Gardens Under Big Skies – Noel Kingsbury

Gardens under Big Skies – Noel Kingsbury & Maayke de Ridder  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  December 1, 2021 This has been my most enjoyable gardening read in ages and certainly one of my top books of the year. It is one I recommend without hesitation. A large format book crammed with excellent photography showing wonderful gardens. Noel Kingsbury […]

Ferns – Book Giveaway!

Ferns – Book Giveaway!  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  November 2, 2021 Ferns for a Cool Temperate Climate –by Martin Rickard Martin Rickard’s new book on ferns will be the one-stop volume for those with an interest in these very attractive garden plants and if your gardening interests are only now leaning towards ferns, you will find no better […]

The View from Federal Twist – A Review

The View from Federal Twist  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  September 29, 2021 This is the story of a gardener and a garden growing and developing together to create a modern American horticultural masterpiece. James Golden was approaching retirement when he purchased a property in western New Jersey, USA, because the house “suited its setting” and “had an intimate […]

The Jungle Garden – A Review

 Paddy Tobin  Book Review  September 7, 2021 Philip Oostenbrink writes of the jungle style of garden which has become very popular over recent years especially so with those who have relatively small garden space attached to an urban house for it creates an area of sanctuary, enclosure, privacy, of withdrawal and of transport to a setting which […]

Visit to Kilgar Gardens, Co. Meath. 14th August 2021

The intrepid gardeners in IGPS Leinster were not deterred by the rainy, dull weather from going to visit a very special garden in Co. Meath.   In fact, if anything, the dreary and disappointing weather increased their enjoyment, because the colours and beautiful contrasting shapes in the garden were all the more vibrant.  The extraordinary copper […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Windcliff – Dan Hinkley

Windcliff, A Story of People, Plants and Gardens by Daniel J. Hinkley  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  January 31, 2021 Daniel J. Hinkley spoke in Dublin around the year 2000, an event organised by the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland at University College Dublin, and I can still recall the anticipation and excitement of attending that talk. He was […]

A Year at Brandywine Cottage – David Culp

A Year at Brandywine Cottage  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  December 24, 2020 David Culp’s writing transports his readers, even those at the other side of the Atlantic, to an enjoyment of his garden in Pennsylvania, USA. It is a gardener’s garden and a gardener’s book, written for fellow gardeners who will understand so very well the happinesses, dreams, […]

The Modern Cottage Garden

The Modern Cottage Garden  Paddy Tobin  Book Review  December 10, 2020 If you were starting out in gardening you would be very well served by this book. It could very well be considered the essential guidebook to the beginner and to anybody gardening in a small space who wished to have plant interest throughout the year. Originally, the […]