News updates 2020

Notice of cancellation of Russborough Plant Sale
Because of continuing crowd restrictions and the deferred lifting of Phase 4 of Covid-19 controls, Russborough estate have sadly decided to cancel the Plant Sale planned for 23 August in Russborough.  The RHSI fully understands and supports the decision made by the estate’s management team.
A sincere thank you to the many members who volunteered their time and assistance to the RHSI membership stand at the Plant Sale. While this event cannot take place, there will be other opportunities for members to actively engage with the Society.

We hope you are enjoying our newsletter and that we have offered some worthwhile reading while we all had so many restricted opportunities to enjoy our usual activities. Hopefully we can finally begin to resume normal activities this month.

We are delighted that the gardens that make up the RHSI Partner Garden Scheme are opening up gradually across the country with the usual safety guidelines.  We encourage all members to avail of this great opportunity to visit these amazing gardens now that travel restrictions have been lifted.  Before you set out on your visit, please check on to ensure that the gardens are open.

Russborough Plant Sale:
Russborough Estate is organising a Plant Sale on Sunday 23rd August, supported by the Irish Specialist Nurseries Association (ISNA).   Sadly, the RHSI very successful Summer Show held last year was cancelled for this year.   The RHSI has a long association with Russborough and we will have an Information stand at the event promoting RHSI membership.  We would appreciate volunteers to help on the day and we will be in contact with further details.  In the meantime, please save the date.

The RHSI and the Alpine Garden Society are happy once again to be co-authors of this week’s newsletter.

Many gardens are looking forward to reopening with social distancing on 3 June. RHSI Partner Gardens should send details of their proposed summer opening times to  for circulation to members.

We are delighted so many people are enjoying this newsletter. Thank you to all contributors, RHSI members, members of the IGPS and the AGS who together have made these last issues so interesting.

A special thanks to Mary Hackett who edited the last eight newsletters. Shirley Cullen has kindly agreed to edit the next newsletters.Thanks also to Catríona Moloney who prepares the mail chimp to members each week.

Please keep the articles coming to Your article may not be published immediately but we appreciate that you take the time to write.

The RHSI and the Alpine Garden Society are happy once again to be co-authors of this week’s newsletter.

Most nurseries, garden centers and farmers’ markets in the Republic of Ireland reopened this week.

Many gardens are looking forward to reopening to the public under controlled conditions on 3 June. RHSI partner gardens should contact the RHSI with details of upcoming events.

TJ Maher, of Patthana Garden in Kiltegan, Co Wicklow, has rescheduled his garden course which will now start at the end of July. Link here for details.

A revised list of ISNA plant fairs for 2020 is available. Link here.

The 2020 RHS Chelsea Flower Show is online until 23 May. Go to to experience the Show from your sofa.


Regretfully, the RHSI would like to confirm to members that all tours for 2020 are cancelled. A tour schedule for 2021 will be circulated at a later date. Refunds will be made for all bookings.

The RHSI and the Alpine Garden Society are happy to be co-authors of this week’s newsletter.

From Monday 18 May most nurseries, garden centers and farmers’ markets in the Republic of Ireland will reopen to the public.

As some members of both the RHSI and the AGS will continue to use on-line suppliers, this week’s email newsletter includes a list of garden centers, nurseries and flower growers offering online and mail-order sales. If your favorite nursery is not on this list, please let us know at Previous newsletters in this series have listed many of the excellent nurseries and growers serving Irish gardeners, north and south. All need your support now.

It is always good to pass on news of an Irish horticultural success and we are delighted to hear that Christopher White recently received his Harry Howarth Gold Medal for Dahlia ‘Aggie White’ being the best performing cultivar in the 2019 Leeds trials. The dahlia was named for Christopher’s mother. Congratulations to Christopher and greetings to Mrs White.

It can’t be quite the same but it is good to know that the 2020 RHS Chelsea Flower Show is going virtual. It will be online from 18 to 23 May. Go to to experience the Show from your sofa.

Bord Bia have released details of Bloom at Home 2020.

With the help of Bord Bia, we have updated the list of nurseries, garden centers and flower farms all over the island presently doing mail order, telephone or on-line business and this is being sent to members in the weekly email newsletter.  There are so many good nurseries and growers in Ireland and they could all use your support. So now and when things open up again, please remember local nurseries and give them your business.

The internet is an amazing resource for gardeners in lockdown. For anyone who missed Noel Kingsbury’s YouTube talk about Piet Oudolf, you can find it on Noel’s website. Highly recommended.

The Tea Time Talks on Zoom are also excellent. Annie Guilfoyle and Noel Kingsbury offer Master Classes in Gardening and Design.  As their classes cannot now go ahead, they have decided to hold Tea Time Talks every day, Monday to Friday, from 4.00pm until about 5.00pm.  They are subsequently posted on YouTube

Covid 19 Information: All RHSI activities are suspended until further notice

Veitch Memorial Medal awarded to John Anderson

Robert Myerscough

Yesterday the RHSI learnt with great pleasure that John Anderson has been awarded the Veitch Memorial Medal (VMM) by the RHS in London. The VMM is an international award honouring individuals for their exceptional involvement in the advancement of the science, art and practice of horticulture, and is the highest award the RHS can give to a horticulturalist, not born in Britain, or who resides outside the country. Our former Patron, Helen Dillon is one of the distinguished holders of the VMM.

Today, John is Keeper of the Gardens of Windsor Great Park. In awarding its medal, the RHS recognises that John Anderson has furthered the careers of many through sharing his expert plant knowledge, in addition to serving on the RHS Woody Plant Committee since 2007, formerly as Vice Chairman. John Anderson assumed the role of Keeper in June 2016 and has responsibility for 120 hectares across the Windsor Estate, including The Savill Garden and The Valley Gardens, as well as the private garden at Frogmore House.

Having studied at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, John’s professional career started at Mount Usher, in County Wicklow, where he was soon acknowledged as an outstanding plantsman and horticulturalist. From there he moved to the National Trust’s beautiful Inverewe Garden, on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands as head gardener. After a relatively brief time there, John moved south to Hampshire, and the magnificent Exbury Gardens, with responsibility for its 200-acre woodland garden, world-famous for the Rothschild collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees and shrubs.

John Anderson has been a long-time friend of the RHSI, and we are especially proud that this Irishman has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to horticulture in the United Kingdom, at the very highest levels.

Airfield Estate Gardens

Ballycommane Garden

Ballymaloe Cookery School

Ballyrobert Gardens

Bantry House and Garden

Bellefield House

Benvarden Garden

Birr Castle Garden

Blarney Castle and Gardens

Burtown House and Gardens

Colclough Walled Garden

Collon House

Coolaught Walled Garden

Coolwater Garden

Dower House

Festina Lente

Fota House – Victorian Working Garden

Gash Gardens

Glebe Gardens

Glenavon Japanese Garden

Hester Forde Garden – ‘Coosheen Garden’

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 Victorian Walled Garden

Lodge Park Walled Garden

Loughcrew Gardens

Mount Stewart House and Gardens

Mount Usher Gardens

Oakfield Park Gardens

Old Deanery Garden

Patthana Garden

Rothe House Museum and Garden

Rowallane Garden

Salthill Garden

Seaforde Gardens

Strokestown Park Gardens

Terra Nova Gardens

The Bay Garden

Tullynally Castle Gardens

Tyrrelstown House Garden

Woodville Walled Garden

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