Irish Garden Trails


Boyne Valley Garden Trail

Carlow Garden Trail

Connemara Garden Trail

Dublin Garden Trail

Donegal Garden Trail

Laois Garden Trai

National Garden Scheme- Northern Ireland…

National Trust for Northern Ireland

Secret Gardens of Sligo

West Cork Garden Trail

Gardens of Waterford

Wexford Garden Trail

Wicklow Gardens

Summer Garden Visits

That exciting season of garden visiting is upon us again! Time to start checking out the enormous selection of fabulous open gardens we have on our own doorsteps. There is little that can be more sensually pleasurable than losing oneself wandering around a garden on a summer’s afternoon. It is where we get inspiration and ideas for our own gardens too while supporting and encouraging the endeavours of our horticultural community. So whether you
are a busy weeder or perhaps simply an armchair enthusiast, be sure that Garden Visits are high on your agenda for the Summer!

Here are some tips to get you going….

RHSI Partner Gardens
Our absolute Number One tip! As an RHSI member you are entitled to free or half price entry to 56 superb gardens throughout the 32 counties. We are extremely grateful to their generous owners and would love you to visit and support them during the summer. Check out the Partner Gardens section on the RHSI website and you’ll realise that we have many of the finest gardens in the country in our scheme- and you have that special RHSI key!

RHSI Gardens
Regular open days for our wonderful newly acquired garden RHSI Bellefied in Co Offaly are announced on the Bulletin. And Russborough Walled Garden and Laurelmere in Marlay Park are hives of activity run by volunteers.

Heritage Ireland/ OPW
This is a comprehensive list of both historic sites and gardens. Go to and press search for Gardens. The vast number of these State owned gardens have free entry. Many of these magnificent gardens you may not even be aware of in your area. Time to investigate- you will be surprised.

Garden Trails
Many counties have a Garden Trail so Google eg Carlow Garden Trail. Great for holiday visiting away from your own county.

Various websites
Check ‘Gardens’ on the web tourism sites for individual counties, Discover Ireland, Trip Advisor, etc which all produce some garden lists to visit.

Garden Clubs
If you are a member of a garden club there will doubtless be some treasures lined up for you to visit. So put the dates in your diary NOW lest you forget! If you are not in a club, do check out our Garden Club section on the RHSI website and you may find one nearby to join.

THE IRISH GARDEN MAGAZINEGardens Open 2023 booklet.
The May edition of The Irish Garden magazine contains the additional booklet ‘Gardens Open 2023’ which is the excellent and absolute bible for instant information in a paper format. If you haven’t got it already do check your newsagent today ….if there are any left!

The Open Gardens of Ireland– guide book
And for in-depth garden background, there is simply no better guide than Shirley Lanigan’s book ‘The Open Gardens of Ireland’. First published in 2017, there is a new edition due out in 2024.

We need your help…

Volunteers are the heart and soul of our society, driving positive change and making a lasting impact on the lives of others. We are currently seeking individuals who are passionate about making a difference to join us in various roles. Whether you have a few hours to spare each week or are looking for a more long-term commitment, there are opportunities available for everyone.

If you have green fingers and time, consider volunteering at one of our gardens. Keeping our gardens in tip top shape is down to the tireless work and effort of our volunteers. Alternatively, if you have a talent for organizing events or coordinating projects, we would love to have you join our team as an event planner or project coordinator. Your skills will help us create memorable experiences and execute initiatives seamlessly.

If you have a flair for social media and digital communication, volunteering as a social media manager could be a great fit for you. You’ll have the opportunity to create engaging content, manage our social media platforms, and interact with our online community. Your skills in crafting compelling posts, scheduling content, and analyzing metrics will help us effectively share our mission, events, and success stories with a wider audience.

Another vital role is website development and maintenance. If you have experience in web design, coding, or content management systems, your expertise can greatly enhance our online presence. By volunteering as a website developer, you can contribute to creating an intuitive and visually appealing website that showcases RHSI work, highlights upcoming events, and provides valuable resources to our visitors.

For those who prefer working in an office environment, we have opportunities available for volunteers to assist with administrative and office duties. This may involve tasks such as data entry, organizing files, answering phone calls, or coordinating schedules. Your organizational skills and attention to detail will help ensure smooth operations and efficient management of day-to-day tasks.

