Carlow Garden Festival

Carlow Garden Festival

Friday 27th July – Monday 6th August 2018

An exciting double bill line-up featuring Sarah Price, Creator of the London Olympic Gardens and Alan Gray, gardener at East Ruston Old Vicarage on 27th July opens the 2018 Carlow Garden Festival at Arboretum Home and Garden Heaven as it returns with its best ever programme.

Featuring 21 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.

Paul McDonnell at Altamont Gardens, Carlow Garden Festival 2017

The 2018 programme features an appealing mix of world-class UK gardeners combined with the very best of Irish garden broadcasters, writers and new trailblazers in Irish horticulture and garden design.

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. With gardens in full bloom and with the majority of gardening work completed, the festival is the ideal time to relax, admire the work of others and make gardening plans for the coming months and year ahead.

This year’s highlights will include a talk and workshop with UK gardener and TV personality, Carol Klein, on Sunday 5thAugust in the recently revamped Walled Gardens at Duckett’s Grove and promises to be a truly memorable gardening experience.

On Thursday 2ndAugust, Adam Frost, UK TV presenter and multi-gold medal winner at The Chelsea Flower Show will delight audiences with a talk at VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art in Carlow town.

Oliver Schurmann at Delta Sensory Gardens, Carlow Garden Festival 2017

Altamont Plant Sales offer visitors the chance to see both Chris Beardshaw, UK garden designer and TV and radio presenter, and Fergus Garrett, head gardener at Great Dixter Garden on Friday 3rdAugust. This is a rare opportunity to catch speakers of such high calibre in one venue, on the same day, at a very reasonable price of €35.

Leonie Cornelius, winner of RTĒ‘s Super Garden and the Mail on Sunday gardening columnist, pays a visit to Huntington Castle and Gardens on Saturday 28thJuly, and speaks about designing your dream garden and will also give an interesting garden tour in the afternoon.

John Anderson will make a welcome return to the festival with a talk at Delta Sensory Gardens on Monday 30thJuly while Stephen Anderton, broadcaster and the Times columnist makes his first appearance at the festival as he gives a talk at Hardymount Gardens on Tuesday 31stJuly. Another festival first is for Charles Dowding, author and innovator of No Dig Organic Growing who will give a talk and workshop at the beautiful Shankill Castle on Wednesday 1stAugust.

Mary Keenan at Newtownbarry House, Carlow Garden Festival 2017

New additions to the garden festival this year also include the knowledgeable Fiann Ó Nualláin, holistic gardener and gardening columnist with the Irish Examiner, Elma Fenton, garden designer and Gold Medal winner at Bloom Assumpta Broomfield, renowned and much admired Irish gardener, and Shirley Lanigan, author of Open Gardens of Ireland who are all due to impart their vast knowledge to audiences to the festival at various locations.

Festival favourites Dermot O’ Neill, well known to viewers of RTĒ, Helen Dillon world renowned plant expert and gardener, Jimi Blake of Huntington Brook Gardens and  Fionnuala Fallon of the Irish Times will also feature on the festival programme.

Another talented gardener participating in the Carlow Garden Festival is Seamus O’Brien, Head Gardener at Kilmacurragh Gardens, who visits Borris House and Demesne for a wonderful garden tour. OPW Tree Officer Cormac Downey promises an exciting journey through the historic setting of Altamont Gardens with its fine plant collections and ancient oak woodland.

Masterclass, Carlow Garden Festival 2017

Suitable for all the family, Wildtime – Woodland Fun and Forest School will lead a special nature walk along the magical setting of the River Barrow in Leighlinbridge. Prepare for your senses to be captivated and explore the flora, fauna, plants, animals and birds along the river.

Visitors can also explore the Carlow Garden Trail which 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 and on-line ticket bookings can be found at or alternatively ring Carlow Tourism on 059-9130411 for further details.