Partner Gardens in Co Wexford

We have a great selection of Partner Gardens for you to visit this summer in Co Wexford- our sunny South East!
Full information on each garden is on the Partner Garden section of the RHSI website……..

In the north of the county, two miles from Courtown Harbour is Glenavon Japanese
Garden. Centred around a wonderfully recreated Japanese pavilion, the garden features oriental styled planting, water gardens, little bridges, stone lanterns and sculptures. Further south at Clonroche is the lovely 2.5 acre cottage style Coolaught Garden surrounding a beautiful old farmhouse, The garden is divided into several areas with a great variety of planting combinations and a woodland area with many rare and unusual trees. A bonus- Coolaught has its own well stocked plant nursery!

Just south of Wexford town is Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum and Gardens.  Something for everyone here with ongoing restoration and development of the extensive 4 acre ornamental gardens and glasshouses, walks around the picturesque lake and a visit tothe Irish agricultural Museum.

In south Co Wexford, heading towards Waterford is Colclough Walled Garden. Next to Tintern Abbey, this beautiful 2.5 acre Georgian garden with its curved corners has been restored over the past 12 years and boasts a river with 5 bridges running through it. At Great Island, some 10km further on towards New Ross, is Kilmokea Country Manor and Gardens. This handsome former Georgian Rectory is surrounded by romantic old fashioned
flower gardens with topiary and clipped hedges and productive kitchen gardens and woodland areas. These gardens hold an Irish Heritage Garden certificate.

It is essential that you check with each garden directly before you visit. Either by phone/email or their own website. Several are strictly by appointment only. This contact information plus postcode directions are on the Partner Garden section of the RHSI website.
Free or reduced entry on presentation of current RHSI membership card
Enjoy your trip around Co Wexford!

Quiz Question #19

The picture shows two garden forks. The fork on the left is one that I use frequently in my general work
in the garden. Now you will note that the fork on the right, while roughly the same height, has a much
smaller head, a very elegantly crafted split wood handle, and some nice additions on the edges of the
handle. What is the fork and what was it used for ?

RHSI member Garden

Beautiful images of early summer in Geraldine Colleran’s Galway garden.

Gardening for Gorillas By Stephen Butler

The life of a zoo horticulturalist is no monkey business!

PRESS RELEASE – 25th May 2022

Gardening for Gorillas leads the reader down a densely planted path as Dublin Zoo transforms from its almost Victorian appearance to one of the world’s leading zoos and most popular visitor attractions which it is today.

Stephen Butler was fortunate during his 37 years of horticultural stewardship to be there to help usher out one era and commence another, with a progressive masterplan focusing on animal welfare and themed habitats that reflected the spirit of the animals’ natural homelands. Plants were instrumental in achieving this, from a visitors’ viewpoint, but primarily as animals also benefit from a well planted habitat, shade, shelter, and natural enrichment, which all make for improved health and wellbeing.

Every habitat saw specific and often unique challenges, especially when the work was near water. Stories of animal interactions with the plants, and insights into the creative thinking well beyond the scope of normal horticultural endeavor, make Gardening for Gorillas an entertaining read.
Native flora and fauna are included too, as dense naturalistic planting encourages insects and birds. Stephen’s all-consuming passion to get the plants to grow well, to accomplish the natural look, to achieve a better habitat for the animals, comes across on every page.

Gardening for Gorillas
 is more than just a gardening book however. The last chapter details many educational stories about plants, their names, their history, their origins, or their interesting and unusual botanical points, in particular any animal connections. There is something for everyone in these pages, irrespective of their gardening expertise.

Gardening for Gorillas
 is available from the Dublin Zoo Gift Shop and online via the Dublin Zoo Zootique online shop at for €35 plus postage. For orders outside of Ireland, please visit

Small Batch Elderflower Champagne

Taken from the excellent food blog by  Choclette @ Tin and Thyme

A delightful light floral bubbly drink made from foraged elder flowers. If you haven’t made elderflower champagne before, it’s definitely worth a go. A glass of chilled floral fizz on a summer’s day is so refreshing.
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
0 mins
Soaking & Brewing Time
15 d
Total Time
15 d 20 mins

1.5 litres water
150 g golden sugar – granulated or caster
1 lemon
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 elderflower heads

