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Now that spring is finally here, it’s time to get outdoors and prepare your garden. In this weekend’s copy of the Sunday Independent Gerry Daly writes about everything from improving your soil to what he loves about growing, all in a free garden booklet.

Jimi Blake of Hunting Brook Gardens has announced his selection of Garden Tours for 2018. His focus is to bring exclusive opportunities to see private gardens and locations that may otherwise be difficult to visit.

A full itinerary and booking information is on the website: Gardens of Scotland, 1 to 3 May; Great English Gardens in the Lake District, 22 to 25 May; Somerset Gardens, 25 to 28 July, and Dutch Wave Gardens & Nurseries, 29 August to 1 September.

The Coronet miniature apple tree has been a best seller for 20 years. It was the brainchild of Springfield Nurseries owner, Dr Pat McDonnell. Coronet trees crop immediately, remain miniature permanently and are easy to grow with no pruning needed.

They may be grown in the garden soil or in a container and are ideal for small spaces. The Coronet Family tree has two varieties of apples on the one tree and pollinate one another. They are available in all good garden centres. For more information, see

Gee-up, made in Blarney, Co. Cork, is simply well-composted horse manure. It is an entirely natural product, no peat added, and no chemicals involved. Gee-up is an Organic Trust Certified Product.

Gee-up has reduced the size and price of their large bags of Gee-up for ease of handling. The large bags now in stock weigh approximately 18kgs and retail at €7.50 each. “Twenty or forty large bags on a pallet are still great value delivered to your door.”

Small bags and bulk bags also available. See or call 021-4381485.

The origin of ‘Cool Breeze’ began with a keen eye and a single offspring from a production field of 3,000 typical gaura plants. This selection was used as the starting point for breeding work.

The stems and buds were greenish-white instead of the pinkish-red coloring on the common gaura. ‘Cool Breeze’ has graceful blooms of pure white. Pure white, vegetatively-grown gauras exist in the trade, but ‘Cool Breeze’ is the first seed-grown strain available.

GIY in partnership with Energia has announced ‘Energia Get Ireland Growing’, a €75,000 pool of funding available to enable food-growing by community and voluntary organisations all across Ireland including Northern Ireland. The application period is open until 19 January 2018.

In 2018, the Energia Get Ireland Growing Fund will be split across three categories ‘Sow’, ‘Grow’ and ‘Harvest’ with awards ranging from €500 to €2,000. It is open to any community group, school, NGO or Not for Profit, community garden or allotment group, GIY group, hospital, crèche, direct provision centre, men’s shed or any group.

The Echo HCA-265ES HD articulating hedge cutter is the latest addition to the Echo range and offers an overall length of 2,446mm making it ideal for cutting tall or wide hedges with no need for a platform or ladder.

A key feature is the heavy-duty gearcase, which is one of the main differentiating factors from the other long-reach hedge cutters in the range. For stockists, the Echo distributor in the Republic is Irish Farm & Garden Machinery, Hazelbrook, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Tel 01-8463922.

2017 Landscape Awards

The 2017 Landscape Awards, recognising the best work by ALCI members from across Ireland, were presented recently at the Convention Centre, Dublin.

Gary Graham, Bloom Manager Bord Bía, one of the judges, commented: “We should never underestimate the value of the work undertaken by landscape contractors. Not every entry in the ALCI competition can be a winner but every piece of quality work adds to the quality of life for someone or some group of people living on this island and indeed everyone who visits here for business or pleasure. So, ultimately, we all win.”

A world-class plant collection, which includes the Northern Hemisphere’s biggest tree-fern forest, will be exhibited at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show at the end of May 2018.

The exhibition moves to ‘Bloom in the Park’ immediately afterwards and on to the RHS Tatton Park in July of next year, owner Billy Alexander confirmed, further stating that this was a huge honour.

Showcasing at such an event is not cheap and Mr Alexander is actively looking for a main sponsor for Chelsea. “This is a massive opportunity not just for Kells Bay but for Ireland as a whole.”

Writing your Christmas List?

Why not treat yourself, or get a head start on the Christmas rush?

A subscription to The Irish Garden magazine makes a perfect Christmas gift.

Before we know it, Christmas will be here. Why not make gift buying hassle-free this year and buy a magazine subscription for your friends and relatives? It’s the simple choice that keeps on giving all year round. Each issue will be delivered directly to their door and enjoyed month after month.

A subscription to The Irish Garden, Ireland’s favourite gardening magazine, is the perfect way to indulge the gardener in your life. Plus, the price includes an exclusive free gift, an Irish Garden ink ballpoint pen, which you can choose to send to the lucky recipient (or keep yourself!).

The Snowdrop Gala 2018 takes place at Ballykealey Manor Hotel Near Altamont, Ballon, Co. Carlow, on Saturday, 3 February 2018.

Speakers include renowned galanthophiles Graham Gough and Jim Almond.

Contact: Hester Forde 086 865 4972

Email: or Robert Miller at

Woodville Walled Garden 2018 Calendar has photographs of the garden throughout each season of the year, packed with garden advice and tips for each month. Available from garden centres and florists in the west of Ireland.


Price €8 including postage throughout Ireland

Tel: Margarita 087-9069191

Four members of Botanic Network Ireland,  Bruno Nicolai, Rory Newell, Paul Smyth and Adam Whitbourn, have recently returned from a 3-week plant hunting trip to Northern Vietnam.

Working with staff from the Vietnamese Institute of Biological and Ecological Resources (IEBR), they explored areas close to the Chinese border.

Seed and pressed specimens were collected, the latter for the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin.

The main sponsor was Blarney Castle Gardens, and there are plans for a Vietnamese woodland in the grounds of the castle.

