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.

“Gardening at Glebe Gardens” with Jean Perry @ SMA Hall
Nov 5 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Jean Perry is the owner of Glebe Gardens in Baltimore in West Cork and will talk about the designing and planting of the garden which, as well as the ornamental areas has a productive potager which supplies vegetables for use in the restaurant run by her daughters. Glebe Gardens


Autumn Garden Visit @ Mount Congreve Gardens
Sep 26 @ 10:30 am

Sat 26th September : Autumn Garden Visit to Mount Congreve, Kilmeaden, Co.Waterford. Described as one of the great gardens of the world, Mount Congreve’s awe-inspiring vistas and impressive plant collections are a must-see. Guided tour beginning at 10:30am.

Please book by emailing igps.munster@gmail.com  – Min. of 10 people required.

Members €10. Non-Members €15


Helen Dillon – “Keeping the Show on the Road” @ Radisson Hotel, Little Island, Cork
Nov 3 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Helen Dillon – “Keeping the Show on the Road”.


The IGPS are delighted to be welcoming the renowned and hugely entertaining Helen Dillon to Cork. Helen’s beautifully designed, ever-changing garden, filled with rare, exotic and unusual plants is one of this country’s horticultural gems. This wonderful evening is bound to leave you with lots of tips, techniques, plant lustings, and re-invigorated creativity for your own garden.

Members’ Plant Sale and Plant Raffle on evening.

Members €5, Non-members €10.


Hester Forde – “It’s All About Plants” @ SMA Hall, Wilton, Cork
Dec 1 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Tue 1st December: Hester Forde – “It’s All About Plants”.


Hester’s Garden, ‘Coosheen’, is situated on the Lee estuary in Cork harbour and houses and an amazing collection of plants for its size. Described as “a woodland garden in a suburban space”, the garden has become well known for being worthy of visiting at any time of year. Come along and join us on this lovely evening as Hester shares with us her insatiable appetite for plants.

Hester will have some plants for sale.

Plant Raffle and Seasonal Refreshments on evening

Members Free, Non-members €5.

Prairie Style Gardening in the Irish Climate with Oliver Schurmann @ SMA Hall
Mar 1 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Oliver Schurmann of Mount Venus Nursery gives an illustrated lecture of his personal experience with prairie style gardening on the continent and in Ireland.

Oliver will have some plants for sale, and plants can also be pre-ordered from Mount Venus Nursery.

Plant Raffle on evening.

The Pan Garden by Liat Schurmann

Fabulous Foliage with Jimi Blake @ SMA Hall
Apr 5 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Even those devoted to flower gardens gradually come to see the value of foliage. This talk looks at the role and worth of differing leaves and leaf effects, but not to the exclusion of flowers.

Members’ Plant Sale & Plant Raffle on evening.

Interesting foliage in Jimi Blake's garden
Interesting foliage in Jimi Blake’s garden


Clare Garden Festival – Meet us there! @ Ennis Showgrounds
Apr 24 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

We will have an information stand at the Clare Garden Festival and would love to meet gardeners from the area. Stop and say, “Hello”

For further information on the Clare Garden Festival visit their website: www.claregardenfestival.com




Come and say "Hello" at the Clare Garden Festival
Come and say “Hello” at the Clare Garden Festival


Annual Plant Sale at Blarney in Bloom @ Blarney Castle Gardens
Jul 10 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Come and meet us at Blarney in Bloom this July where we will have plants for sale but would like especially simply to meet you and have a chat about gardening.

Local IGPS members would be most welcome to join in and help on the day.


Bruno and Frances at Blarney

‘Shady Characters’ by Colin Crosbie @ St. Bride's Hall
Jan 21 @ 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
‘Shady Characters’ by Colin Crosbie, former curator of RHS Garden Wisley.
Saturday 21st January  2.30pm – 4pm
Afternoon lecture by invitation of the Alpine Garden Society (Ulster Group)
St. Bride’s Hall, 38 Derryvolgie Avenue, Belfast, BT9 6FP
Admission: IGPS Members Free.   Refreshments Provided
Colin Crosbie trained at the West of Scotland Agricultural College, Auchincruive.  Once qualified, Colin relocated to the south to work in the Savill and Valley Gardens in Windsor Great Park, where he was promoted to Head Gardener at Royal Lodge, the private residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
He moved on from Savill Gardens in 1998 when he was appointed Superintendent of the Woody Ornamental Department at the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens at Wisley; a post which later included managing the Alpine Plant Department.  His career moved to the next level in 2008 when he became Garden Manager for Garden Support Services and the Coordinator for the Wisley School of Practical Horticulture, a position which he thoroughly enjoyed for two years before attaining his dream job as Curator of RHS Garden Wisley in October 2010.
Colin has an interest in a wide range of plant groups, but lists trees, shrubs and choice woodland plants as his particular favourites and those with which he can indulge passion in his own garden.
Join Colin as he shares with you some of his favourite ‘Shady Character’ plants, in his informative and wonderfully illustrated talk.
Commemorating Armistice Day at National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh. @ National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh.
Nov 11 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Commemorating  Armistice Day

