I am an amateur gardener living in Waterford which is in the south-east of Ireland. Our garden, just outside the town and surrounded by agricultural land, is over an acre in size (approx 0.5 ha), facing north and looking down on the River Suir. It is quite wet in winter and prone to heavy frosts but dries well in summer and has good fertile, slightly acidic soil. On home ground I am the under-gardener and “works well under direction” is how I have heard myself described.

Our plant interests are general and we are inclined to choose what will grow in our conditions rather than being especially adventurous. We have a vegetable patch which provides a selection of produce in season and I have a particular interest in snowdrops and grow a good range of them.

Plants of Irish origin have always been important to me and I treasure them for their connections with places and people I may know of and I have been a member of the Irish Garden Plant Society for many years.

We enjoy visiting gardens very much and holidays are generally planned around gardens. I am a keen photographer and find this adds greatly to my enjoyment of gardens and also allows me to look back on these occasions to enjoy them again.

Garden reading is a good winter pastime – as is garden writing – and I hope you enjoy my occasional blogs!

I also give talks to garden clubs/societies:

  • Mount Congreve – A National Treasure
  • The Pearls of Lake Como
  • The Gardens of Rome
  • Gardens of the Amalfi Coast
  • Snowdrops – The Delight of an Irish Garden
  • Native Irish Orchids
  • The Swiss Alps – Walks and Flowers
  • Thirty Years as the Undergardener (our own garden)
  • An Introduction to Snowdrops
  • Spring Gardens
  • The Burren



Paddy Tobin

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