On a summer’s evening in 1981 – July 7th. to be exact, the inaugural meeting of the Irish Garden Plant
Society took place in the Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin. A group of plant enthusiasts, both amateur
and professional, all keen to conserve garden plants and preserve Ireland’s garden heritage.
Quoting from the first newsletter, ‘the Society’s success and survival will depend greatly on the
continuing enthusiasm of all members and their willingness to participate in its activities’.
The activities have been varied, publication of 152 IGPS newsletters and 17 volumes of Moorea. Each
member will have their memories of lectures, garden visits and summer lunches. Purchases at plant
sales and treasures from the long running seed exchange grow in many members’ gardens. The
collection, propagation and distribution of Irish cultivars or plants associated with Irish people have
always been a main stay of the Society. The rectory gardens at Lismacloskey, managed and
maintained by members bring Irish garden plants to a wider audience.
The tremendous conservation effort by IGPS members and several Irish gardens has been recognised by Plant Heritage with the awarding of the status of National Collection in June 2021.
So this July as the Society marks its 40 th anniversary all members have much to celebrate.
Mary Forrest, Chair