Our local garden club hosted Des Doyle of Lavistown House, near Kilkenny, last evening when he delivered a talk on his favourite plants – a total of forty plants as it turned out! Des showed an admirable reluctance to narrow his selection and I imagine that if time allowed he could have continued to list … Continue reading My Favourite Plant
Is it better to enter a garden, be immediately bowled over by the experience but be disappointed with the garden as the visit progresses or to begin on a low note, feel a little disappointed, but end with an experience of garden beauty that demands you simply sit, look and attempt, even if this is … Continue reading The Saving Grace
“In an Irish Garden” was Helen’s greatest book! It was a collection of garden accounts written by the gardeners themselves, edited by Helen and Sybil Connolly, and it captured the feeling of a generation in Irish gardening which was about to pass. Many of those who featured in the book are no longer with us … Continue reading Helen Dillon wears Lipstick!
Monday was a pet day in an otherwise generally miserable February. We had blue skies and bright sunshine, a crisp spring day, and we were quickly into the car and off up the M9 to visit snowdrop gardens. Burtown House, near Ballintore, Co. Kildare, is furthest away from us and was our first stop while, … Continue reading Snowdrop House and Castle
The Snowdrop Week at Altamont Gardens has become not only the established snowdrop event of each year here in Ireland but it is, undoubtedly, the best. It has run each year for over ten years and there are many reasons it is so successful. It the first place, it has the wonderful setting of Altamont … Continue reading Suffering for Snowdrops
Heritage Irish Plants – Plandai Oidhreachta is a collaborative project between the Irish Society of Botanical Artists and the Irish Garden Plant Society which will lead to an exhibition of the works of the artists and the publication of a soft-back book using the paintings to illustrate a collection of articles. The introduction will be … Continue reading Heritage Irish Plants – An Update!
I have been taught a lesson, a hard and harsh gardening lesson, but I have survived it and all will be well. Some years back a friend from Yorkshire, Alan Briggs, was staying with friends of his in Co. Wexford for the New Year and was intrigued to see snowdrops included in various posies around … Continue reading Just Give Them Away!
I’ve taken a look back over the gardening books I have read in 2015 and selected those I have enjoyed most. It is, I believe, important to say that these are my personal favourites and I don’t aim put them out here as the best books of the year. We all have our likes … Continue reading Favourite Books from 2015
Paradise and Plenty – A Rothschild Family Garden by Mary Keen This book provides the ultimate peep over the walls of a closed and private garden and what a delight we are shown. We are shown Eythrope, the private garden of the present Lord Rothschild, one of a family of great English gardeners. Baron … Continue reading Paradise and Plenty – A Rothschild Family Garden
The Silk Road is a place of legends, adventures and dreams, hard travelling and great beauty. It connected the west and the east, Rome and China, and along its various routes it carried trade in silk, spices, gold and ivory and introduced the compass, printing and gunpowder from the east along with learning in astronomy, … Continue reading Flora of the Silk Road – An Illustrated Guide