Upcoming Events

Members are eligible to attend events in any part of Ireland, so don’t limit your browsing to your own location. The categorisation by geographic region is for administration and organisational purposes only.

Non-members are very welcome at our events though there will be a charge for insurance purposes. Do come along and join us and, perhaps, become a member. There will be events which will be restricted to members only – perhaps because of the size of the garden and the need to restrict numbers or because this is the wish of the garden owner – and, on these occasions, unfortunately, we cannot accommodate non-members.

We occasionally list events of other groups in the ‘Other Events’ category, generally for groups we regularly work with. These are not part of the official IGPS programme but may be of interest to members.

The Delights of Gardening @ Visitors Centre, National Botanic Gardens
Nov 12 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
The Delights of Gardening @ Visitors Centre, National Botanic Gardens

Paul Maher and Edel McDonald both worked at the National Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin until their retirement in 2019: Paul as Curator of the Gardens; Edel as Propagation Foreman. Both are long standing members of the Irish Garden Plant Society.(IGPS) Paul was involved as the designer of two IGPS exhibits at Chelsea winning Silver Gilt medals in the educational exhibits category. Edel has been a great promoter of the Society encouraging her students to join and in propagating plants for the Society’s annual Plant Sale*. Edel continues to propagate plants for her new garden.

Since retiring, Paul along with Edel have been busy creating a new garden in north County Wexford. We look forward to hearing about the work done to date and their plans for the future.

Creating Magic in my Garden with June Blake @ Malone House
Dec 6 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Creating Magic in my Garden with June Blake @ Malone House

June’s presentation will show how creating that magic moment is what gardening is all about. Sometimes a fleeting moment in spring when all the tulips are at their very best with perfect light creates that magic! Later it could be alliums, irises and other early summer plants. For her though, the real magic happens in late summer and early autumn when all the planning finally comes together with hundreds of various coloured dahlias which have been carefully selected according to colour actually works. It’s usually just a moment in time but it is magic!

June Blake began developing her garden at Tinode, County Wicklow about 20 years ago from an almost blank canvas. Extending to three acres, it has strong design, great character and is famous for its exquisite planting and use of colour. Jane Powers in her seminal book The Irish Garden wrote: “June Blake has created something like a piece of poetry…”.


Five Great Northern Irish Gardens — Mount Stewart, Rostrevor, Rowallane, Castlewellan and Brook Hall — past and present with Neil Porteus @ Zoom - link will be sent to members
Jan 11 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Five Great Northern Irish Gardens — Mount Stewart, Rostrevor, Rowallane, Castlewellan and Brook Hall — past and present with Neil Porteus @ Zoom - link will be sent to members

The story of great Irish gardens is often one of highs and lows, the flourishing of a vision coupled with the money to make it happen sometimes followed by decay or almost total erasure. Find out more about Mount Stewart, often acclaimed as one of the best gardens in Britain and Ireland, the significance of Rostrevor now sadly lost, and the exciting new developments planned for both Castlewellan and Brook Hall in Derry.

Neil Porteus is a plantsman and historic gardens consultant. He was formerly the National Trust’s Gardens Advisor and Head Gardener at Mount Stewart. Recently he has been advising on the restoration of Annes Grove garden in Co Cork and the development of Brook Hall in Derry.

Gardening in and around the World’s Largest Greenhouse with Catherine Cutler @ Zoom - link will be sent to members
Jan 17 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Gardening in and around the World’s Largest Greenhouse with Catherine Cutler @ Zoom - link will be sent to members

Catherine has worked in horticulture all her life and has enjoyed all manner of horticultural roles, from crop production to retail sales, nursery and garden work. For the past 22 years she has worked at the Eden Project in a range of horticultural positions and is currently the manager of the rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes.

She will introduce the Eden Project, its values, the diverse plant collection and numerous gardens it contains. The plant collection includes many crop plants, fruits, vegetables and others (which are not always associated with a botanic garden). She will consider sustainable gardening/horticulture and the challenges we face, including climate change.

A Summer Visit to the Deserts of Ladakh with Seamus O’Brien @ National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin
Feb 18 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
A Summer Visit to the Deserts of Ladakh with Seamus O’Brien @ National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin

Seamus O’Brien, Head Gardener of the National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh, recounts the adventures of a trip he led in July 2022 to the mountains of Ladakh, where he and his group studied a high altitude desert flora. Ladakh has some of the greatest glaciers in all Asia and these glaciers water the deserts on the mountain slopes and valleys below, giving rise to a rich flora. Hear how climate change is threatening this rare ecosystem.

Further details and booking information to follow.

Planting Designs for Award Winning Gardens with Mark Gregory @ Antrim Old Courthouse
Mar 21 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Planting Designs for Award Winning Gardens with Mark Gregory @ Antrim Old Courthouse

Mark Gregory is the Managing Director of Landform Consultants Ltd based in Surry, a landscaping company comprising landscape architects, garden designers, and a highly skilled landscape workforce. Mark has build 107 gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. In this talk he will highlight some of these projects, giving a behind-the-scenes view of the design and build process along with the key skill of designing successful planting combinations.

Plant Workshop with Rosie Maye @ Mullaghdillon Garden
Mar 25 @ 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Plant Workshop with Rosie Maye @ Mullaghdillon Garden

Rosie Maye will host a small group of IGPS members for a Workshop on propagating your stocks of Irish Heritage and other plants.

