E-Bulletin, June 2021

Dear IGPS member Here we are in the first few days of ‘flaming June’ enjoying sunshine and warmth. After one of the coldest months of May on record, what a treat! The committee sends its thanks to all the members who signed on for the online AGM, the 39th due to the gap caused by Covid […]

Tom Stuart-Smith: Drawn from the Land – A Review.

Paddy Tobin  Book Review  June 4, 2021 Tom Stuart-Smith has deservedly earned recognition as one of the great British garden and landscape designers. His reimagining of the box parterre in the walled garden at Broughton Grange where the hedging was organised not in a traditional geometric layout but following the cell pattern of a leaf as viewed […]

Meconopsis ‘Slieve Donard’

Meconopsis ‘Slieve Donard’ The last time rhododendrons were in fashion perhaps thirty years or so ago, I was taken to see a woodland garden with many fine specimens but what actually bowled me over was the sight of a swathe of glorious blue Himalayan poppies weaving between them. I fell in love with Meconopsis ‘Slieve […]

Clematis ‘Glasnevin Dusk’

Clematis ‘Glasnevin Dusk’ This beautiful clematis came from seed collected by Seamus O’Brien, Head Gardener at the National Botanic Gardens Kilmacurragh, when he was in Tibet in the late l990s.   Clematis tibetana subsp. vernayi usually has yellow or orange flowers and the best known variety is Clematis ‘Orange Peel’.  Seamus himself wrote that the […]

Pulmonaria ‘Blake’s Silver’

Pulmonaria ‘Blake’s Silver’ Pulmonarias are given to self-seeding, regularly producing inferior or indifferent forms, but our gardens are occasionally blessed with something worth keeping and growing. Pulmonaria ‘Blake’s Silver’ is one of those good seedlings and arose in the garden of June Blake at Tinode, Kilbride, Co Wicklow. Following commercial propagation, it is widely available […]

Escallonia ‘Donard White’

Escallonia ‘Donard White’ Escallonia are much loved as garden plants, producing blooms over a long period of the summer. They are also noted for their resilience to winds and are popular as wind breaks and shelter belts in coastal areas around the island. It is no surprise to learn that A Heritage of Beauty lists […]

Visit to Kilmacrew

Visit to Kilmacrew, Co Down – Report by Doreen Wilson Approaching Kilmacrew House along the narrow laneways threading through the drumlins of Co Down there are no clues as to what to expect – it is a truly secret garden. Hidden behind a thick, mature shelter belt of native trees lies a four acre ornamental garden […]

Mid-May E-Bulletin:

Dear IGPS member This week we have lots of news from our committees and members to share. Recently we all received a thoughtful email from our Chairman, Billy McCone, making a plea for members to come forward and volunteer for the Committee and we are delighted to let you know that there has been a […]

Secret Gardens of Somerset – A Review

Secret Gardens of Somerset  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  May 3, 2021 The gardening tourist could have no better companion if visiting Somerset than this wonderful book from Abigail Willis with photographs by Clive Boursnell. It will be the perfect guidebook, providing a comprehensive listing of the most desirable locations, each temptingly described and illustrated and in these days […]

E-Bulletin, Early May 2021

Dear IGPS member Welcome to the month of May, full of promise and one of the most uplifting months of the year for a gardener. We hope you all received your copy of the Newsletter recently and enjoyed reading at least some of the articles. If by any chance you did not receive your Newsletter, […]

Great Dixter Then and Now

Then and Then and Now!  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  April 15, 2021 Great Dixter, Then & Now is the title and I suppose “Then, Then and Now” would have been too cumbersome a title for this small volume but it would have reflected the contents more accurately for this is a pictorial tour of the garden illustrated with present-day […]


Florapedia  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  April 15, 2021 Carol Gracie – you may remember her from those two fabulous books of hers, Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast and Summer Wildflowers of the Northeast – has just written the perfect book for that impossible-to-satisfy gardening nerd in your life. This is a book which has across the board – I suppose I […]

Newsletter, April 2021

The latest issue of the newsletter should be with members now – Issue 152, April 2021.  This issue marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the society with an editorial which reminds us of the aims of the society and contains some excellent articles which will appeal to members: New Irish Rhododendrons from Seamus […]

A Year Full of Flowers…Sarah Raven

A Year Full of Flowers…with Sarah Raven.  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  March 31, 2021 Here is an exceptionally good book, full or relevant information, practical advice and suggestions to enliven your gardening life. It is an absolutely superb handbook for the enthusiastic gardener. That should be “enough said”; you could stop reading here and go and order it […]

E-Bulletin, March 2021

Dear IGPS member Whether you choose to use the Celtic, astronomical, or meteorological start date, spring is definitely now with us and, even better from a practical gardening point of view, summer time starts this weekend. We have both been busy with basic activities, Branka planting her potatoes and Maeve dividing herbaceous perennials, so no […]

Pollination – Timothy Walker

Pollination  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  March 17, 2021 Pollination: The Enduring Relationship between Plant and Pollinator, Timothy Walker I have a deeply held wish in my aging life that my sense of wonder and fascination at the extraordinary workings of the natural world will never leave me. Nothing makes me feel so young (despite being retired more […]

New Nordic Gardens – Annika Zetterman

New Nordic Gardens – Annika Zetterman  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  March 4, 2021 New Nordic Gardens, Scandinavian Landscape Design – Annika Zetterman Gardens “should be designed with dignity, worked on with modesty and maintained with persistence. This is how we think, how we work and this is what we are.” There is an ethos and a feeling […]