Boil the water and pour into a large glass or pottery bowl. Add the sugar and stir until it’s dissolved. Leave to cool to room temperature.
1.5 litres water,150 g golden sugar – granulated or caster
Cut the lemons in half, squeeze in the juice, then throw in the lemon halves. Don’t worry about any pips that go in. Add the vinegar and give a good stir.
1 lemon,1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Remove the flowers from the stalks and dunk them into the liquid. A fork works well for this. Alternatively, place the heads downwards so that the stems are poking up out of the water.
4 elderflower heads
Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave it to soak for twenty four hours.
Line a large sieve with a clean muslin cloth and sit it over a large clean jug. Ladle the liquid into the sieve to filter out the flowers, lemon and any other unwanted bits.
As soon as the jug is full decant the liquid into sterilised bottles, preferably those with screw cap lids. Leave a 3 cm gap at the top. Unless you have a steady hand, you might want to use a funnel to pour the liquid into the bottles. Continue to strain until it’s all bottled.
It’s important that you keep the lids loose at this stage. Carbon dioxide builds up quite quickly and the bottles might explode if the gas can’t escape. If you are using corks or flip tops, then open the bottles once a day to let the gas escape, then reseal. You can use plastic screw top bottles if you like, but I prefer glass, despite the possibility of explosions.
The elderflower champagne is ready to drink after two weeks. If you’re not going to drink it straight away, screw the lids down tightly. Store in a cool dark place and it should keep for several months. If it’s too warm the champagne may continue to ferment and you may end up with exploding bottles.
Produces about 1.8 litres. If you want to make more than this just double, triple or quadruple the ingredients.
Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They’re approximate and will depend on exact ingredients used.
Serving: 125ml | Calories: 51kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 12mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 13IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg

RHSI Partner Gardens

Are you planning a trip around County Cork during the summer?
You’ll be spoilt for choice with a range of ten Partner Gardens to visit in the county with free
or reduced entry for RHSI members.
Full information on each garden is on the Partner Garden Section of the RHSI website
but this may give you a flavour…..


Just 9km northwest of Cork city is Blarney, home of one of Ireland’s finest horticultural
gems- the extensive Blarney Castle Gardens surrounding the famous 600 year old castle.
So much to be seen in these magnificent constantly changing and evolving gardens.

Just east from the city in the village of Glounthaune is Hester Forde’s Coosheen Garden
with great design ideas for small gardens, containing an amazing collection of plants for its
size. Quite close by is the Victorian Working Garden at Fota House. This is a wonderful
European award winning restoration project- a beautiful garden with glasshouses, bothy
buildings etc.
Further east from Fota there is a selection of gardens to visit within a small region. The
beautiful old world gardens of the Old Deanery are near Cloyne with its walled garden,
stream garden and large magnolia collection. The lovely seaside garden of Seanabea is at
nearby Ballyshane with its winding paths, roses and herbaceous planting. And at
Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry you’ll find their fascinating series of different
gardens. Something for everyone!

The Glebe Gardens in Baltimore are gradually undergoing changes to be more
sustainable and also more manageable for their owners. Lots to be enjoyed on weekends in
July and September, particularly their beautiful and productive vegetable and cut-flower
gardens and courtyard area. (Groups by arrangement at other times)
Further west on the sea near the village of Durrus is Kilravock Garden – a beautifully
situated lush 1.7acre garden of both native and exotic specialist plants and trees. On the
Bantry side of Durrus is Ballycommane House and Garden with a wonderful variety of
garden rooms, old ruins, exotic plants and mature trees. And finally, the majestic Italianate
Bantry House and Gardens with formal gardens and stunning views out over Bantry Bay.
Travel and enjoy!

It is vital that you check with each garden directly before you visit. Either by
phone/email or their own website. Several are strictly by appointment only. This
contact information plus postcode directions are on the Partner Garden section of the
RHSI website.
Free or reduced entry on presentation of current RHSI membership card.

Airfield Estate Gardens

Ardan Garden

Ballintubbert Gardens and House

Ballycommane Garden

Ballyedmond Castle Garden

Ballymaloe Cookery School

Ballyrobert Gardens

Bantry House and Garden

Belvedere House Gardens & Park

Benvarden Garden

Birr Castle Demesne

Blarney Castle and Gardens

Burtown House and Gardens

Colclough Walled Garden

Collon House

Coolaught Walled Garden

Coolwater Garden

Dawros Gallery & Garden

Dower House

Dromana House and Gardens

Festina Lente

Fota House – Victorian Working Garden

Gash Gardens

Glenarm Castle Walled Garden

Glenavon Japanese Garden

Hester Forde Garden – ‘Coosheen Garden’

Hunting Brook Gardens

Irish National Stud and Gardens – The Japanese Gardens and St. Fiachra’s Garden

Johnstown Castle, Estate, Museum and Gardens

June Blake’s Garden

Kilfane Glen and Waterfall

Kilgar Gardens

Killruddery House and Gardens

Killyreagh Garden

Kilmokea Country Manor and Gardens

Kilravock Garden

Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden

Lodge Park Walled Garden

Loughcrew Gardens


Mount Stewart House and Gardens

Mount Usher Gardens

Oakfield Park

Old Deanery Garden

Patthana Garden

Rothe House Museum and Garden

Rowallane Garden

Salthill Garden

Seaforde Gardens

Seanabea Cottage


Strokestown Park Gardens

Tourin House & Gardens

Tullynally Castle Gardens

Tyrrelstown House Garden

Woodville Walled Garden

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