Dates for your Diary – but conditional on government guidelines on travelling and social distancing so clarification will be given closer to the dates listed.
Annual General Meeting on 16th and 17th May which was to have been based in Westport Co Mayo has been postponed and will be re-arranged at a later date. Any garden visits scheduled for the month of May have been cancelled.
The following events have been planned but at the time of going to print it is not known whether they can go ahead or not. Members will be notified once decisions in line with government and health advice can be taken.
Saturday 6th June
Barmeath Castle, Barmeath, Togher, Co Louth A92 P973
Summer Lunch and garden visit 12 pm -4 pm
The site at Barmeath has been settled for at least 600 years and the extensive parkland and gardens of 10 acres make it an exceptional survivor of the earlier style of lrish landscape gardening. The mid-eighteenth century saw the input of Thomas Wright of Durham. An amateur architect and landscape gardener, he came to lreland for a year at the behest of James Hamilton, Viscount Limerick. At Barmeath, the rustic rock bridge is typical of his work. Other delights include a lake with island, an archery ground, the increasingly rare sight of a laurel lawn, and a handsome four acre walled garden which ticks all the boxes with its summerhouse, arbours, borders, allées, soft fruit cages, vegetables and espaliered fruit trees. These features have been invigorated, renewed, enhanced and created over the past 40 years by our hosts, Lord and Lady Bellew, Barmeath is a very special garden imbued with the atmosphere that antiquity, continuity, enthusiasm and love engenders.
Lunch will be hosted in the Barn at Barmeath with plenty of time afterwards to enjoy the gardens. This event is organized jointly by the Leinster and Northern Committees.
Regretfully, numbers are limited. Prior booking through Eventbrite is essential and will open on the 20th of May. Cost €45 for members, €50 non-members.
Thursday 2nd July
Visit to Pogue’s Entry, Main Street, Antrim BT? 7.00pm – 9.00pm
Peep through the gate guarding a small alley off the main street in Antrim and discover a historic cottage and its secret garden. Now in the hands of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, the cottage was the childhood home of Alexander Irvine, author of My Lady of the Chimney Corner while the garden was created and is looked after by the Society’s volunteers and is filled with an eclectic mix of flowers, vegetables, herbs and a growing number of Irish cultivars.
Refreshments, storytelling, soda bread straight from the griddle.
Members free, personal guests £5 but booking ahead via Eventbrite is essential in order to organise the catering.
Saturday 4th July
Visit to Ballywalter House and Gardens 2.00pm
Ballywalter Park, Ballywalter, Newtownards BT22 2PP
Ballywalter Park is the home of Lord and Lady Dunleath. The mansion, built in the Italian palazzo style is of exceptional architectural importance; it overlooks the lake and is surrounded by 30 acres of pleasure grounds which include some notable plants including the crimson-flowered Rhododendron ‘Lady Dunleath’ and some champion trees. We will also visit the historic walled garden. After the tours of the house and garden which will be conducted personally by Lord and Lady Dunleath, we will conclude with refreshments in the fabulous conservatory.
Members £12 (after IGPS subsidy), guests £24. Numbers are limited and prior booking through Eventbrite is essential
Saturday, 22nd August
The Gardens at the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham at 2.30pm followed by the War Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge at 4.00pm
The formal gardens were first laid out in 1695 by decree from the governors of the Royal Hospital that ‘a garden should be lie all open to the North side of the Hospital for the greater grace of the house and for the recreation of the retired soldiers’. The Gardens now contain fine formal beds and statuary, including some modern sculptures. The magnificent group of chestnut trees and a wildflower meadow outside the walls of the Master’s Garden make splendid contrast with the general formality. Our tour will be led by the Head Gardener, Mary Condon.
Following this visit, we will continue to the Irish War Memorial Gardens, the work of the great designer and architect, Edwin Lutyens, commemorating the 49,400 soldiers from the island of Ireland who died in the 1914 – 1918 war. We will be given a tour by a member of staff, which will include the book rooms where the names of all the soldiers are contained in the beautifully illustrated Harry Clarke manuscripts.
Saturday 5th September
Richmond Park Ramble, Richmond Park, Stranmillis, Belfast BT9 5EF 2.00pm
A rare opportunity to visit three very different town gardens in close proximity, all owned by members of the IGPS. The first combines an imaginative and colourful planting of perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees set within a formal layout and designed to crescendo in late summer. A new shade border is under development. Planting areas in the second garden are maximised by the clever use of levels and contours, it has an eclectic mix of shrubs, herbaceous plants and climbers with a semi-circular pergola extending outwards in two directions giving structure to the garden and enhancing the space. The third, the largest, features varied and colour-themed planting schemes and a growing collection of Irish plants which, together with the mature trees and formal and informal features, bring a country house garden vibe to the city. Check in at No 59 Richmond Park between 2.00pm and 3.00pm to get your badge and directions.
Members £5/guests £7