National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh, Co. Wicklow

November 11th 2018 marks one hundred years since Armistice Day when a hard-won peace reigned over Europe. By the time soldiers were returning to Ireland, almost 50,000 of their fellow countrymen lay buried in distant lands. Many years later, Phylis, Lady Moore, wife of Sir Frederick Moore, Keeper of the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, sadly related that after the Great War, ‘many an Irish demesne gate had closed, never to open again.’ It was a time of shocking death duties and with staggering changes of land ownership, as a result of so many casualties. The war meant the loss of an entire generation of young men, many of whom were professional gardeners or owners of large gardens and demesnes.

The three major botanic gardens of Great Britain and Ireland; Edinburgh, Glasnevin and Kew, all suffered badly. It’s said that material coming into this renowned trio, from the great plant hunters of the time, fared badly because many of their most skilled staff had been lost on the European battlefields. The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh named a number of newly described species after their war dead, while at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the garden’s war dead are honoured on commemorative plaques in the Temple of Arethusa near the Victoria Gate.

No such memorial exists at Glasnevin, though the Kew plaque carries the name of Private Charles Frederick Ball, of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers (who had their headquarters in Naas, Co. Kildare). C. F. Ball was Glasnevin’s Assistant Keeper and had formerly worked at Kew. He was killed at Gallipoli in September 1915, aged just 36, and had apparently collected seeds of various plants, including Gallipoli oaks for Kew and Glasnevin during his time there. He was one of three staff members never to make it back to Glasnevin.

The Temple of Arethusa, designed as a folly for Princess Augusta by Sir William Chambers in 1758, overlooks Kew’s iconic Great Palm House and pond, and until recently, one of the garden’s most famous trees grew on the Victoria Gate side of the pond, by a pair of Chinese lion dogs.

The Verdun oak (Quercus petraea), photographed at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in November 2012

The tree in question was a sessile oak, Quercus petraea, grown from an acorn collected on the muddy battlefields of Verdun, France in the autumn of 1916. One of the longest battles of WW1, lasting from February to December 1916, it also devastated massive swathes of Verdun’s oak and chestnut forests.  It is hard to think of so many young horticulturists and plant enthusiasts forced into such ferocious fighting, yet this un-named soldier found the time to gather acorns from beyond the trenches and send them to Kew where a sapling was planted in a prominent spot by the Great Palm House in January 1919.

It was sad then, when this notable tree was hit by the severe St Jude’s Day storm that hit the south of England in October 2013 and was so badly damaged that it needed removal just before the Armistice Day remembrances for that year. By chance Thomas Pakenham, on a visit to Kew, had gathered acorns from the tree, before its sudden demise, and raised several at Tullynally Castle in Co. Westmeath. After a visit there a number of years ago, I left with one of Thomas’s young seedling and so the progeny of Kew’s historic Verdun oak persists in a number of Irish gardens. The Tullynally seedling is now almost 2 m tall here at Kilmacurragh and thriving.

As a mark of respect to those Irishmen who died in the Great War, particularly those who were gardeners, a gathering will take place at Kilmacurragh at 11 am on November 11th 2018, when on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Thomas Pakenham, will plant the Verdun oak seedling on the 18th century Pond Vista, by the ruins of the drawing room of Kilmacurragh House, which saw two consecutive owners die in 1915 and 1916, alongside several tenants and gardeners from the estate.

The event will be attended by the principal Irish gardening and arboricultural societies; the Irish Garden Plant Society, the Irish Tree Society, the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland, among others.


November 11th 2018 at 11 am. National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh. Meet in visitor car park at 10.45.

Text and image: Seamus O’Brien



Using Rock-Garden Plants outside the Context of the Rockery @ National Botanic Gardens
Mar 19 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Find out about ways to use alpine plants outside the rock garden

So often alpine and rock garden plants are difficult to place when you don’t have a specific area set aside. Kevin Hughes will show us ways to use these little beauties without having a dedicated rock garden.

Kevin Hughes has his own nursery, Kevin Hughes Plants, near Salisbury where he specialises in unusual trees and shrubs, especially magnolias, hardy plants and climbers. He holds the national collection of trilliums. A few years ago Kevin bought Cally Gardens in Scotland and is in the throes of its restoration.

This is a joint lecture with the Alpine Garden Society.