No matter your skills or interests, there is a volunteer role that can align with your passion. By dedicating your time and energy to helping others, you will not only make a positive impact on their lives and benefit our socitey but also experience personal growth and fulfillment. Join our team of dedicated volunteers today and be a part of the transformative change we aim to create in our society.  Email us at

Together, we grow!


Hungry for Hostas

Hostas are a popular plant species known for their lush green leaves and delicate flowers. These plants are native to Asia and are often grown as ornamental plants in gardens and landscapes around the world. However, in Japan, hostas are also cultivated as a crop for their edible leaves, known as Urui.

Urui has been a traditional food in Japan for centuries and is still consumed in various forms today. The leaves are typically harvested in the early spring when they are young and tender, and are then boiled or stir-fried with other vegetables, tofu, or meat. Urui is known for its sweet and slightly bitter taste, and is rich in vitamins and minerals, making it a nutritious addition to any meal.

In contrast, in Ireland and many other parts of the world, hostas are primarily grown as ornamental plants. They are admired for their elegant foliage and are often used to add texture and color to gardens and landscapes. While there is no tradition of eating hostas in Ireland, some gardeners have recently begun to experiment with using hosta leaves in cooking.

In Japan, hostas are grown specifically for consumption, and farmers take great care to ensure that the plants are grown in a safe and sustainable way. Urui is an important part of Japanese cuisine and is celebrated for its unique flavor and nutritional value.

Overall, while hostas may be primarily known as an ornamental plant in Ireland and other parts of the world, they have a long history as a food crop in Japan. As more people become interested in sustainable and locally-sourced foods, it will be interesting to see if hostas become more widely recognized as a nutritious and tasty addition to the dinner table.

Urui, or hosta leaves, are a traditional Japanese ingredient that has been enjoyed for centuries. Here are two classic recipes that feature Urui:

Goma-ae is a traditional Japanese dish where vegetables are dressed with a sweet and savory sesame sauce. Urui is a popular vegetable for goma-ae, and it pairs well with the nutty flavor of sesame. Here’s a simple recipe for Urui Goma-ae:

1 bunch Urui (hosta furls), about 10-12 furls
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 tablespoon water

Remove the stems from the Urui furls and blanch them in boiling water for about 1-2 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan until fragrant and lightly browned. Grind the sesame seeds in a suribachi (Japanese mortar and pestle) or a food processor.

In a small saucepan, combine the ground sesame seeds, sugar, soy sauce, mirin, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and becomes glossy.

Toss the blanched Urui leaves with the sesame sauce and serve.

Nimono is a traditional Japanese simmered dish that features a variety of vegetables and protein cooked in a flavorful broth. Urui is a popular vegetable for nimono, and it adds a delicate flavor and texture to the dish. Here’s a simple recipe for Urui Nimono:


1 bunch Urui (hosta furls), about 10-12 leaves
1 cup dashi (Japanese broth)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt


Remove the stems from the Urui furls and cut the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
In a medium-sized pot, combine the dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Add the Urui leaves to the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the Urui leaves are tender and the flavors have melded together.
Serve the Urui Nimono hot or at room temperature.

These two classic Japanese recipes showcase the unique flavor and versatility of Urui, or hosta furls. Enjoy them as a part of a balanced and nutritious diet.


Invasive introduced plant species (IIPS)

The introduction of non-native plant species into Ireland’s ecosystems is a phenomenon that has occurred for centuries, but the frequency and impact of invasive introduced plant species (IIPS) have intensified in recent years. While some non-native plants have little impact on native ecosystems, others can cause significant ecological, economic, and social damage. This article will discuss the need to conserve endangered plants versus the dangers of introducing an invasive plant material in the context of Ireland.

IIPS are plants that have been introduced to an area outside of their natural range and have established themselves, often to the detriment of the local ecosystem. In Ireland, several non-native plant species have become invasive, including Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam, and rhododendron. These invasive plants can have a negative impact on native plant species, water quality, and wildlife habitats. For example, Japanese knotweed is a highly invasive plant that can grow up to 10cm per day, outcompete native vegetation, and damage infrastructure such as buildings, roads, and bridges. The spread of Himalayan balsam can displace native plants, increase erosion, and cause a decline in biodiversity.

