The Sodshow, Garden Podcast

Garden Event: Carlow Garden Festival


carlow garden festival

This in from The always lovely Dee Sewell

Carlow Garden Festival Friday 25th July – Monday 4th August 2014

CAROL KLEIN of Gardeners’ World opens the 2014 Carlow Garden Festival as it returns with its best ever line-up, in this its 13th year. Featuring 15 celebrated garden experts over 11 days, the festival offers something to interest everyone from novice gardeners to garden connoisseurs, garden designers to nature lovers and grandparents to grandchildren.

all the info ye need to know on the full gig below….

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The Carlow Garden Festival is a wonderful opportunity for budding and experienced gardeners and nature lovers to obtain practical advice from a range of informative workshops while visiting the many beautiful gardens in the county. August is the perfect month for a gardening festival – gardens are in full bloom and with the majority of gardening work completed, it is the ideal time to relax, admire the work of others and make gardening plans for the coming months and year ahead.

This year families are well catered for with a Teddy Bears’ Picnic at Duckett’s Grove while Éanna Ní Lamhna’s River Walk along the Barrow will appeal to all. The creative side of gardening will be explored with a painting workshop at Kilgraney House and Herb Gardens and there are art galleries to enjoy at both Newtownbarry House and Gardens and Burtown House.

Carol Klein of Gardeners’ World heads the panel of gardening experts and opens the festival with her own experiences of “Life in a Cottage Garden” followed by a Q&A session on Friday, July 25th. Dermot O’ Neill, well known to viewers of RTĒ, is joined this year by acclaimed UK Financial Times columnist Robin Lane Fox, Seamus O’ Brien, Head Gardener at Kilmacurragh Gardens, Helen Dillon of the Dillon Garden, Paul Martin, RHS Hampton Court Gold Medal Winner, June Blake of June Blake’s Garden, Fionnuala Fallon of the Irish Times and Shirley Lanigan, author of “100 Best Gardens in Ireland” will also feature on the festival programme. Popular radio presenters and environmentalists Ēanna Ní Lamhna and Dick Warner deliver a range of entertaining environmental talks and workshops while Ross Hennessy and Marina Kesso cover all aspects of growing herbs and herbal remedies.

Visitors can also explore the Carlow Garden Trail, a collection of 18 different gardening attractions which feature two gardens in the surrounding counties of Kildare and Wexford. The trail includes great old gardens that have been lovingly restored and maintained throughout the years, and smaller gardens which are maturing beautifully with time, where visitors will enjoy guided tours, usually with the owner or head gardener. Award winning garden centres and forest parks complement the joy of a visit here.

Great value accommodation breaks along with details of the festival programme can be found at or alternatively ring Carlow Tourism on 059-9130411 for further details.

Friday 25th July 2014

Carol Klein at the Woodford Dolmen Hotel

Life in a Cottage Garden
Carol Klein will chronicle a year in her own Glebe Cottage Garden in Devon, as seen in the book and series “Life in a Cottage Garden”, followed by a chance to pick her brains with Q&A’s. Join Carol and members of the Carlow Garden Trail to launch the 2014 Carlow Garden Festival at this very special event. The Organisers are delighted to welcome Carol Klein to the Carlow Garden Festival for the first time. Carol is the popular presenter of Gardeners’ World and Open Gardens and author of many books including the bestselling “Grow Your Own Veg” and “Wild Flower: Nature’s Own to Garden Grown”.

Time: 7.30 p.m.
Venue: Woodford Dolmen Hotel, Kilkenny Road, Carlow
Admission: €24.50. Tickets available from Carlow Tourism t: 059-9130411, Delta Sensory Gardens t: 059-9143527 or Altamont Plant Sales t: 087-9822135. All major debit and credit cards accepted.
Woodford Dolmen Hotel special rates – 25th July €50 B&B p.p.s. €70 Dinner, Bed & Breakfast p.p.s.

