The Patient Gardener

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Helen Dillon’s garden in Dublin left me feeling very perplexed.  It was one of the two gardens I had been really looking forward to visiting on my tour and I was surprised not to feel thrilled at the visit. The garden is well-known for its much photographed central pool/rill flanked with herbaceous borders.  You enter the garden via the house and find yourself looking down on the garden with the rill and… Read More

As with any tour of this type towards the end we found ourselves discussing which garden we had liked best.  I think for all of us it was hard to identify one garden that stood out above the others but different gardens had different elements that appealed to us.  For me the stand out planting was The Barn Garden at The Bay Garden in Co. Wexford. The Bay Garden belongs to Iain… Read More

Back to my trip to Ireland, day 4 saw us arrive at Kilmacurragh, Kilbride, Co Wicklow.  I have skipped ahead a little as I wanted to show you something other than private gardens. Kilmacurragh is the outpost for the Dublin Botanic Garden, just as Kew has Wakehurst Place.  It allows the botanic garden to grow plants it doesn’t have the right environment for in Dublin. The garden was one of the most… Read More

Jimi Blake is one of those passionate plants people whose enthusiasm is infectious.  You can’t help but smile as he almost bounces along telling you about his unusual ferns or his new fascination with bergenias.  Hunting Brook was the reason I booked myself on the trip last week.  I had seen it in magazines and followed Jimi on Facebook for the last year.  The vibrant colours and his ‘ignore the rule book’… Read More

I have just returned from a week visiting gardens around Dublin and Cork with a group of 22 led by Noel Kingsbury.  I was apprehensive at first as I went not knowing anyone but our small multinational group was incredibly friendly and fun and I would love to do another trip.  The main driver for booking the trip was to visit the gardens of June and her brother Jimi Blake and also… Read More