One of the key arguments for the conservation of endangered plants in Ireland is their cultural and ecological significance. For example, the Killarney fern is a rare and endangered plant species found in the Killarney National Park, which has cultural significance as it was used in traditional medicine. Another example is the marsh saxifrage, a plant species that grows in Irish bogs and has been identified as a priority for conservation due to its high ecological value. By conserving these endangered plant species, Ireland can ensure the continued existence of unique cultural and ecological resources.

However, the introduction of non-native plant species can pose a significant threat to the conservation of endangered plants in Ireland. Invasive plants can outcompete native species for resources, such as sunlight, water, and nutrients, and may also have no natural predators or diseases to keep their populations in check. As a result, IIPS can rapidly colonize and dominate ecosystems, leading to the displacement or extinction of native plant species. This loss of biodiversity can have cascading effects on the ecosystem, including changes to soil quality, nutrient cycling, and the availability of resources for other species.

One example of the impact of IIPS on endangered plants in Ireland is the case of rhododendron. The non-native species has become invasive in many areas of Ireland, including the Killarney National Park. The dense canopy of rhododendron prevents light from reaching the forest floor, limiting the growth of native plant species such as the Killarney fern. The removal of rhododendron is a time-consuming and costly process, and failure to manage it could result in the loss of native plant species and biodiversity.

Conservation efforts are crucial for protecting endangered plants from the threats posed by IIPS in Ireland. These efforts may include the protection of natural habitats, the removal of IIPS, and the restoration of degraded ecosystems. Additionally, the prevention of the introduction of new IIPS is essential to minimizing the risk to endangered plant species. This can be achieved through the regulation of trade and the enforcement of biosecurity measures, such as the inspection of imported plants and seeds.

In conclusion, while the conservation of endangered plants in Ireland is essential, it must be balanced against the risks posed by the introduction of non-native plant species. The impact of IIPS on native ecosystems can be severe, leading to the displacement or extinction of native plant species and the loss of biodiversity. Therefore, it is important to implement measures to prevent the introduction of new IIPS, as well as to remove and manage existing IIPS. By doing so, Ireland can protect endangered plant species and the ecosystems on which they depend.

Delicious Dandelions

Taraxacum, commonly known as dandelion, is a flowering plant native to Europe and Asia. Although often considered a pesky weed, dandelion has a long history of use in traditional medicine and culinary practices. From its leaves to its roots, dandelion is a nutrient-rich plant that offers a wide range of health benefits.

Nutritional Benefits of Dandelion:

Dandelion is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals such as iron, calcium, and potassium. It is also rich in antioxidants and contains compounds such as flavonoids and polyphenols that can help reduce inflammation and improve digestion.

Medicinal Benefits of Dandelion:

Supports liver health: Dandelion contains compounds that can help improve liver function by promoting the production of bile and reducing inflammation.

Helps with digestion: Dandelion can aid in digestion by increasing the production of digestive enzymes and promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria.

Reduces inflammation: The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in dandelion can help reduce inflammation in the body, which may help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Supports immune function: Dandelion contains compounds that can help stimulate the immune system and reduce the risk of infections.

My favourite recipe

Salade de pissenlits aux lardons

Salade de pissenlits aux lardons, also known as Dandelion salad with bacon, is a classic French dish that is both flavorful and satisfying. It’s a simple salad made with Dandelion leaves, crispy bacon lardons, and a warm vinaigrette dressing. The dish is popular in the region of Lyon, where it is often served as a side dish or appetizer.


2 handfuls of young Dandelion leaves

6-8 slices bacon

1 shallot, chopped

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Wash and dry the dandelion leaves and tear into bite-sized pieces. Arrange in a large salad bowl.

Cut the bacon slices into small pieces and cook in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

In the same skillet, add the chopped shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.

Add the red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and olive oil to the skillet. Whisk until well combined, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the warm dressing over the leaves and toss to coat.

Sprinkle the bacon lardons over the top of the salad and serve immediately.


To make the salad more filling, you can add sliced hard-boiled eggs, croutons, or grated cheese.

The warm vinaigrette is what makes this salad so special, so be sure to serve it immediately after tossing with the dressing.

Benefits of Salade de Pissenlits aux Lardons:

Dandelion leaves are a good source of vitamin A, K and vitamin C, as well as fiber and antioxidants. Bacon lardons are high in protein and add a smoky flavor to the salad. The dressing is made with heart-healthy olive oil, which is rich in monounsaturated fats and can help lower cholesterol levels.