We can look forward to seeing her show us some basic methods for propagation, such as dividing your plants, taking soft wood cuttings in time for the early season in May – June, and how best to plant your seeds from the IGPS Plant Distribution.

The Workshop is scheduled to take 2 hours in the morning with a charge of €25.  Booking is essential as places are limited, via the Eventbrite link.

Please note that this event is for IGPS Members only, please do not arrive on the day unless you have booked. You will need suitable clothing for outdoor work and gardening gloves of your choice, however no digging will be involved.

Visit to Old Balloo House and Barn @ Old Balloo House
Apr 1 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Visit to Old Balloo House and Barn @ Old Balloo House

Lesley Simpson and Moira Concannon are friends and neighbours who garden together in adjacent properties, a late Georgian house and a converted barn. Come and enjoy the wonderful display of daffodils and other bulbs in their romantic country garden. The garden is situated on the corner of the Comber Road and Craigarusky Road. Car parking is at Killinchy Presbyterian Church hall carpark, situated on the Craigaruskey Road a short walk from the garden.

The event costs £5.00 and reservation is not needed.

Visit to Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens with gardener Mary O’Neill – Maloney @ Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens, Co. Wicklow
Apr 15 @ 11:00 am


The Leinster Committee is delighted to welcome IGPS members to a tour of the National Botanic Gardens at Kilmacurragh, Co. Wicklow, just in time for ‘Rhododenron Week’.

The Gardens contain 180 species of rhododendrons and over 420 varieties, which light up every vista with their beautiful and abundant flowers at this time of year.

Even if Rhododendrons aren’t your thing, there is so much else to enjoy, such as South American species, planted in the nineteenth century by the then owner, Thomas Action and his sister, Janet.  The Actons worked in collaboration with the Directors of the National Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin, David and Sir Frederick Moore, and they also shared plants with Trinity College Botanic Garden.

In recent times, under the Directorship of Seamus O’Brien, excellent new planting and restoration work has begun and already many of the older trees and shrubs are benefitting and regenerating.  We will tour the Gardens, noting the extra-special plant specimens and hearing the tales that go with them (for instance about the gingkos).  We will walk in the wonderful rhododendron walk which is specifically wide enough for you to walk in your crinoline, if you wish.

There is a coffee shop for discussions afterwards and no requirement to book as the garden visit is free and members can also bring a guest along!

IGPS AGM 2023 on 20/5/2023 (Saturday) @ Ardgillan Castle and Garden,
May 20 @ 10:30 am
Overhead view of Ardgillan

Saturday 20th May: AGM and visit to Ardgillan Castle and Garden, Balbriggan, County Dublin

– 10.30 – 11.00 Registration, tea & coffee
– 11.15 – 12.15 Annual General Meeting
– 12.15 – 13.00 Talk by Dominica McKevitt, head gardener at Ardgillan
– 13.15 – 14.15 Lunch
– 14.15 – 15.45 Guided tour of the Gardens at Ardgillan with Dominica McKevitt to include the National Collection of shrubby potentillas

Notice of the 41st Annual General Meeting of the Irish Garden Plant Society to be held in Ardgillan Castle and Garden, Balbriggan on Saturday 20th May 2023 at 11.15am.
The agenda is as follows:

1. Apologies
2. Minutes of AGM held on 7th May 2022 (via Zoom)
3. Matters arising
4. Chairman’s report
5. Treasurer’s report and accounts for 2022-2023
6. Election of Officers and Committee Member(s): Vice Chairperson, Committee member, Regional representatives
7. Discussion of any other business

The National Executive Committee 2022–23 comprises

1. Mary Forrest, Chairman
2. Vacant, Vice Chairman
3. Áine Máire Ní Mhurchú, Honorary Secretary
4. Nichola Monk, Membership Secretary
5. David Grayson, Honorary Treasurer
6. Breda Cummins, Leinster representative
7. Billy McCone, Northern representative
8. Stephen Butler, Committee and Plant Heritage representative
9. Vacant, Munster representative
10. Vacant, Committee member

The positions of Vice Chairman and a Munster committee representative and for a further committee member are currently vacant. Nominations are sought for these positions.

Nominations may be sent by email to igps.ireland@gmail.com or by post to IGPS, Honorary Secretary, c/o Áine Máire Ní Mhurchú, Croí Áirmid, Slanduff, Walterstown, Navan, Co Meath C15HKD1, to arrive no later than close of business on 5th May 2023. Nominations must include the name of the candidate, names of a proposer and seconder and a statement that the candidate has agreed to stand for election.

All members are entitled to attend the meeting free of charge and to vote. Booking is via this Eventbrite link.

Spring plant sale at Clotworthy House @ Clotworthy House
May 27 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Organised by the Northern Committee, this is an early season opportunity to buy a wide selection of mainly herbaceous plants but will also include shrubs, ferns and some Irish cultivars. There is ample parking close by, a cafe serving teas, coffees, lunch and other refreshments, and an opportunity to enjoy the historic Castle Gardens.

Visit to James Burnside’s garden @ James Burnside Garden
Jun 3 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

James Burnside has created a paradise that is able to furnish every requisite for the flower arranger and the trip to Maghera will reward the keen gardener with lots of ideas amidst gasps of envy.

The garden is on two levels with some narrow gravel paths and steps.

No booking required. Members free, guests £5