One of the wettest and most benign places to garden on earth, Ireland (Éire) is cradled by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, so in its gardens you will often find surprisingly tropical-style planting. Many of Ireland and Northern Ireland's famous gardens surround historic castles but there are also wonderful contemporary gardens as well as many private garden open during the spring and summer months.

Garden Travel Guide to Ireland (Éire)


 – written by Chantelle Leenstra, Garden Atelier, and Catherine Stewart, GardenWriter


NOTE: Although Northern Ireland is separate to Ireland and part of the UK, it is included in this guide as, from a garden tourist’s perspective, Ireland and Northern Ireland would be considered together for travel purposes.


Why Ireland is a wonderful place to visit gardens

Older Irish gardens often contain many historic and horticultural treasures, as the country has a rich history and was also a hotbed for planthunters in the day. There’s follies and fancies a plenty, stately homes of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy, glens and gullies that sew themselves so well into the surrounding environment that you can barely detect that they’ve been designed by a person, productive edible gardens and contemporary gardens trumpeting Ireland’s horticultural savvy with joy and dynamism.

You’ll also find several privately owned castle gardens in Ireland which have survived the changing times and indeed are flourishing thanks to embracing a healthy commercial spirit; sometimes mashing together several ideas to attract a broader range of visitors. Luckily at many of these places such as Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre which is still run by the Earl of Rosse (aka the Parsons family), this has been carried out with care so as to not undermine the spirit of the gardens.



Climate of Ireland

If you’ve never been to Ireland before, you’re probably envisaging gardens growing somehow, despite the extreme weather right? Well, not quite! Despite being at the same latitude as the pine forests of Siberia and prairies of Canada, Ireland has a mild, moist climate capable of hosting plants from regions as diverse as the subarctic regions through to the subtropics. A bit like Yunnan in China, Ireland is blessed with an unusual confluence of good fortune that’s practically heaven for plants.

This fortune comes thanks to the Gulf Stream, or North Atlantic Drift; the tail end of which wraps around this lucky country. In several spots, things are practically balmy – such as Garnish Island, Malahide Castle and Dereen, accounting for the flourishing of especially tropical species in these locations. Across Ireland though, tourists are often surprised by the presence of ‘palm’ trees. While these are actually extremely hardy New Zealand cordylines, you do find a range of subtropical species growing in areas of Ireland including Australian tree ferns and Japanese bananas. However cool climate plants such as Rhododendrons are still very much in their element across the country. And even cooler climate plants can flourish in areas such as Burren in County Clare, which is on a 365 square km limestone plateau carpeted with alpine flowers such as gentians, edelweiss and orchids.



Best Gardens to visit in Ireland and Northern Ireland


Best gardens to see in and around Dublin, and eastern Ireland


Dublin and environs

•   Dillon Garden – sadly, this garden is permanently CLOSED since September 2016 as it has been sold.


•   Iveagh/Everleagh Garden in St Stephen’s Green Park, Harcourt Street, Dublin – a hedgerow maze, lawns, rockeries and rooteries, fountains a cascade and grottos. Now the home of many live concerts and comedy festivals.


•   National Botanic Gardens – only 3 km from the centre of Dublin, this sixteen hectare garden contains the National Herbarium, 20 000 plants and historic wrought iron glasshouses. Entry is free and the gardens are open all year round, with a restaurant, exhibition centre and study hub from which courses for children and adults are run.


Gardens to visit in the eastern counties of Ireland

•  Altamonte Gardens, Co. Carlow – formal and informal gardens on sixteen hectares with lawns, sculpted yews, arboretum, bog garden, ice age glen and riverside walks. Entry is free.


•  Japanese Gardens at the Irish National Stud, Tully, Co. Kildare – this garden was designed by Japanese master horticulturist Tassa Eida and his son Minoru and attracts 150 000 visitors each year. The Japanese theme continues at this home of the Irish National Stud, with regular Ikebana workshops and the like.



•  Larchill Arcadian Garden, Kilkock, Co. Kildare – an ornamental farm and landscaped garden constructed in the 1750’s and later falling into a disrepair which was ironically its protector; as by the time the de las Casas family purchased the estate in 1994, they were able to restore this garden to its original, unadulterated glory without the confusion of sorting through past ‘improvements’ that some gardens endure progressively over time. Includes gothic follies, an artificial lake, farmyard, Ireland’s largest collection of rare breed livestock grazing the land, a wildflower meadow, and formal walled gardens.



•  Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford – gardens surrounding a 19th century castle designed by Daniel Robertson (who designed the gardens at Powerscourt) and now part of the Irish Agricultural Museum. A lovely established parkland, but gardens-wise some may find this garden less dynamic than other estates.


•  JF Kennedy Memorial Park and Arboretum, New Ross, Co. Wexford – 252 hectares encompassing 4500 species of trees and shrubs from all temperate regions of the world, and planted in botanical sequence. There are also 200 forest plots grouped by continent, a lake, and an Ericaceous garden with 500 different rhododendrons, azaleas and heathers, dwarf conifers, ground covers and climbing plants. Another feature is a road providing access and panoramic views at the summit of Slievecoiltia at 271m.


•  The Bay Garden, Camolin, Co. Wexford – created by Frances and Iain MacDonald since 1989, this grass and perennial garden is another recommendation of Jane Powers as an example of contemporary Irish garden design rooted in the traditions of late 20th and early 21st century Ireland.


