Carlow Garden Festival – Gardens, Plants and Meeting Idols

Last weekend was one that was full of garden visits, great plants and meeting some of my gardening idols. All of this came thanks to the Carlow Garden Festival. The ten day festival sees some of the many gardens Carlow has to offer, hold special events and tours for the gardening public. I managed to get to a couple of the events and garden visits over the weekend with Paul Smyth, who you may know from his guest blog posts here on Beyond The Wild Garden.

The first event I went to was the launch of the festival, which saw the lovely Carol Klein give a talk about her cottage garden in England. I was in heaven with this talk becuase I love Carol! She is such a great plantsperson and I have loved watching her tv shows over the years. Not to mention flicking through her books that I have.

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Her talk was brilliant and she shared some great plants and stories with the hall full of garden lovers! The best part though was actually getting to meet her and getting a photo with her!! She is as lovely in person as she comes across on tv! And yes, as it was pointed out on twitter and instagram, she is small but was made look even smaller because myself and Paul are rather tall!

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At the same event I got to met the brilliant Irish gardener and plantsman Dermot O’Neill. This was an other highlight for me as I am a big fan of Dermots and also got a photo with him too! Not only did I get to meet these two great green fingered people but I also got to catch up with Dee from Greenside Up and the lovely Jane Donald who I worked with at The Irish Garden magazine on top of meeting some new people! Jane is below in the picture with myself, Paul and Dermot.

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My second day at the festival saw me visit a few of the many gardens the festival has to offer. I got to visit Altamont Gardens and also Kilgraney House. The day also saw a visit to the Arboretum Garden Centre where I caught the end of a talk by Dermot O’Neill. After the talk myself and Paul joined a rather big group of garden lovers for a guided tour of the centres Inspirational Gardens.

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The garden was designed on a former waste piece of land in the garden centre. It aims to inspire visitors on planting schemes and solutions and offers ideas that can be easily recreated at home. The garden is full of a great mix of flowers, shrubs, trees and fantastic art installations.

My few days at the Carlow Garden Festival were great and it has now become a key event that will be on my 2015 diary! Next year I will hopefully make a lot more of the events! There is still time though for you to get to some of the events this year. Make sure to check out its website for the remaining events.