Salade de pissenlits aux lardons is a delicious and simple salad that is perfect for any occasion. It’s easy to make, and the warm vinaigrette dressing adds a unique touch to the dish. So next time you’re looking for a quick and satisfying meal, try making this classic French salad at home.

Art of Floriography for Mother’s Day

Floriography, also known as the language of flowers, is the art of communicating through the symbolic meaning of different flowers. This practice dates back centuries, and it has been used to express a wide range of emotions, from love and friendship to grief and sympathy. Flowers have been an integral part of human culture, and they hold a special place in our hearts, especially when it comes to celebrating important events like Mother’s Day.

Here are some of the most popular flowers and their meanings for Mother’s Day:
Roses are a classic symbol of love, and they are a perfect way to show how much you care. Pink roses symbolize gratitude and appreciation, while red roses represent deep love and respect.

Clematis is a beautiful flower that symbolizes ingenuity, beauty, and creativity. It comes in a variety of colours, from pink to purple to white, and each shade has its own unique meaning. Giving clematis flower on Mother’s Day is a great way to show her how much you admire her creativity and unique perspective on life.

Carnations are a traditional flower for Mother’s Day, and they come in a variety of colours, each with its own unique meaning. Pink carnations symbolize a mother’s love, while white carnations represent purity and innocence.

Lilies are elegant and timeless, and they symbolize beauty and grace. White lilies are often associated with motherhood, and they represent a mother’s purity and devotion.

Daisies are cheerful and bright, and they symbolize innocence and purity. They are a perfect way to show your mother how much joy she brings to your life.

Peonies are a symbol of good fortune and prosperity, and they represent a happy and fulfilled life.

Tulips are a symbol of perfect love, and they represent the bond between a mother and her child. They come in many colours, and each shade has a different meaning, from pink tulips for affection to red tulips for true love.

Daffodils are a symbol of new beginnings and fresh starts, making them a perfect flower to give your mother on Mother’s Day. They represent hope, optimism, and joy, and they are a reminder that even in difficult times, there is always a reason to smile. Yellow daffodils are especially fitting for Mother’s Day, as they symbolize respect, love, and compassion, all qualities that are synonymous with motherhood.

Flowers have the power to evoke emotions and convey messages that words sometimes fail to express. This Mother’s Day, consider giving your mother a bouquet of flowers that hold a special meaning for both of you.

Or why not consider giving her the gift of gardening…. Our membership will give her 12 months of interest. It’s a beautiful way to show her how much you care, and to express your gratitude for all the love and support she has given you over the years. Click here to purchase a gift membership.


Grow Lights

Grow lights are artificial light sources that are designed to provide the specific spectrum of light that plants need to grow and thrive. They are commonly used in horticulture to supplement natural light, particularly in situations where natural light is insufficient or unavailable.

There are several types of grow lights available, including fluorescent, LED, and high-intensity discharge (HID) lights. Each type of light offers its own set of benefits and drawbacks, and the best choice will depend on factors like the size and type of plants, the available space, and the budget.
Fluorescent lights are a popular choice for indoor gardeners because they are relatively inexpensive and energy-efficient. They are also cool to the touch, which means they can be placed closer to the plants without causing damage. However, they are not as bright as other types of grow lights, and they may not be sufficient for plants that require high light intensity.
LED lights are another popular option because they are very energy-efficient and can last for many years. They are also very versatile, offering a wide range of light spectrums that can be customized to the needs of specific plants. However, they can be more expensive than other types of grow lights, and some growers may find that they do not produce as much heat as they need.
HID lights are the brightest and most powerful of the grow lights, making them a good choice for larger or more demanding plants. However, they also generate a lot of heat, which means they may require additional cooling or ventilation to prevent damage to the plants or the light fixtures.

