Blarney in Bloom is an event not to be missed — and visitors will also support the Guide Dogs through the €5 entry fee. 

  • It takes place tomorrow from10am to 5pm at Blarney Castle Estate with lots of stalls, plants and attractions. Hit The Hydro Allotments event too, just up the road, to round off a great day out.

  • The garden of Mark and Trish Horgan at Amberley, Rocky Road, Ardmore, will open on Saturday July 16 from 11am-5pm in aid of St Vincent de Paul. It’s a summer garden, divided into “rooms”, with distinct themes including traditional cottage style, tropical and modern architectural plants on one acre.

    The garden contains about 500 hydrangeas, over 100 grasses and has over 2,000 sq ft of herbaceous borders and trees include banana, olive, eriobotrya japonica, trachy carpus, tree ferns, blenchnum tabulare, acadia dealbata mimosa amongst others.

  • Join Cork Nature Network on a woodland walk in the spectacular Glengarriff Nature Reserve. Led by Conservation Ranger, Clare Heardman, it provides a great opportunity to learn about the plants and invertebrates that live in the reserve. A perfect day out for all the family on Wednesday July 27 from 6pm-7pm. This is a free event.

    To book contact Meeting in the main carpark.

  • Cork Nature Network’s events in August, (as part of National Heritage Week) include August 20: A talk on ladybirds in Cork with Gill Weyman at 1pm Cork City Library. August 21: Open day of National Heritage Week, Mini-Beast Hunt, Fitzgerald Park, Cork City. 11-12.

    August 26: Nature walk around Doneraile Wildlife Park, 2pm-3.30pm.

    August 27: Otter Walk led by Dr. Paddy Sleeman, Blackpool (difficult terrain, please bring wellingtons) 6pm-6.40pm August 28: Picnic and nature walk in Beaumont quarry, 11am-4pm. For further information on these events please contact 

  • Youghal Flower & Garden Club wishes to remind members that its evening visit to Dromana House & Gardens will take place on July 13 and the group will leave the Walter Raleigh Hotel at 5.15 pm sharp. Contact Ann Cooney @086-3843010

  • The Carlow Garden Festival is delighted to announce that Diarmuid Gavin will appear for the first time, opening the 2016 festival with “A Romp in My Garden” in Arboretum Home and Garden Heaven on Saturday, July 23.

    Detailing the processes and nuances involved in creating an award-winning garden at the Chelsea Flower Show and fresh from his silver gilt medal for his crowd-pleasing, “Harrods British Eccentrics’ Garden”, this workshop is a great opportunity to hear all about Chelsea itself and the work involved in presenting a garden to such high standards.

    On the night Diarmuid will be joined by the doyennes of the international and Irish gardening scene - Helen Dillon and Carmel Duignan — who helped create this masterpiece and who will also contribute to the Q&A session at the end of the talk.

    Tickets cost €25 with a 10% discount for groups 10+. Tickets can be purchased from or Carlow Tourism tel: 059 9130411 Carlow Garden Festival runs from Saturday, July 23, to Monday, August 1, and features 16 garden experts on its lecture list in 16 unique gardening locations.

    Offering 10 days of gardening workshops and highlights. John Massey, from Ashwood Nurseries which won a Gold Medal and the coveted RHS Diamond Jubilee Award at Chelsea this year, will be part of a full day programme in Altamont Plant Sales, that also includes broadcaster and RHS gardens judge, James Alexander-Sinclair and West Clare gardener, Carl Wright.

    The 2016 programme has a mix of top UK gardeners and the best of Irish garden broadcasters and writers.

    This year’s highlights include a series of garden tours led by Neil Porteous, head gardener at Mount Stewart in County Down. Hugh Carrigan, parks superintendent with the OPW promises an “insiders” view of Altamont Gardens while Helen Dillon will visit the stunning gardens of Shankill Castle and Borris House.

    June Blake, meanwhile, takes in the meadow gardens at Myshall and Lucy’s Wood in Bunclody.

    Huntington Castle and Newtownbarry House provide the setting for tree trails in the company of Thomas Pakenham, author of The Company of Trees and Meetings with Remarkable Trees.

    Top tier lecturers include Mary Keen, the Telegraph’s gardening columnist and author of Paradise and Plenty; John Grimshaw, botanist and director of the Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard; Gordon Ledbetter who designed the Delta Sensory Gardens and Brian Bourke who recounts the story of the War and Peace Garden which was presented at Bloom this year.

    Seamus O’ Brien recounts the story of an expedition he recently led to South Africa studying the flora of the Cape and the plants of Kruger National Park while festival favourites, Helen Dillon and Dermot O’Neill return to share their gardening lore.

    The Carlow Garden Festival offers 21 different gardening events and with the majority of gardening work completed, it is the ideal time to relax, admire the work of others and make gardening plans for the coming months and year ahead.

    Details of the festival programme can be found at  or alternatively ring Carlow Tourism on 059 9130411 for further details.

    Follow and twitter @carlowtourism for regular updates.

  • Burtown House and Gardens opens on July 31 as part of the Carlow Garden Festival and hosts illustrated talks with two prominent gardening specialists. Seamus O’Brien, manager at Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens, and well known author and contributor to botanical and garden publications will lecture at noon, and John Grimshaw, director of the Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard, and well respected author and garden writer will discuss: “Plants, Gardens and People: Inspirations and Influences of my gardening life over the past 40 years”, at 3pm.

    Entrance €10 for both talks and the Gallery Cafe will be open for teas, coffee and lunches etc. For more details and table reservations contact 

  • Don’t forget the cluster of coastal gardens open tomorrow in West Waterford, with donations going to The Alzheimer Society of Ireland.  

    Open from 12pm to 5pm, the event is just the latest on the Waterford Garden Trail programme for 2016.


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