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Irish Walled Gardens across the Centuries

Walled gardens have been created around the world for millennia, but their function and design has periodically changed, not least here in Ireland. In this talk, historian Robert O’Byrne will look at the evolution of Irish walled gardens,

from those attached to monasteries in the Middle Ages, until their Golden Age in the late-19th century and through to the present period.

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  

Michael Viney’s final Another Life column – more than 60 years after the first

Irish Times readers will be aware that last Saturday was sadly the final Another Life column. Michael Viney has dedicated decades to chronicling the natural world around him and delighting us with his tales.  So now some 60 years after his first article,  we wish him every best and thank him for the joy he brought to our weekend reading.

Below is an extract from the final column, click the button to read the full article in the Irish Times.

Another Life
I join the locals in calling it the duach, respecting the echo of lost Irish, but to ecologists and geographers it is “machair”, a word from Scots Gaelic. The landform was classified first on the isles of the Outer Hebrides, then mapped along the windiest edge of Ireland from Donegal to Connemara.

Coming to it first, half a century ago, the flat.....
Full Article

RHSI Bellefield Snowdrop Weekends

RHSI Bellefield Snowdrop weekend
17 - 19 Feb
24 - 26 Feb

11am to 4pm with guided tour at 2pm
Free for members, non members €7
Click here to book

RHSI Bellefield Snowdrop Bus tour

We are excited to invite you to travel with us by coach to RHSI Bellefield on the 18th February.  We will enjoy a tour of the snowdrop garden with Head Gardener Paul Smyth followed by lunch in the Woodfield Cafe and Garden centre.

Places will be limited so do not delay book your spot as soon as possible. 

Only a couple of places left so book now

Some choice snowdrops from Peter Milligan

As snowdrops are come into their own, here are a few photographs of cultivars in our collection - some are Irish (David Shackleton, Cicely Hall, Blaris, and Drummonds Giant) and some are not....
Continuing the snowdrop saga - these are the very good non-Irish cultivars...

Notes from Bellefield by Head Gardener Paul Smyth

We are steaming away in RHSI Bellefield and the welcome sun of the last week has really brought the snowdrops on. 

There's still lots of work to do as we prepare to open to the public after 2 years, but progress has really been made and the sight of thousands of snowdrops greeting us every morning is a wonderful motivator.

At the front of the house Angela naturalised Cyclamen coum, Eranthis hyemalis, Iris reticulata Narcissus, Crocus and dozens of other spring gems. The pops of colour they bring really brighten up the days as they slowy get longer. 

With a new bank holiday behind us and longer days ahead it really feels as though spring has sprung in the Midlands!

Our volunteers once again need to be given credit for their trojan efforts. If anyone is interested in volunteering at RHSI Bellefield please email

Gardening in February: A Month of Preparation and Planning

As winter starts to come to an end, February is the perfect time to start preparing for the upcoming gardening season. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, there are plenty of tasks to do this month to get your garden ready for spring. .....Click here to read more

Spring containers for a shady spot

A shady area in your garden doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beauty of spring flowers. Container gardening is a great way to bring color to your shady space, and with the right plants, containers, and care, you can create a stunning display that will brighten your days.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Choose a container: Select a container that is the right size for your space and has good drainage holes. Terra cotta, wood, 

......Click here to read more


Hellebores, also known as Lenten Roses, are a beautiful and low-maintenance addition to any spring garden. These perennials belong to the Ranunculaceae family and are native to Europe and Asia. They are prized for their long-lasting, attractive flowers that bloom in shades of pink, purple, yellow, and white.

In the garden, Hellebores prefer a moist but ......Click here to read more

Magnolia Week (Walks and Talks) 2023

This year ‘Magnolia Week’ is a new event at the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, Kilmacurragh, running from March 6th to 11th. The week features daily fixtures; the release of videos on our YouTube channel and guided walks highlighting the many magnolias throughout the gardens.

Highlights of the week include:

Friday 10th March at 2 pm. A guided walk led by Seamus O’Brien, Head Gardener at Kilmacurragh, and Jim Gardiner, author, international Magnolia expert and former Curator of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden at Wisley in Surrey, UK. Seamus and Jim will highlight their favourite magnolias, both young and old, relating their history and merits. If weather permits, Kilmacurragh’s famous Magnolia campbellii should be in bloom at the time.  Booking essential. No fee. 

Saturday 11th March at 2 pm. In the auditorium at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin. An illustrated lecture by Jim Gardiner, author, international Magnolia expert and former Curator of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden at Wisley in Surrey, UK
Title: Magnolia Introductions from the UK  and Europe and Collections of Excellence
Summary of lecture: The presentation will provide an overview of the Genus,highlighting the Individuals who have helped establish and shape these collections in Gardens.  Magnolia species and cultivars that have been raised and grown in them will be profiled enabling these gardens to be revered as gardens of excellence. 

Questions and answers relating to the talk will be taken by a panel after Jim’s lecture.Booking essential. No fee.

Northern Ireland Heritage Garden Trust

The Annual Spring Lecture
will take place on Tuesday 14th March 2023 at 7pm via ZOOM.
The speaker will be committee member Dr John McCullen and his title/subject will be
"Landscape, History and Management of the Phoenix Park 1880-1980"
which is also the title of his NEW BOOK.
Registration is Require
To Register for the Zoom Presentation please email
Or visit our web page
Joining Instruction will be sent a few days before the lecture to those who have pre-registered.
This is a FREE event however if you wish to support the work of the NIHGT you can make a donation by Bank Transfer:
Stirling Account ££££
Sort Code 95 0679      Account No. 70071994
Euro Account €€€€€
Sort Code 95 0679      Account No.90089737

What's on...

Hunting Brook Garden Snowdrops
Jimi has become obsessed about snow drops over the last few years and Hunting Brook is now home to over 500 different varieties!

The gardens will be open on the following dates for guided tours by Jimi of the snowdrop collection in February

Wednesday 15th 11am & 2pm
Friday 17th 11am & 2pm
Saturday 18th 10am & 12pm
Sunday 19th 10am & 12pm & 2pm

Guided tour €15
Click here for more info

Balbriggan and District Horticultural Society garden talk

Chris Heavey is giving a talk on plants with Spring interest using live plant material and also demonstrating how to do Air Layering.
The talk will take place on Thursday the 16th of February at 8:30 p.m. in the scouts Den market Green balbriggan.
Admission €4 which includes a cup of tea. There will also be a plant and seed swap and a raffle. 
AGM will take place on Thursday the 9th of February at 8 30pm in the scouts den market green Balbriggan. Everybody welcome. 

Letting Nature In – Listening to the rhythm of nature and capturing its essence in the designed landscape.

Date:     Saturday, 25th February 2023

Venue: Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Hotel Conference Centre 
Time:   Registration opens 8am.  Seminar 9am-5.30pm.


Something to watch...

Daffs at Blarney

Head Gardener Adam opens this year’s series with our daffodils which are putting on a spectacular display!

The Glebe House & Gardens - The Wildflower Meadow

The story of Knepp: A rewilding success..

The UK is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world, but the Knepp Estate in southern England is trying to change that. Over the past 20 years they have set about rewilding the estate, turning it from a degraded farm to a thriving wildlife habitat.
Copyright © 2023 Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland, All rights reserved.

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