Saturday 26th July

Dermot O’ Neill at Arboretum Home and Garden Heaven

Container Gardening
Container plants add versatility to gardens large and small, lending instant colour and providing a focal point. If you would love to plant garden containers but don’t know where to start, then Dermot O’ Neill will introduce you to its basic principles including planting and best container options.
Time: 12 noon FREE admission

Low maintenance gardening
This workshop covers all the important aspects of summer gardening including watering, grooming and summer pruning, pest control and much more. With Dermot’s valuable advice and tips you can ensure that your garden continues to look great from summer into autumn.
Time: 2.30 p.m. FREE admission

Tour of the Arboretum Inspirational Gardens
In a one hour tour of the Arboretum Inspirational Gardens, Dermot O’ Neill provides details of easy, low maintenance gardening schemes and solutions. A visit to this garden is a treat for the amateur or enthusiast who will enjoy seeing the themed planting and use of colour and texture.
Time: 3.30 p.m. FREE admission

Venue: Arboretum Home and Garden Heaven, Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow
Rachel’s Garden Cafe is open for snacks, light lunches and main meals.

Dermot O’Neill, author, presenter of RTE’s “Dermot’s Secret Garden” and editor of “Garden Heaven”, is one Ireland’s best loved gardening experts.

Sunday 27th July

Helen Dillon at Huntington Castle and Gardens

Garden History
The history of gardening is explored in this lecture using the formal gardens of Huntington Castle as a case study. View the 17th century parterre, ornamental lakes, fish ponds and Yew Tree Walk, one of the oldest in the country in the company of Helen Dillon, world renowned plants expert, broadcaster and garden author.
Time: 12 noon
Venue: Huntington Castle and Gardens, Clonegal, Co. Carlow
Admission: €5.
Tea rooms open for teas, light snacks and cakes. Tours of the castle available and children’s playground open.

Sunday 27th July

Helen Dillon at Newtownbarry House and Gardens

Garden Tour
Tour these charming gardens in the informative and entertaining company of Helen Dillon, covering everything from the lake to the Rose Garden and on to the recently renovated nineteenth century sunken garden.

Time: 2.30 p.m.
Venue: Newtownbarry House and Gardens, Bunclody, Co. Wexford
Admission: €5
Tea rooms open for tea, coffee and homemade scones and cakes. House tours also available.

Monday 28th July 2014

Paul Martin at Delta Sensory Gardens
Join Paul Martin, Gold Medal Winner RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, on a journey through the marvelous series of multi-sensory gardens, including the Celtic Walk, the formal Rose Garden, the Five Senses Garden, the Circle of Life, the Stolen Child Garden and his own award-winning garden designed for Bloom.

Time: 12 noon and 2.30 p.m
Venue: Delta Sensory Gardens, Strawhall Estate, Carlow.
Admission: €5.
Tea, coffee, lunch and snacks available in the on-site restaurant.

Tuesday, 29th July 2014

Seamus O’ Brien at Altamont Gardens and Altamont Plant Sales

Seamus O’ Brien will offer his unique insights into the enchanting gardens at Altamont Gardens. A gifted plantsman, O’ Brien is Curator of the National Botanic Gardens at Kilmacurragh and author of “In the Footsteps of Augustine Henry” which took him on plant hunting expeditions across China, Nepal, California, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.

Time: 11 a.m.
Venue: Altamont Gardens, Tullow, Co. Carlow
FREE admission
The Walled Garden Café, tucked away in the far corner of the old walled garden at Altamont provides comfort and refreshment in a beautiful and unusual setting. Features fresh roasted coffees, speciality teas, homemade cake, and simple, savoury fare.

Tuesday, 29th July 2014

Robin Lane Fox at Hardymount Gardens
Stroll through the delightful Hardymount Gardens with its herbaceous borders full of unusual plants, and on to the vegetable and fruit gardens and the great Spanish chestnut, accompanied by Robin Lane Fox, Financial Times garden columnist, Garden Master of New College, Oxford and author of “Better Gardening” and “Thoughtful Gardening”.
Round off the afternoon with a sumptuous afternoon tea featuring all kinds of delicious home baked goodies and sandwiches on the lawn of Hardymount Gardens.

