Five ways to share the pleasure of gardening this Easter


What a couple of yrs. What a month. What strange, unfortunate, perplexing moments we’re living as a result of. But at minimum there is normally gardening to cheer our spirits and remind us that character prevails. As numerous of us glimpse ahead to celebrating Easter with relatives and pals this weekend, in this article are five pretty strategies to share the joy of crops with many others.

Converse tulips

April is the thirty day period of tulips, people spring-flowering bulbs with blooms so wonderful that legend has it they near-bankrupted the prosperous service provider class of 17th-century Holland. At the peak of what arrived to be known as tulip mania, a single bulb of the scarlet-and-white streaked wide variety recognized as ‘Semper Augustus’ (now extinct) is reputed to have offered for a lot more than 5,000 guilders, sufficient at the time to get many paintings by Rembrandt (now that’s an expense that would have paid off handsomely).

Those people fleshy bulbs are a good deal a lot more economical now, but the sight of a massed show of tulips in full spring bloom nonetheless evokes awe, specially if it’s been intended with artistry by a learn gardener with an eye for colour and variety. 

Which is exactly what you’ll uncover at June Blake’s magnificent nation garden close to Blessington in west Wicklow, which reopened this thirty day period to the general public after its winter season split (open up every single Wednesday-Sunday, see juneblake.ie). Effectively-recognized for its considerably beautiful tulip displays, the backyard garden is celebrating its annual pageant, A Thirty day period of Tulips, with free talks by Blake every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm for the rest of this thirty day period.

Also in Wicklow, artist TJ Maher’s small jewel of a back garden, Patthana, near Kiltegan, is a further must-pay a visit to for tulip lovers, with a reliably luxurious seasonal show for website visitors to love. It opens to the community on Sunday, April 24th, May perhaps 1st, May well 8th and May perhaps 15th with a absolutely free discuss by Maher on tulips at 2pm on just about every of these dates (patthanagardenireland.com).

Check out a plant reasonable

The Irish Specialist Nursery Association’s collection of plant fairs are customarily amongst the highlights of the Irish gardening 12 months with fantastic stalls by lots of of the country’s top small specialist plant nurseries. Taking location just as the gardening time goes into entire throttle, its Easter good is constantly 1 of the ideal with tons of pro vegetation individuals to chat to and oodles of tantalising vegetation for sale.

This year’s exhibit is currently being held this weekend (April 16th-17th) at the Irish Countrywide Stud, Japanese Gardens, Co Kildare. See irishspecialistnurseriesassociation.com for details.

The Victorian walled garden at Kylemore Abbey. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.
The Victorian walled backyard garden at Kylemore Abbey. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Rejoice with Kylemore Abbey gardens

Twenty-a single several years have handed due to the fact the Victorian walled backyard of Kylemore Abbey in Galway threw open up its gates to the community adhering to its award-profitable restoration by the neighborhood of Benedictine nuns who carry on to handle this heritage estate to this working day. To rejoice its coming-of-age, Kylemore Abbey is hosting Stepping As a result of the Gate: Inside of Ireland’s Walled Gardens, an exhibition of do the job by four Irish artists, Lesley Fennell, Andrea Jameson, Maria Levinge and Alison Rosse, which is impressed by famous Irish walled gardens.

Commissioned by the Irish Georgian Society and curated by the writer and broadcaster Robert O’Byrne (the exhibition initial showed at the society’s headquarters in Dublin very last autumn), some of the other terrific Irish walled gardens that attribute in the exhibition include things like people of Burtown in Co Kildare, Heywood in Co Laois, Glin Castle in Co Limerick, Kilmacurragh in Co Wicklow, Lismore Castle and Tourin, each in Co Waterford, Altamont in Co Carlow, and Anne’s Grove in Co Cork.

The exhibition continues until the stop of this thirty day period (access is involved with admission to the gardens) with quite a few of the artworks also for sale and proceeds heading to the Irish Georgian Modern society and the Kylemore Have confidence in (kylemoreabbey.com).

The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has launched its 2022 Pledge to Plant initiative.
The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has released its 2022 Pledge to Plant initiative.

Plant some seeds for ‘Pledge to Plant’

This month the Irish Hospice Basis (IHF), the national charity that addresses dying, demise and bereavement in Eire,  launched its 2022 Pledge to Plant initiative. Very first launched final calendar year when it went on to raise much more than €40,000 for the charity, Pledge to Plant is the brilliant brainchild of Kathy Whyte, whose own mother received excellent at-property care from nurses offered by the IHF throughout the last days of her life.

