale on 1st June: Eventbrite
Bookings will close on the 25th of July or earlier if booked out.

A visit to ASHFIELD HOUSE @ Ashfield
Aug 4 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Please note a change to arrival time: 

The owners of Ashfield House would like us to arrive at 12 noon for the guided tour of their garden.

They have been very kind to allow us to visit and will serving refreshments after the garden tour.


A traditional Irish house and estate with stables, an extensive garden and surrounding planting. Fully functioning walled garden serving both the kitchen and the social needs of the family. Respecting its original layout ornamental planting surrounding the house and embracing the existing mature trees and shrubs. Within this and beyond are many Icons relating to Irish History and Mythology giving the garden a fascinating and unique atmosphere!

The remodelling of the garden was completed over several years by two of the society’s expert gardeners.

Mike Snowden, who you may know, among his many achievements, from his time as Head Gardener at Rowallane, focused on the major transformation of the walled garden.

Accomplished garden designer Angela Jupe, was responsible for re-designing other areas of the extensive gardens.

We are very fortunate to have both Mike and Angela as our guides.

NOTE – The visit is limited to 60 (Members only) and must be booked on line through EVENTBRITE (Link will be active on Monday, June 11th). Tickets are free to members but you must book for the event. You can read full details on the Eventbrite page. 


From the North through Slane over the River Boyne on the N2 continue past the turn off to Newgrange approximately 2 miles turn right on to the L1013 just before Brink Service Station.

From the South N2 to Brink Service Station turn immediately on to L1013

After approximately half a mile Ashfield is on the Left with a gated entrance midway along the estate wall.


Ulster Folk and Transport Museum: Garden Event and Plant Sale @ Ulster Folk and Transport Museum
Aug 8 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra, County Down

WEDNESDAY 8 AUGUST 2018, 1.30pm to 4pm



IGPS and museum staff invite you to their garden-themed afternoon.  There will be a variety of activities, including miniature garden making, willow flower making and other garden crafts.

Free refreshments plus soda bread from the Rectory griddle will be on offer with Irish musicians playing in the background.

The plant sale will feature Irish heritage plants and gardening books.

A ceremonial tree planting of an Irish juniper, gifted by the IGPS committee, is planned for 2.30pm.

Visitors will be able to explore the many historic rural and town buildings dotted about in the Folk Museum’s 170 acres.

Admission is free for IGPS members (please show your IGPS membership card) and members of the public over the age of 50, after 12.

Offers of plant material very welcome – please contact one of the Northern committee members.

Sep 1 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm


A three acre country garden developed over thirty years. Fine specimen trees and shrubs, herbaceous beds and borders, water features, gravel garden and woodland area under-planted with shade loving plants and much, much more



From Armagh City take the Keady Road A29, drive 2.5 miles along and opposite a row of cottages, turn left into Ennislare Road, take the second left on Ennislare Road and house is first on the right.






The Delicious Edibles of our Gardens with Orlaith Murphy @ Northridge House
Sep 4 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Orlaith was one of the first participates in Carraig Dulra’s organic garden complete course in 2006. A keen allotment grower, Orlaith has a level 3 diploma in Horticulture from the RHS. She also has completed courses in Forest Gardening and most recently Geoff Lawtons Permaculture Design Course.

She is currently teaching organic gardening with the VEC in North Dublin and Tallaght and has a passion for cooking sumptuous meals with her home-grown produce. Orlaith will take us on a botanical gastro journey to discover the bounty that  hides in our gardens.

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.




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.