Events and activities this week for Carlow Garden Festival

Which one will you be going to?


A magical eleven days

The 16th Carlow Garden Festival (July 27 - August 6) is in full swing and here's a list of events for this week: 

Cormac Downey at Altamont Gardens
July 31, 11am

This walking tour of Altamont Gardens is led by Cormac Downey, OPW Tree Officer. This tour promises to be an exciting journey through a historic setting with its fine plant collections, Robinsonian style landscapes, man-made lake and specifically the ancient oak woodland and will take in other magnificent specimens of trees to be found at Altamont Gardens.

Stephen Anderton at Hardymount Gardens
July 31, 3pm

What makes a great gardener? Stephen Anderton looks at the lives of men and women, past and present, who have made great gardens admired throughout the world. What drives them to work in this deliciously frustrating medium where every element is growing or dying? Which gardeners were not only passionate plant-lovers but also nurserymen, painters, novelists, soldiers, architects, engineers, politicians, philosophers and fashionistas? Which gardeners - rarest or the rare - can design and structure and layout of a garden as well as the detail of the planting? Some of the names you will know, some will be a wonderful surprise. Afterwards take a stroll around the stunning walled garden of Hardymount. A very memorable afternoon is promised!

Charles Dowding at Shankill Castle
August 1, 10am - 1pm

Charles’ talk explains the principles of a no dig approach, so that listeners can go home to apply the method, in whatever way suits their site and materials to hand. He shows how to clear weeds by mulching on top, without any soil disturbance and shows different composts and how to make your own. He explains how mulches of organic matter work to feed soil life, so that the billions of organisms can help plant roots find their food, air and moisture. Charles illustrates many different vegetables, show methods of planting and pest protection, and methods of propagation.

Jimi Blake at Burtown House and Gardens
August 1, 3pm

Join Jimi Blake, owner of Hunting Brook Gardens and one of the most acclaimed & accomplished contemporary gardeners of his time as he speaks about his garden through the seasons at Hunting Brook Gardens, Blessington, Co Wicklow, acknowledged as one of Ireland's most dynamic, interesting and innovative gardens. Widely covered in the gardening press the garden has become a mecca for gardeners and hosts visitors from around the world every year.

Seamus O’Brien at Borris House
August 2, 3pm - 5pm

Borris demesne is a fine example of how a formal Baroque landscape has evolved over centuries into the impressive parkland setting visable today. Seamus O’Brien, manager of National Botanic Gardens, Kilmacurragh in Co. Wicklow, will offer his unique insight into this mature estate with its many specimen trees, original Stew Pond and 18th century Ice House.

Fiann Ó Nualláin at Kilgraney House and Herb Gardens
August 2, 3pm

Fiann Ó Nualláin is a long-time proponent of gardening for health and wellbeing. A horticultural therapist by profession and a community gardening advocate for over two decades.  He is the author of several bestselling gardening and health books. A regular on Tv3’s Ireland AM to chat about foods and herbs for physical wellbeing and illness management.  

Adam Frost at Visual
August 2, 8pm

In his talk about ‘A Life in Gardening’, Adam Frost will tell the story of his journey from a young boy uprooted from the city to live in North Devon, to an award-winning garden designer and television presenter. Adam will talk about where he finds his inspiration from - in nature, architecture, art, people and food. As well as drawing on memories, special places and people who have been influential to the way he designs.

Chris Beardshaw and Fergus Garrett at Altamont Plant Sales
August 3, 12pm - 3pm

A celebrated Designer, Plantsman and Broadcaster Chris Beardshaw has clocked up over 30 years’ experience in the horticultural world. Known for his BBC television and radio work Chris is also a well-loved speaker and lecturer and is the author of 4 books.

Assumpta Broomfield at Burtown House and Gardens
August 4, 11:30am

Burtown House is one of two 17th century houses in Kildare to never have been sold, and the only house that you can visit, and have guided tours by family members. It is the only original Quaker house in Ireland that can be visited that is still lived in by the family that built it from this period.

Dermot O’Neill at Huntington Castle
August 4, 3:30pm

Dermot O’ Neill, with us each year by popular demand since the start of the Carlow Garden Festival back in 2002, visits Huntington Castle for a garden tour taking in the many delights of this attraction, from the 17th century parterres to the ancient Yew Walk, the “Wilderness” woodland, the kitchen gardens, the Greenhouse and the recently restored Rose Gardens.

€10 – €30
Carol Klein at Duckett’s Grove
August 5, 12pm - 5:30pm

Enjoy a garden party in the beautiful surrounds of Duckett’s Grove Historic House and Walled Gardens. Featuring vintage dress, classical and musical entertainment, traditional activities for the children, picnics on the lawn, a talk with the highly popular and talented UK gardener Carol Klein and the opportunity to view the beautifully restored walled gardens. Carol will talk about her time as a nursery owner and gardener and will discuss her favourite plants and the plants she found difficult to propagate.

Elma Fenton at Delta Sensory Gardens
August 6, 12pm

Elma Fenton, renowned Irish and international ecological landscape architect and garden designer promises an interesting and informative tour of the Delta Sensory Gardens. Elma designed the beautiful “Circle of Life” at Delta Sensory Gardens and will impart some of the thoughts behind this. Explore the delights of these beautiful surroundings where Elma shares her passion and knowledge of plants and garden design. Visitors will have a unique opportunity to rest and indulge their senses of touch, taste, smell, hearing and visual delight at this wonderful garden tour.

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