Save the date - Mar 8th

Irish Botanical Expedition to Ladakh in 2022

Colin Jones was one of a group of Irish gardeners who went on a botanical expedition to Ladakh, India, in the western Himalaya last summer. His talk will take us to this exciting area and show us some

of the high-altitude plants they came across and why they might be relevant to Irish gardeners in a changing climate.

This is a free event for members but is also open to non members for the small fee of €8.00  Click here to book  

Three New Partner Garden for Spring 2023

This Spring we are delighted to welcome three superb new gardens to our Partner Garden Scheme. Dromana House and Gardens near Cappoquin in Co Waterford along with Ballyedmond Castle Gardens just north of Newry Co Down and Glenarm Castle Walled Garden, some 26 miles north of Belfast.

Dromana House and Gardens

Dromana House, set in an eight hundred year old estate now occupied by the 23rd generation of the same family, stands on a precipice dramatically overlooking the River Blackwater. The gardens and woodlands surrounding the house offer 30 acres of beautiful
planting, walks and vistas......Click for more

Ballyedmond Castle Garden

Ballyedmond Castle Garden is a hidden treat, a private garden on the shores of Carlingford Lough in Rostrevor Co Down. Although set within a 19th century estate, most of the extensive planting, along with ornamental glasshouses, fountains and statuary has only
been added over the past 30 years. for more

Glenarm Castle Walled Garden

Set on the Antrim coast, this stunning walled garden nestles within the grounds of the extensive Glenarm Estate. It has been completely restored in recent years by its owners the Earl and Countess of Antrim, offering a wealth of exciting, innovative landscaping and for more

Sadly we must announce that the Glebe Gardens in Baltimore Co Cork have decided to call it a day after many years of sharing their beautiful gardens with us as part of the Partner Garden Scheme and indeed with the wider public for even longer. Owned and run by the Perry family for over 30 years, they welcomed visitors to their wonderful gardens, grew organic fruit and vegetables supplying their own award winning Cafe, and hosted many music and theatre performances in their natural garden amphitheatre - altogether contributing greatly to the richness of West Cork life. We thank Jean, Peter and all the family for their generous involvement with the Partner Garden Scheme and wish them well into the future.
For full information on all our gardens please go to the Partner Garden section of the RHSI website.

Notes from Bellefield by Head Gardener Paul Smyth

What can we say. What an absolutely marvellous launch we've had at RHSI Bellefield.  Over 1000 of you made the journey to the garden from all over the country.  

It was truly wonderful to stand in the sunken garden surrounded by so many keen visitors as the story of Tommy's border, the snowdrops and tales of Angela were recounted. 

Our most brilliant volunteers - from those who so happily directed and parked (and occasionally pushed!) cars,  to the ever cheerful team inside delivering coffee. They all deserve a huge thanks, without them the weekends would not have been the success it was. 

To see hundreds of both members and non members enjoying the garden was just great and the positive remarks, well wishes and offers of help are all very much appreciated. 

On a personal level to see Bellefield full of life after a 2 year absence of people was the most rewarding part of the entire weekend. I'm delighted that so many made the effort to see the garden and our plans for it. 

Thank you all for making our first Snowdrop weekends so special and being there at the start of this exciting journey for both the RHSI and Bellefield.

A very warm welcome to all of the new RHSI members who signed up at Bellefield, we look forward to seeing you again over the coming months and if anyone is interested in volunteering at RHSI Bellefield please email

The Open Gardens of Ireland by Shirley Lanigan

Shirley Lanigan’s book ‘The Open Gardens of Ireland’ published in 2017 is an invaluable and most comprehensive guide to garden visiting, documenting visits to 427 gardens throughout the country. Shirley is now preparing for an updated second edition and would be delighted to hear from any owners of gardens large or small who open to the public and would like to be included in her new book.
Please contact Shirley directly.
Mobile: 086 359 5638

Gardening in March - what to do 

March is a great time to get started on gardening in Ireland, as the weather begins to warm up and the days get longer.
Here are some gardening tasks you can do in March to prepare for the growing season:

Start by removing any debris or fallen leaves from your garden beds. This will allow you to assess the condition of the soil and identify any areas that need to be improved. .....Click here to read more


In recent years, there has been a growing movement towards rewilding our gardens. Rewilding is the process of restoring natural ecosystems and allowing them to function without human intervention. This concept has gained popularity due to its potential benefits for the environment and our own health. In this article, we will explore why we should consider rewilding our gardens and the many benefits that come with it.