Whyte’s initiative invites individuals, teams, communities, universities and businesses to sow/raise/improve some plants over the coming months with the purpose of gifting them to family members, mates and colleagues this coming June. In return the recipient then helps make a modest economic donation towards the Irish Hospice Foundation to assist elevate essential money for the services it presents. Everyone who registers on the IHF’s web site to consider portion in the PTP initiative receives a free aid pack that has palms-on gardening ideas and some complimentary packets of seed. 

This year the basis designs to devote over €1 million in its Nurses for Nightcare support, which delivers care into the houses of these struggling with their ultimate times. For additional facts or to sign-up for this modern nationwide initiative, see hospicefoundation.ie/pledgetoplant/

Other great historic Irish woodland gardens open to the public over Easter include Muckross House and garden near Killarney.
Other fantastic historic Irish woodland gardens open up to the community more than Easter include Muckross Household and backyard garden in the vicinity of Killarney.

Woodland gardens to pay a visit to

From carpets of bluebells to clouds of magnolias and rhododendrons, woodland gardens are another superb highlight of April with many coming into magnificent bloom just in time for Easter. Illustrations involve the Countrywide Botanic Gardens at Kilmacurragh in east Wicklow (botanicgardens.ie), house to just one of Ireland’s most effective acknowledged historic rhododendron collections, which is underneath the expert treatment of its head gardener and curator Seamus O’Brien. He was a short while ago awarded the prestigious Loder Rhododendron Cup by the RHS for his perform in promoting and conserving this genus of vegetation.  

Other good historic Irish woodland gardens open up to the general public more than Easter incorporate subtropical Derreen (derreengarden.com) and Muckross (killarneynationalpark.ie), both of those of which are in Co Kerry Mount Stewart, Rowallane, and Castlewellan’s walled backyard garden, all in Co Down (nationaltrust.org.uk, nidirect.gov.british isles) Mount Usher (mountushergardens.ie) and Powerscourt (powerscourt.com) in Co Wicklow Howth Castle in Dublin (howthcastle.ie) Birr Castle (birrcastle.com) in Co Offaly, and Garinish Island in Cork (garinishisland.ie).

Meanwhile, for a contemporary acquire on woodland planting, spend a visit to Searching Brook, the backyard of the designer and broadcaster Jimi Blake in west Wicklow (huntingbrookgardens.com), or to Caher Bridge, the garden of plantsperson Carl Wright (pre-booking vital, connect with 065 7076225).

This 7 days in the yard

Late spring is a excellent time of the calendar year to consider softwood cuttings of tender perennial vegetation such as pelargonium, argyranthemum, fuchsia, salvia, dahlia, helichrysum, penstemon and osteospermum. Just make guaranteed to preserve them somewhere brilliant but frost-totally free (an electrical heated propagator is quite valuable for this function) and to use a good quality, free-draining cuttings compost lightened with a lot of horticultural grit or vermiculite.

This is the thirty day period to prune hydrangeas by employing a clean, sharp secateurs to reduce any of previous year’s flowering stems back down to just earlier mentioned a strong pair of buds, although leaving any new stems that didn’t flower previous year unpruned and intact (the latter will have a plump inexperienced bud at their tip).

Though you are at it, slice out any destroyed, distorted or spindly stems. Pretty bushy, overly experienced vegetation will need more intensive pruning. In this scenario, lower the thickest, oldest stems near the centre of the plant right again to the foundation to open up it up and encourage new expansion. But stay clear of pruning climbing hydrangeas until finally later in the summer months just after they’ve finished flowering.

Dates For Your Diary

Saturday, April 23rd: RHSI Once-a-year Plant Sale, Laurelmere Cottage, Marlay Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16 (11am-4pm), see rhsi.ie.

Saturday, April 30th: The Alpine Backyard garden Society’s Yearly Clearly show will take put with competitive exhibits across a extensive variety of lessons and uncommon alpines and other vegetation for sale, Cabinteely Group School, Johnstown Street, Cabinteely, Co Dublin, (1.30pm-4pm), see alpinegardensociety.ie.

April 29th-Could 1st: Backyard Display Ireland. A competition of flowers, food and entertaining, with talks and contributions by a lot of well-recognized gardeners together with Diarmuid Gavin, Klaus Laitenberger, Geoff Stebbings and flower farmers Aisling and Andy McCormick of Sow Grateful, moreover flower arranging shows by members of the Northern Eire Team of Flower Arrangement Societies (NIGFAS), Antrim Castle Gardens, Randalstown Road, Antrim, see gardenshowireland.com.



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