Time: 2.30pm
Venue: Hardymount Gardens, Tullow, Co. Carlow.
Admission:  €10 to include afternoon tea on the lawn.

Wednesday, 30th July

Ross Hennessy and Marina Kesso at Kilgraney House & Herb Gardens

Growing Medicinal Herbs with Ross Hennessy of Blu Herbal and Bareroot Botanicals
This workshop covers the sowing, propagation, cuttings, caring, harvesting, drying and seed saving of medicinal plants including unusual herbs that can be grown in Ireland. There will be demonstrations on each of these aspects and an overview of the medicinal uses of the plants throughout.

Time: 2 – 4 p.m.
Venue: Kilgraney House & Herb Gardens, Kilgraney, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow
Admission:  €10 to include both talks (see below details of talk with Marina Kesso)

Making Herbal Remedies with Marina Kesso of Iona Herbal
This workshop covers 3-4 different remedies that can be easily made at home from home grown medicinal plants and Irish wild plants. There will be lots of demonstrations and tastings. The medicinal properties and uses of the herbs will be discussed at length including common conditions they treat.

Time: 4 – 5.30 p.m. Admission €10 for both talks.
Venue: Kilgraney House and Herb Gardens, Kilgraney, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow.
Thursday 31st July 2014

June Blake at Burtown House

June Blake, creator of the exciting, contemporary and varied June Blake’s Garden in Wicklow will escort you around the enticing gardens at Burtown which includes splendid herbaceous borders, shrubberies, a rock garden and a walled organic vegetable garden.

Time: 12 noon
Venue: Burtown House, Athy, Co. Kildare.
Admission: €10
The Gallery Café serves tea, coffee, snacks and light lunches from seasonal homegrown produce.

Thursday 31st July 2014

Matthew Jebb at Altamont Gardens and Altamont Plant Sales

The bewitching gardens of Altamont are the backdrop for a fascinating walk and talk led by Matthew Jebb, botanist, taxonomist and Director of the National Botanic Gardens. Matthew will point out many rare and unusual features associated with the gardens before finishing his talk at Altamont Plant Sales where he will pick out his top 10 plants which can be easily incorporated into your own garden.

Time: 2.30 p.m.
Venue: Altamont Gardens and Altamont Plant Sales, Tullow, Co. Carlow.
FREE admission.
The Walled Garden Café, tucked away in the far corner of the old walled garden at Altamont provides comfort and refreshment in a beautiful and unusual setting. Features fresh roasted coffees, speciality teas, homemade cake, and simple, savoury fare.

Thursday 31st July 2014

Art in the Garden with Gethyn Gibson at Kilgraney House & Herb Gardens

Take your pencils, pens and paints outside for an afternoon of exploration and sketching. Artist Gethyn Gibson is on hand to offer helpful advice and guide your brush and pen strokes. Event unsuitable for children.

Time: 2 – 6 p.m.
Venue: Kilgraney House and Herb Gardens, Kilgraney, Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow
Admission: Donation to charity welcomed.

Friday, 1st August 2014

Shirley Lanigan at Rathwood
Shirley Lanigan, garden journalist and author of “100 Best Gardens in Ireland”, shares her extensive garden know-how in two enlightening workshops.

All Year Interest in the Garden
Shirley gives new planting ideas for every corner of your garden to create year round interest while also providing all the information you need to keep your plants healthy. Pick up some new ideas and practical tips to ensure maximum impact and keep your garden looking its best all year round.

Time: 12 noon
Venue: Rathwood Home and Garden World, Tullow, Co. Carlow
FREE admission

Golden Rules for Buying Plants
Shirley introduces 10 golden rules for plant and vegetable purchases focusing on areas including soil composure, repotting, planting, watering and plant grouping.

Time: 2.30 p.m.
Venue: Rathwood Home and Garden World, Tullow, Co. Carlow
FREE admission
Country style restaurant with fresh, wholesome food and home baking.