Suitable for smaller plant pots, Hozelock’s handmade AquaDeco globes are an innovative and decorative way to water plant pots. 

With 200ml capacity, the water is released according to the plant’s needs and can last from a few days up to two weeks creating a worry-free oasis and time for your summer or winter get away!

Lucy Kennedy has opened Grassland for Sanctuary Synthetics, the makers of artificial grass products for domestic and commercial clients at new interactive showrooms in Naas, Co Kildare. 

The new outlet replicates pieces from its Bloom Show winning gardens: the Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and the Secret Lives of Pets alongside many smaller interactive pieces.

 Just flick a switch and begin blowing leaves into a neat pile for collection. No starter rope to pull, no two-stroke fuel to fill and store and no emissions with the ECHO DPB-600 power blower which is part of ECHO’s 50V Lithium Ion battery series. “This is petrol performance from a battery product.” 

Sluggo Ultra

A new addition to the Sluggo range from Neudorff, Sluggo Ultra uses twice the amount of the  natural active ingredient, iron-III-phosphate and is therefore twice as powerful, plus the pellets are much smaller than regular slug pellets making them much easier for juvenile slugs to tackle at the start of the season.

Autumn beauty!
Shorter days and first frosts trigger plants to shut down for winter, but the shutting-down is spectacular. The vital green chlorophyll is dismantled and stored, withdrawn from the leaves, and allows the yellow, red and purple pigments to show. There are plants that go against the general trend and flower in autumn: nerines, asters and chrysanthemums, offering a counterpoint of freshness. We have all the reminders and suggestions for your garden in WHAT-TO-DO-NOW and KNOW-HOW!

Autumn is the start of the traditional planting season and Gerry Daly reviews small garden trees to plant now. Asters, because of their starry daisy-type flowers and their wonderfully rich colours, are the perfect complement to the autumnal shades of trees and shrubs, and Ciaran Burke outlines the remarkable range of these plants in PLANT PROFILE.

In GARDEN VISIT, Shirley Lanigan visited an unusual cottage-style garden in County Sligo which started as a weekend garden, and literally grew. In GARDEN HISTORY, Patricia Butler describes a pioneering Victorian garden at Old Conna Hill, Bray, Co. Dublin

In DESIGN DESK, Gabriele Sanio and Shane O’Neill create an interesting design for a challenging site with a cross-slope and steep earthen banks. In NOTEBOOKS South and East, Hester Forde and Carmel Duignan relate their experience of plants in their own gardens. In GARDEN CENTRE EXPERIENCE, Martina Dempsey won €300 worth of plants for her family garden at Springmount Garden Centre, Gorey, Co. Wexford. In COMMUNITY GARDEN, Fionnuala Fallon visited the Birr Community Growery, Birr, Co. Offaly.

In our NEWS pages, we keep you up-to-date with news, events and new products and accessories for the conservatory and garden with Lindie Naughton. And please remember to support local suppliers of products and services who advertise in The Irish Garden magazine.


Good gardening!

Find your ‘Zen’ at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion

Join Head Gardener Alex Slazenger at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion in Enniskerry, County Wicklow for a talk on ‘Creating a Japanese Garden’ this Thursday October 19th at 11am.

Learn how Powerscourt came to have an oriental garden, the last major addition to the Gardens by the 8th Lord and Lady Powerscourt in 1908. It was an era when westerners were captivated by Japanese attitudes to nature and it was fashionable to have exotic influences in your home and garden. The Japanese Garden was the family’s most private garden where they liked to relax and hold parties.

As well as listening to fascinating stories such as these, Alex will guide you through the practical elements of creating a Japanese style garden. The key to a Japanese garden is to create a calming, soothing and relaxed atmosphere with the use of meandering paths, flowing water and carefully selected plants that float you through the garden. In terms of planting, the Japanese Garden at Powerscourt it is a free-for-all of colourful, exotic species. Join Alex as he discusses the elements of design that are key to creating this atmosphere. Afterwards why not enjoy a visit to Powerscourt Gardens. Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of year to see the Gardens as the maple trees burst into the glorious colours of purple, red, orange and yellow.

The talk costs €5 and tickets can be booked on The talk does not include entry to Powerscourt Gardens.

Thurles FLower CLub Gala with Christopher White at
CHristian Brothers Thurles on 14 November at 8pm.

Hozelock has a new Auto Reel Range. This is a hose that puts itself away. Models are available from 10m up to 40m to suit different garden sizes. There is a new soft touch connector with added grip and comfort. There is also a new range of Flood and Garden Pumps called the Flowmax Flood Pump. The suction level is easy to control thanks to an adjustable float switch and the pump switches on instantly to its non-return valve. The Hozelock Garden Pump comes with a steel pump casting and ceramic seals as it is designed to last. See

This year’s Blarney in Bloom was a massive success. A total of €36,226.71 was raised for the Irish Guide Dogs. Gardens manager Adam Whitbourn said: “We are delighted to be involved with such a worthy charity and look forward to working with them again at next year’s event which we have just confirmed as Sunday, 15 July.”

The new Peckish Winter Warmer Suet Cake will help birds survive during cold winter conditions thanks to its high fat content and unique Calvita vitamin and mineral blend. Plus, it has a festive mince pie flavour and aroma making it the ideal Christmas gift for your garden birds, or stocking filler for a bird-lover. It is available as an individual 300g suet cake or as an 8-pack gift box with a free feeder. Garden birds are especially vulnerable during winter months due to freezing temperatures and the short daylight hours in which to forage for food. Easy and regular access to food packed with calories can make it easier to survive. free newsletter

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