Our AGM takes place each year in May. In 2014 it is the turn of Leinster Committee to host this event. The morning will see the business aspect of the IGPS take place as the AGM will begin at 11a.m. After lunch we will visit carefully selected private gardens in the area.
Please note that the Annual General Meeting itself is a members-only event but that members may bring friends with them for the other activities of the weekend at the same subscription rates which apply to members.
Garden No. 1
Located on the southern side of the Howth peninsula, our first garden boasts extensive views of Dublin Bay. A gardener’s paradise with lots of mature trees, beautifully designed borders with a combination of hardy and tender perennials and walkways winding through both formal and informal planting patterns. A rare treat for IGPS members as this garden is not open to the public.
Because of the location of this garden there are some steep steps in places.
Garden No. 2
Our second garden is a garden designer’s dream as it achieves the near impossible of incorporating the garden into the house and the house into the garden. Nestling in a bowl on the summit of Howth Head, it is hard to believe that this is a relatively modern creation. Divided into rooms beginning with exotic planting at the entrance, you make your way through to the vegetable garden at the glasshouse, admiring warm and cool border planting, winding down to the water feature which leads to a copse of birches under- planted with spring bulbs before turning again to the centre of the garden – a rocky outcrop with choice alpine specimens. This is a garden to defy description and described by one member who has already seen it as one of the most beautiful gardens in the world! Perfection.
Immortalised in James Joyce’s Ulysses, this walk will lead us around the rhododendrons planted on the western side of the Summit adjacent to the Golf Course with views to the city and airport and northwards to the Mournes.
We meet in the car park of the Deer Park Hotel to view the early 2oth century planning by the Gainsford St Lawrence family who still own this area. Our walk will be guided and led by Dr. Mary Forrest, IGPS member, author of Trees and Shrubs cultivated in Ireland and lecturer at the School of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at University College Dublin.
Sturdy footwear required as the terrain is uneven. Heavy rain may also curtail this walk.
The Allotment Gardens of Lorna and David Hopkins
Lorna and David Hopkins allotments are located on the eastern side of Howth Head. These are allotments with a difference: first of all there is the location close to the cliff face overlooking Ireland’s Eye and Lambay Island and with views of the Harbour; one of the allotments is owned by Aqua, a restaurant on the Pier proving that their vegetables and herbs are super fresh; then there are the animals – pigs and hens and now an apiary has been added. The allotments have plenty of interest and hopefully some of their owners will be on hand to have a chat during the visit.
2pm Gardens at Malahide Castle
Planted by the Talbot family, this garden tour will be led by Kevin Halpenny, Senior Parks Superintendent in Fingal County Council. The gardens were largely created by Lord Milo Talbot from 1948 to 1973 and cover an area known as the ‘West Lawn’ of 6.6ha (18 acres) of shrubbery and a Walled Garden of 1.6ha (4 acres). The plant collection numbers almost 5,000 species with a particular emphasis on Southern Hemisphere plants. It is renowned for its Australasian and Chilean species. The ‘West Lawn’ has a very wide ranging collection of genera in particular Nothofagus, Pittosporum, Berberis, Hoheria, Hypericum, Syringa, Escallonia, Deutzia and the NCCPG collection of the genus Olearia that now numbers 55 species and varieties.
The Walled garden of 1.6ha (4 acres) includes many of the more tender and rarer species. This garden is sub-divided into many sections each with its own particular range of plants including alpines, Australasian plants and herbaceous plants. It boasts seven glasshouses, ranging in size from a small Victorian display house to a most elegant Victorian Conservatory that the Council acquired in 1990. Within this garden plants to note are Eucryphia milliganii, Acradenia frankliniae, species of Bomarea surviving outdoors and Passiflora spp. of which Passiflora antioquiensis is most stunning. One of the smaller houses has a collection of Primula auricula varieties.