......Click here to read more

Pruning Roses

As spring approaches, it’s time to start thinking about pruning your climbing roses. Pruning is an essential part of rose care, as it helps to keep the plant healthy, encourage new growth, and promote beautiful blooms. Pruning climbing roses in early March is particularly important, as it is the ideal time to cut back the plant before new growth begins in the spring.

The first step is to remove any ......Click here to read more

Nettles and their benefits

Taken from the excellent Neantóg  March Newsletter 2023
by Gaby and Hans Wieland

Nettles are just amazing plants. They are a fantastic source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, silicon, boron and zinc. They are also rich in chromium, manganese, iron, copper and chlorophyll. Nettles are a good source of Vitamin A, B-complex, Vitamin C

Read More

Fruit Hill Farm - 30 Years in Business

To celebrate 30 years of helping people grow organic, we are looking back at how it all began and what has changed over the years.

How Fruit Hill Farm Started
Fruit Hill Farm was started by Manfred and Edite Wandel from their home in 1993. Manfred and Edite were organic pioneers in the eighties and they found it hard to get the tools and inputs they needed. So alongside growing fruit and vegetables, they started to source quality products with the intention to supply other organic growers, small and large. Their own market garden was a perfect place to trial new products.

There was a lot of work in the beginning making contact with suppliers, setting up the administration and making the first ever catalogue.
Click to Read More

Greenhouse Ireland- Improved Visitor Experience

We have recently introduced QR codes into our display area near Birr, Co. Offaly, simplifying the process of browsing through our extensive range of quality greenhouses. Customers can scan and see the current price list for the exact model they are in. A visit to our display area is a great idea because not only will the visitor have the ‘Goldilocks’ experience of finding which size greenhouse is just right for them by standing in them, they will get to see the full range available and consult with one of the team who can show them comparative samples of the aluminium sections used so they can see why these greenhouses are so strong.
Phone us on 057 912 0424, browse, or visit us at R42 VX36 near Birr to decide which model or variation is just right for you.

Festina Lente Gardening Classes

Over the coming weeks Festina Lente in Bray will provide a garden workshop - every Sunday 2 -3pm, offering seasonal tips and tricks to put a spring back into your growing spaces

Provided each week:
  • Seasonal tour of garden - walkabout and connection with spring wild and edible species and relevant growing techniques
  • Personalised 1-1 guidance and tips to suit your growing space e.g. indoors/outdoors, small/large, rewilding and sustainability transitions
  • Hands-on practical and demonstrations where relevant
  • Information/ hand outs for take away
  • Tips on what to purchase in our Garden Shop to support your green care plans - 10% discount offered on all garden products
  • Refreshments provided

RHSI members are welcome to show up at our Garden Shop and pay 10 euros per workshop or there are 9 remaining workshops available in the Spring Workshop series: so if any members would like to have access to all of these, they can pay 50 euros for the complete series via the Eventbrite link here

Eye on Nature

For the third year running, the National Botanic Gardens is delighted to once again host Eye on Nature, RTE’s wildlife photography competition!

Whether you’re a budding amateur or a seasoned professional, we invite you to showcase your talent and submit your best photo of Ireland’s landscapes, fauna, fungi and flora (we particularly like the latter here at the Gardens!) for entry by midnight on March 22nd. 

The 12 leading finalists will have their works displayed in the beautiful environs of the National Botanic Gardens later this spring, and the overall winner (judged by among others our own Director Dr. Matthew Jebb) will receive a cash prize of €1,000.

Full details and application are available via 
Eye on Nature is run in association with RTE Nationwide, Mooney Goes Wild on Radio 1, both of which will feature Eye on Nature on their programmes in the coming weeks, and the Office of Public Works.

Happy snapping!

Something to watch...

Planting a Succulent Head Planter!

Build a wild life pond

The curious World of Plants

In a copiously illustrated talk, Professor Jonathan Drori brings to life the science of plants by revealing how their worlds are intricately entwined with our own history, culture and folklore. From the seemingly familiar tomato and dandelion to the eerie mandrake and Spanish "moss" of Louisiana, by way of lotus, nutmeg and the obscure iboga, each story is full of surprises
Copyright © 2023 Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland, All rights reserved.

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