Lecture Series - Forty Shades of Green: The Gardens of Ireland

March 30, 2021

If you are unable to attend the live session, do not worry - all those who register will automatically be sent copies of the lecture to view in your own time (from around four hours after it takes place).

Ireland has been particularly blessed by Mother Nature – the fertile soil, mild climate and generous rainfall has allowed Irish horticulture to put down particularly firm roots. As a noted writer once put it “Irish gardens, like Irish people, are a little wild. It’s the moisture in the air.” This fecundity, aided by the warmth provided by the Gulf Stream, has helped create some of the most exciting gardens to be found in Europe, Ranging from historic landscapes to wild ‘romantic’ valleys and some of the iconic gardens of the twentieth century, this pair of webinars will be an entertaining and colourful introduction.

Formal to Informal: The Roots of Irish Gardening - Tuesday 13 April 2021
Few Irish gardens of note exist from before the late seventeenth century - formal and French in inspiration, Kilruddery survives in magnificent isolation. Gardening in the English style reached Ireland with the majestic landscape sweep of the Duke of Leinster’s ‘Demesne’ at Carton, followed by more wild, romantic and ‘picturesque’ landscapes inspired by the local scenery as at Powerscourt. As in neighbouring Britain, Irish gardeners benefitted from the extraordinary range of plants now arriving from all corners of the globe during the nineteenth century. Indeed, two of the most influential figures of the late Victorian gardening world bring us into the twentieth century: William Robinson who was Irish and for many the father of the ‘Arts & Crafts’ gardening style, and Augustine Henry, the great plant hunter, Scottish by birth, but Irish by adoption, to whom we owe so much.
Green & Orange or Orange & Blue: Gardens & Politics in Ireland - Tuesday 20 April 2021 
Early twentieth century gardening in Ireland often reflected the polarised nature of Irish society after World War I. Some ‘grandee’ gardens were on a massive scale, such as the iconic Mount Stewart in Co Down where Edith Londonderry’s garden elevated both personal and political references into high gardening art. Garnish Island in Bantry Bay was, it seems, a private refuge from the wild forces shaping the emergence of modern Ireland. Eventual economic stability transformed most aspects of Irish life, and horticulture has benefitted hugely as old gardens have been restored and a wealth of new gardens created, none more so than in Helen Dillon’s two marvellous gardens in Dublin, her first now a fading, if glorious memory, her new garden proof that her inspiration is undimmed. While some recent influential gardens have been lost, a new, younger generation of gardeners continue to work wonders – particularly the brother and sister pair of Jimi and June Blake, at Hunting Brook and Tinode in Co Wicklow.

Format for Lecture

Tom will give two one-hour illustrated lectures for £19.

You will not need to download any software and the lecture will work in any browser. For the best experience use a desktop or laptop - but it will also work on an iPad or similar tablet.

We hope you enjoy the lectures.


                    Register for Lectures - 13 & 20 April at 11am



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