Carlow Garden Festival Opens – We’re in for a treat!

July 26, 2014


Carlow Garden Festival Opens – We’re in for a treat!

Carol & Dee

Carlow Garden Festival has begun and what a fantastic way to open it with none other than the queen of plants-women, Carol Klein. If I gush a bit during this post I hope you’ll forgive me as having spent two days at local garden related events with another nine in store, it’s difficult not to!

Carlow Garden Festival Opens – We’re in for a treat!

Carol’s cat


The ballroom in the Woodford Dolman hotel in Carlow was packed with young and old who’d come to see and hear Carol talk about her cottage garden at Glebe House in Devon and we weren’t disappointed.

Carol is inspirational and so very down to earth and the way she talked us through her slides with her friendly Lancashire lilt clearly showed us all that her enthusiasm of plants and nature isn’t just for the telly.

Carol lives and breathes this lifestyle and her warmth and humour shone through. If anyone there hasn’t been watching Gardeners World up until now, I’m sure they all will be in future. Despite the exhausting schedule she found herself under since arriving in our county, Carol took the time to chat, sign books and autographs, as well as answer any questions thrown at her and have her photo taken with whoever requested one during the evening.

I enjoyed reading Irish Farmerette’s thoughts about the evening too which mirrored my own. It was also good to finally meet up with the younger horticulturists of Waterford IT as well as David Corscaddon of the Beyond The Wild Garden blog who I’m sure will be sharing his experiences of the evening and garden festival soon. Carlow Garden Festival Opens – We’re in for a treat!

Eileen O’Rourke, the extremely hardworking CEO of Carlow Tourism introduced Carol and admitted that even she has now begun incubating plants as a result of being amid so many beautiful gardens in Carlow. It’s hard not to take an interest when surrounded by so much inspiration.

Carlow Garden Festival Opens – We’re in for a treat!

Never mind the stretch limo when there’s a bench

Carlow Garden Festival Opens – We’re in for a treat!

Inspiration Garden at Arboretum

Which leads me to the first of the day time talks of the garden festival that took place at Arboretum Lifestyle and Garden Heaven, where Ireland’s very own Dermot O’Neill gave his tips on successful container gardening before giving a guided walk through the Inspiration Gardens. There’s a reason this garden centre has earned it’s Five Star rating and I’m not only proud to say I spent many weeks there under the guidance of plant experts Eamon Wall and Ger Heary undertaking my horticulture work experience, with over 70 people on their books, Arboretum is one of our largest local employers.

Carlow Garden Festival Opens – We’re in for a treat!

Dermot O’Neill talk at Arboretum during the 2014 Carlow Garden Festival

The garden centre itself is bursting with flowers, plants and trees of such good quality it’s difficult not to spend any money there and hours can be lost winding your way through all the pathways, gazing at the displays, trying to decide what and how to plant up your garden.

Carlow Garden Festival Opens – We’re in for a treat!


Not wanting to overload you with too much information now, I’ll be attending a few more talks and demos over the coming days, starting with Helen Dillon at Huntington Castle which I’m really looking forward to attending (click the link and you’ll see why).

I’ll keep you posted about what you can expect over the next few days if you decide to visit Carlow and its surrounding villages for this or future festivals.

Oh and before I forget to mention it, we still have two more competitions running this week. Take a look at the end of this post linked her for more information on those.

Have you visited any talks or gardens in Carlow? Are you planning to see what we have on offer here this year?


  • Reply Marian O'Mullane July 27, 2014 at 8:34 am

    This is the first time I have opened your blog/website. I just want to tell you that IT IS BEAUTIFUL….. I feel your passion and enthusiasm jump through the laptop at me. The mass of colour throughout the post is inspiring……. You have actually made my day and it’s only 8.30a.m.!!! GO YOU!!!

    • Reply greensideupveg July 27, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      Marian you’ve just made my day! I’ve just opened your comment and it was so lovely to read and I’m glad you find it inspiring. Hope you’re having a lovely summer and are able to spend some of it in gardens 🙂

  • Reply Denise Delany July 27, 2014 at 9:18 am

    So green fingered need another set of tools so I can leave gardening bag in the car, for club use.

    • Reply greensideupveg July 27, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      Denise, thanks for the comment we’ll ensure you’re in the draw 🙂

  • Reply Lorna July 27, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    I really enjoyed Carol’s talk – queen of plantswomen indeed. I won’t get to many of the gardens this week but am lucky to live in Carlow and can visit at more or less anytime. Huntingdon is another one that I haven’t been to in ages, I particularly love the walk by all the gnarled trees.

    • Reply greensideupveg July 27, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      Lorna I’d never visited Huntington Gardens and am bowled over by so much of it. Have heaps of photos and hope to dedicate a full post to it if they’re any good. The Yew walk is spectacular and didn’t even know it was there.

  • Reply Fancy visiting a garden this weekend? Here's a few ideas. August 1, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    […] written about the almost homely opening night with Carol Klein, which was followed by a trip the following day to Arboretum Lifestyle and Garden Heaven… give a talk about container gardening. There was no better a place for it as the garden centre was […]

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