Asters are the Stars!

Asters are the highlight plants of the garden at this moment. They are the ones which shine out and provide outstanding colour as the season is otherwise drawing to a close. They lengthen our season of colour and interest in the garden and are again being appreciated as the wonderful plants they are, easy to […]

IGPS Members Visit Mount Congreve

There are  times in life when it is not inappropriate to be boastful – well, at least, to express one’s pride in a very clear and positive manner. Such an occasion fell to me on Saturday morning last when I greeted a group of fellow IGPS members to the wonderful gardens of Mount Congreve in […]

You should have seen it last week!

The moment of perfection in a garden can be very fleeting, here today and gone tomorrow,  and how we wish our friends came on time and not leave us thinking or saying “You should have seen it last week.” On the other hand it is marvellous to visit a garden and arrive just at that […]

The Little Meadow – in pictures.

The hay has been saved and stored for use in the hens’ nestbox over the coming year. The remaining wisps of grass have been tidied up with the lawnmower and this little meadow is now a bare pale patch which might puzzle those who wander along our country road. However, it will green up again very […]

Lead by the Camera!

What must have been an awkward assignment for a writer has been carried out in a commendable fashion by Terri Dunn Chace. We normally see photographs used to illustrate a text whereas in “Seeing Seeds” the text was written to accompany the photographs. Robert Llewellyn’s photographs have illustrated a long list of books and two […]

The Bay Garden – Always a Delight

Domesticity of scale adds to the winning charm of The Bay Garden in Ferns, Co. Wexford, the garden of Iain and Frances McDonald.  Although a reasonably large garden by today’s norms it is experienced in a series of relatively small stages so that the visitor takes in the garden at a gradual and comfortable pace […]

Let’s Peep Over That Garden Wall

A garden behind a high wall is a tease and a challenge and we all wish to go inside and satisfy our curiousity. The cult and illusion of exclusivity is a wonderful marketing ploy. The garden behind the high walls and locked gates is the one we all want to see but £24.50 will turn […]

A Garden Worth the Visit

Some gardens are worth visiting again and again; each visit a joy and an opportunity to steep in the accomplishment of a wonderful gardener. I have been visiting this same garden for many years without ever thinking beyond the obviously simple fact that I have always enjoyed being there and that I have never been […]

A Reflection on The Carlow Garden Festival  2015

It was a week of garden celebration and enjoyment, of gardening experts, gardening celebrities and enthusiastic followers travelling and gathering and sharing in plants and gardens. This was the Carlow Garden Festival, a week crammed full of events, talks, guided walks and garden visits which seems to grow and grow in its success year on […]

A Great Tree – A Great Loss

For the most part the woodland garden at Mount Congreve is a very democratic and equal-opportunity location where trees and shrubs are intermingled and each left to fend for itself in company and competition with its neighbours. Occasionally, a tree has been given special status and space to grow unfettered by the encroachment of neighbours […]

A Treasure Shared – Dahlia ‘Matt Armour’

For a gardener a plant is the perfect memento. We visited Glenveagh Castle Gardens in May of this year where we held our Annual General Meeting and enjoyed guided walks of the garden afterwards. There are two plants which are particularly associated with the gardens at Glenveagh. One is “Rhododendron ‘Mulroy Vanguard’ which was raised […]

The Lafcadio Hearn Gardens at Tramore House, Co. Waterford.

The gardens of Tramore House in Co. Waterford have gone though several major transformations in their time and from that and its latest redesign it can certainly be said to reflect the life of Patrick Lafcadio Hearn after whom they are now named. The house and gardens date from the 1880s when Tramore was a […]

The Plant Lover’s Guide to Tulips by Richard Wilford – A Review

All the gardener will need to know about tulips is presented in this book in an informative, concise, readable and well-illustrated manner. The author, Richard Wilford, spent many years looking after the general bulb collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, but travels to see species tulips growing in the wild and to the Keukenhof […]

Paeonia ‘Derek Hill’

Many of us will grow the species tree paeonias P. delavayi and P. lutea var. ludlowii in our gardens. They are tough, easy and long-lived plants in the garden with deeply-cut attractive foliage as well as beautiful flowers each year. Both are shrubby plants, upright in habit, and need little care except the removal of […]

The Plant Lover’s Guide to Dahlias by Andy Vernon – A Review.

A gardening book written by a knowledgeable, enthusiastic and experienced gardener quickly wins the heart and the mind and makes for enjoyable, informative, applicable and pleasurable reading. Andy Vernon is writing about the razamatazz element of many of our summer gardens, dahlias, and provides wonderful background information on these plants, excellent advice on growing and […]

Outwitting Squirrels – 101 Cunning Stratagems to Reduce Dramatically the Egregious Effects of Garden Pests and Honest Advice Concerning your Chances of Success by Anne Wareham – A Review.

The Bad Tempered Gardener, Anne Wareham, has returned with another salvo for the gardening world in her latest book, “Outwitting Squirrels”. The book is a tongue-in-cheek, dry-humoured, witty treatise on how to deal with the myriad pests which assail our gardens. Traditional and modern solutions are discussed in view of her own experience; some are […]

The Paeonia Borders at Mount Congreve Gardens, Waterford

Early June each year brings one of the most spectacular and popular flower displays at Mount Congreve Gardens in Waterford.  It is one of the most wonderful examples in the garden of Mr. Ambrose Congreve’s planting philosophy of planting in large numbers. He would always wish to have his plants in groups of 25, 50, […]

“Irish Demesne Landscapes 1660 – 1740” by Vandra Costello: A Review   

“Irish Demesne Landscapes 1660 – 1740” is a scholarly treatment of an era of Irish gardening written in a delightfully accessible and pleasantly readable style. Vandra Costello was inspired after reading the diaries of Samuel Pepys to read those of John Evelyn and was very taken by the many references they contained to gardens in […]

The Garden Visit – The Report!

Anticipation can bring a certain dread, a nervousness of the unknown, but the old theatre adage of it “being alright on the night” was proven true once again. Our fellow members in the local garden society arrived at the time planned; some of the committee members arrived early and marshalled the parking – ours is […]

A Weekend Away – Our Annual General Meeting Weekend in Co. Donegal, May 2015

It’s great fun to go off with a group of fellow gardeners, leave your own patch behind for a while, and wander around other gardens admiring, chatting, photographing and finding new ideas that you might try back home. We had such a weekend recently. It was the occasion of the Annual General Meeting of the […]