Here are some tips on how to use grow lights in horticulture:

Choose the right type of grow light: There are several types of grow lights available, including fluorescent, LED, and high-intensity discharge (HID) lights. LED lights are the most energy-efficient and offer a wide spectrum of light that is optimal for plant growth.
Determine the light requirements of your plants: Different plants have different light requirements, so it’s important to understand the needs of the plants you want to grow. For example, leafy greens like lettuce and spinach require less light than flowering plants like tomatoes and peppers.
Position the grow lights properly: Position the lights so they are the right distance from the plants. Too close and the plants can burn, while too far away and they won’t get enough light. A general rule of thumb is to place the lights about 6-12 inches above the plants, but this can vary depending on the type of light and the plant’s light requirements.
Use a timer: Set a timer to ensure that the plants get the right amount of light each day. Most plants require 12-16 hours of light per day, but again, this can vary depending on the type of plant.
Monitor the temperature: Grow lights can generate heat, which can be harmful to plants if it gets too hot. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature and adjust the distance between the lights and the plants or use a fan to circulate the air and lower the temperature.
Water and fertilize as usual: Plants grown under grow lights still need to be watered and fertilized according to their normal schedule. Be sure to check the moisture level of the soil and the nutrient levels regularly.

Grow lights can benefit growing seeds in several ways:

Provide consistent and reliable light: When growing seeds indoors, natural light can be unpredictable and unreliable. Grow lights provide a consistent source of light that can be controlled to ensure that the seeds are getting the light they need for optimal growth.
Accelerate germination: Grow lights can help seeds germinate faster by providing the ideal light spectrum and intensity that seeds need to sprout. This can help you get a head start on the growing season and produce healthy, strong plants.
Promote healthy growth: As seedlings start to grow, they need the right amount and spectrum of light to continue growing strong and healthy. Grow lights provide the right type of light to help seedlings develop strong stems and leaves, and can promote vigorous growth.
Extend growing season: By using grow lights, you can start growing seeds earlier in the year and extend the growing season beyond what is possible with natural light. This can be especially useful for gardeners in areas with shorter growing seasons or limited sunlight.

Overall, grow lights can be a valuable tool for anyone growing seeds indoors. They can provide consistent and reliable light, accelerate germination, promote healthy growth, and extend the growing season, all of which can help produce healthy, strong plants.

Foraging Spring Greens

Foraging for spring greens can be a fun and rewarding activity, but it’s important to be careful and knowledgeable about what you’re picking. Here are a few tips:
Research the plants: Before you go foraging, do some research to learn about the plants you’re looking for. Make sure you can identify them correctly, and learn about any potential lookalikes that could be dangerous.
Know where to look: Different plants grow in different environments, so it’s important to know where to look for the plants you’re interested in. For example, nettles and dandelions are often found in open fields and meadows, while wild garlic and wild leeks are often found in wooded areas.
Harvest sustainably: When foraging, it’s important to harvest in a sustainable way so that the plants can continue to grow and thrive. Only take what you need, and leave some behind for the next person or animal.
Avoid polluted areas: Be sure to avoid foraging in areas that may be polluted, such as along busy roads or near industrial sites.

Some common spring greens that can be locally foraged include nettles, dandelion greens, wild garlic, wild leeks, and chickweed. These greens can be used in a variety of dishes, such as salads, soups, and stir-fries.
Identifying wild edible plants can be challenging, but with proper knowledge and guidance, it can be done safely.
Use books, websites, or apps that are reliable sources of information on wild edible plants. Make sure to cross-reference information from multiple sources to ensure accuracy.
Study the physical characteristics of the plants you want to identify, such as their leaves, flowers, and stems. Learn the key features that differentiate them from other plants, as well as their growing habits and habitats.
Observe the plants closely, and use all of your senses to help you identify them. Pay attention to their smell, taste, texture, and colour.
Begin by identifying plants that are easy to distinguish from others, such as dandelions, chickweed, and wild garlic. Once you become more confident in your identification skills, you can move on to more challenging plants.
If you’re not 100% sure about a plant’s identification, don’t eat it. Some plants can be toxic, and ingesting them can cause serious harm.

There are many ways to use spring greens in cooking. Here are some ideas:
Nettles: Nettles can be blanched to remove their sting, and then used like spinach in soups, stews, and pasta dishes. They can also be used to make pesto or dried for tea.
Dandelion greens: Dandelion greens can be added to salads, sautéed with garlic and olive oil, or used in soups and stews.
Wild garlic: Wild garlic can be used in place of regular garlic in recipes, or added to soups and stews for a mild garlic flavour.
Garlic Mustard: or Jack by the hedge is a common spring green used in sauces, with bread and butter and with lettuce in salads.
Chickweed: Chickweed can be used in salads, smoothies, or cooked like spinach.