Saturday 2nd August 2014

Dick Warner at Newtownbarry House and Gardens

Wander through the glorious grounds of Newtownbarry along with Dick Warner, environmentalist, broadcaster and Irish Garden columnist, as he highlights aspects of the natural habitat in lush woodlands and around the tranquil lake.

Time: 11.30 a.m.
Venue: Newtownbarry House and Gardens, Bunclody, Co. Wexford.
Admission: €5.
Tea Rooms open for tea, coffee and homemade scones and cakes. House tours also available.
Saturday 2nd August 2014

Dick Warner at Huntington Castle

Tree Trail
Explore the wonderful surroundings of Huntington Castle  and discover some rare and unusual trees, including the scenic avenue with its amazing lime tree collection, hickory, Siberian crab, buckeye chestnut, as well as the impressive Yew walk, with Dick Warner, acclaimed tree expert, as your guide.

Time: 2.30 p.m.
Huntington Castle, Clonegal, Co. Carlow.
Admission: €5.
Tea Rooms open for teas, snacks, etc. Tours of the castle available and children’s playground open.

Saturday 2nd August 2014

Éanna Ní Lamhna in Leighlinbridge

River Walk with Éanna Ní Lamhna
Éanna Ní Lamhna, environmentalist and RTE personality, leads a leisurely walk along the lovely banks of the River Barrow in Leighlinbridge, highlighting the history and heritage of this great river while identifying a wide variety of local flora and fauna. Éanna also provides practical, easy steps to garden for wildlife. Find out which plants attract songbirds, butterflies, frogs and other interesting wildlife.

Venue: Meet at the Garden of Remembrance, The Quay, Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow
Time: 3 p.m.
FREE admission

Sunday 3rd August

Duckett’s Grove Teddy Bear’s Picnic
Bring a rug and picnic and enjoy a fun day out for the whole family in Duckett’s Grove, a ruined gothic mansion dating to the 18th, 19th and early 20th century. Take Teddy and dress him in his Sunday best and win a prize. On hand will be a special Teddy Bear’s hospital where Teddy’s ailments are tended to with love and attention. All old, ill or torn teddy bears can be brought here to be mended and loved back to health. Face painting, together with teddy bears workshop, bouncy castle and games complete the line up for this fun packed afternoon.

This is a great opportunity to visit Duckett’s Grove Design – Craft and Gift Emporium, selling high quality artisan craft and also three individual craft workshops featuring products made on site by a jeweller, felter and stained glass artist. Take a glimpse into the past history of the Duckett family and enjoy self-guided tours of this fabulous ruined mansion which can be booked at Duckett’s Grove Design at a cost of €2 per person extra. Tea room on-site.

Time: 2-6 p.m.
Venue: Duckett’s Grove, Historic House and Walled Garden, near Carlow Town.
Admission: €5 per car

Monday 4th August

Fionnuala Fallon at Rathvilly Garden Centre
Fionnuala Fallon, Irish Times Gardening Columnist and author of “From The Ground Up”, offers her considerable expertise while delivering two informative workshops.

Summer maintenance and Top Ten Plants for August
Fionnuala chooses her top 10 plants for August that everybody should find room for in their gardens. Fionnuala also highlights key lessons for successful border and flowerbed planting including pruning, deadheading, second flowerings, delayed flowering, watering and feeding.

Time: 2.30 p.m.
Venue: Rathvilly Garden Centre (on N81), Rathvilly, Co. Carlow
FREE admission

Planning Flowerbeds and Borders/Health checking your plants
Heralding the changes of each new month, flowers provide seasonal variation in colour, form and texture. Fionnuala introduces key lessons for successful border and flower bed planting while also highlighting the importance of plant health checks to ensure a flourishing garden

Time: 4.00 p.m.
Venue: Rathvilly Garden Centre (on N81), Rathvilly, Co. Carlow
FREE admission



  1. Thanks Peter, appreciate the shout out 🙂

  2. Pingback: 2014 Carlow Garden Festival - lots to see, hear and do

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