When using foraged greens, it’s important to clean them thoroughly before using them in cooking. Rinse them well in cold water to remove any dirt or insects. Additionally, it’s important to only forage for plants that you’re absolutely sure are safe to eat, as some plants can be toxic.
Remember, foraging for wild edible plants requires knowledge, experience, and caution. Make sure to do your research, consult reliable resources, and follow proper safety protocols when identifying and harvesting wild edible plants.

Happy Hydrangeas

There are several different types of hydrangea, each with its own unique characteristics.

Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla): Also known as mophead or lacecap hydrangeas, these are the most popular type of hydrangea. They have large, round flower heads that can be blue, pink, purple, or white, depending on the pH of the soil. Examples include ‘Endless Summer’, ‘Nikko Blue’, and ‘All Summer Beauty’.
Panicle Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata): These hydrangeas have cone-shaped flower heads that can be white, pink, or red. They bloom on new wood, so they can be pruned back in late winter or early spring. Examples include ‘Limelight’, ‘Pinky Winky’, and ‘Quick Fire’.
Smooth Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens): These hydrangeas have large, round flower heads that can be white or pink. They also bloom on new wood, so they can be pruned back in late winter or early spring. Examples include ‘Annabelle’ and ‘Incrediball’.
Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia): These hydrangeas have cone-shaped flower heads that can be white or pink. They also have distinctive oak-shaped leaves that turn red in the fall. Examples include ‘Snow Queen’ and ‘Alice’.
Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris): This hydrangea is a vine that can climb up trees or walls. It has white, lacecap-like flower heads and grows well in shade. Examples include ‘Miranda’ and ‘Moonlight’.

Each type of hydrangea has its own care requirements, but here are some general growing tips:

Soil and Light: Hydrangeas prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. They also need adequate moisture and prefer partial shade to full sun. However, some types, such as panicle hydrangeas, can tolerate more sun.
Watering: Hydrangeas need regular watering, especially during hot, dry weather. Be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot.
Fertilizing: Hydrangeas benefit from regular fertilization. Use a balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Apply in early spring and again in mid-summer.
Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.
Winter Care: In colder gardens, protect hydrangeas from harsh winter winds and frost by covering them with burlap or a frost blanket.

The method of pruning hydrangeas in spring can vary depending on the type of hydrangea you have, so it’s important to research which type you have and how to care for it properly.

Here are some general guidelines:
Deadhead any spent blooms: Remove any dead or fading blooms by cutting back the stem to the nearest healthy set of leaves.
Cut back old wood: For hydrangeas that bloom on old wood (last season’s growth), such as mophead and lacecap hydrangeas, prune them back before new growth appears in spring. Cut back any dead or weak stems to the base of the plant, and trim back the remaining stems to the first healthy pair of buds.
Remove dead or damaged branches: Trim back any dead or damaged branches to the base of the plant.
Prune back new growth: For hydrangeas that bloom on new wood (this season’s growth), such as smooth hydrangeas and panicle hydrangeas, prune them back in late winter or early spring before new growth appears. Cut back the stems to the desired size, leaving at least two healthy buds on each stem.
Shape the plant: If you want to shape your hydrangea plant, prune it back to the desired size and shape after it finishes blooming in late summer or early autumn.
Remember to use sharp, clean pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant and in general, avoid pruning in the autumn, as this can remove flower buds for the following year.

Hydrangeas are a popular and beautiful flowering shrub that are easy to grow and maintain, making them a great choice for both beginner and experienced gardeners. With their large, colourful blooms that can last for several months, hydrangeas can add a splash of colour to any garden or landscape. With several different types to choose from, hydrangeas offer a variety of options to suit different growing conditions and preferences. Additionally, they are attractive to pollinators and can help create a wildlife-friendly garden. Overall, if you are looking for a low-maintenance, versatile, and visually stunning plant, hydrangeas are an excellent choice.

Airfield Estate Gardens

Ardan Garden

Ballintubbert Gardens and House

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Ballymaloe Cookery School

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Birr Castle Demesne

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Colclough Walled Garden

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Coolaught Walled Garden

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Gash Gardens

Glenarm Castle Walled Garden

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Hester Forde Garden – ‘Coosheen Garden’

Hunting Brook Gardens

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

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Loughcrew Gardens


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