•  Hunting Brook Gardens, Lamb Hill, Blessington, Co. Wicklow – designed around the remains of a Neolithic settlement complete with standing stones within the Wicklow Mountains, this garden is the work of horticultural hot-stuff Jimi Blake. An internationally renowned plant guru, Blake spends several months of the year travelling the world looking for new plants. The signature plant of the gardens is the birch-like Aralia echinocaulis, which he found in Hubei province in China, but it also features a Salvia Blake found in Australia in 1999 called ‘Jimi’s Good Red’, and Lysimachia barystachys ‘Hunting Brook’ with red stems which he also found in China. NB. Sister June Blake’s renowned garden is minutes away.



•  June Blake’s Garden, Tinode, Blessington, Co. Wicklow – a contemporary country garden and another essentially Irish garden recommended by Jane Powers, who commends June Blake for her ‘intelligent dynamism that transcends ordinary gardening’. NB. Brother Jimi Blake’s renowned garden is minutes away.



•  Corke Lodge, Bray, Co. Wicklow – architect Alfred Cochrane’s wildly theatrical garden with gothic ruins and shaggy topiary, this house and garden pioneered current trends in historical restoration of country houses.


•  Killruddery House and Garden, Bray, Co. Wicklow – a grand living, working house, with gardens and a farm. It has been home to sixteen generations of the Brabazon family, the garden’s creation going back to 1682. Today the grounds host weekend farmers markets, garden talks, a film festival and even the Hell and Back run every year. One of Monty Don’s top 10 favourite gardens in the world.


•   Mount Usher Gardens and Arboretum, Ashford, Co. Wicklow – Another of Monty Don’s top 10 favourite gardens like Killruddery, this garden includes 5000 species of plants, beautiful trees, shaded winding paths and a small pet cemetery, all with the powerful presence of the artfully manipulated River Vartry running through the site.


•   Powerscourt Estate Garden, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow – Ireland’s most visited garden, Powerscourt is 18ha of grandeur including an Italian garden, Japanese garden, pet cemetery and statuary, as well as Ireland’s highest waterfall. Just 35 mins from Dublin. Aspects of the original design date back to the 1740’s when architect Richard Cassels (of Leinster House fame) designed a series of terraces and a circular pool to set off the entrance to the Palladian mansion he created for Viscount Powerscourt. The garden entrance is now through the house, which has been transformed into a shopping complex and garden centre with Avoca’s Terrace Restaurant.



•   Victoria’s Way, Roundwood, Co. Wicklow – a unique nine hectare sculpture park created by owner Victor Langheld, who designs each piece before commissioning its creation in India. The tallest sculpture is almost 5m tall, and each sculpture is made of either black granite or bronze.



•   Loughcrew Estate Gardens, Oldcastle, Co. Meath – 2.5 hectares of 17th and 18th century gardens, encompassing St Oliver Plunkett’s family church and tower house, Ann Meldon Hugh sculptures, expansive lawns, an adventure centre, coffee shop, and organised walks.


•   Dunmore Country School, Co. Laois – a kitchen garden on a half acre block based on the traditional French ‘potager’ or country garden. Creators Isabelle and Tanguy de Toulgoët moved to Co Laois in 1995 and have since been producing almost all the vegetables and herbs they need each year onsite, where they also run regular horticulture courses. This is one of the gardens recommended by Irish garden powerhouse Jane Powers, for de Toulgoët’s ‘partly biodynamic, wholly organic and utterly French’ gardening style which she finds madly interesting.



Gardens to visit in the southern counties of Ireland


•  Mount Congreve, Kilmeaden, Co. Waterford – 28 hectares of intensively planted woodland and a 1.6ha walled garden. Over two thousand rhododendrons, six hundred camellias, six hundred conifers, three hundred Acer cultivars and two hundred and fifty climbers.


•  Kilfane Glen and Waterfall, Stoneen, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny – an upper garden surrounding the house (closed to the public) but where visitors can admire contemporary artworks commissioned by the Kilfane Trust, a woodland path and a romantic lower garden with a very sweet cottage orné with thatched roof, waterfall, hermit’s cave and meadow.


•  Rothe House and Garden, Parliament Street, Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny – this charming late 16th century garden was once the home of a wealthy merchant. The garden has been recreated from archeological evidence unearthed during 2008 showing the original garden layout and the seeds and pollen of plants that grew in the garden. Open daily.


Rothe House and Garden, Kilkenny, Ireland. Photo Ra Stewart
Rothe House and Garden, Kilkenny, Ireland. Photo Ra Stewart


•  Annes Grove Garden, Castletownroche (near Mallow) Co. Cork – set in a wooded limestone gorge, this quintessentially Irish, early 20th century garden has a great atmosphere of gothic romance. There are rhododendrons, a river garden, walled garden, wildflower meadow and lily pond, all with the River Awberg running through the gardens. Described as a ‘wild romantic glen’ and the only garden to be mentioned in Arthur Young’s Tour in Ireland published in 1776. NOTE: Annes Grove Gardens is currently closed (late 2016) due to storm damage and expected to reopen in late spring 2017.


•   Ballymaloe Cookery School Gardens, Shangarry, Co. Cork – a productive garden created on the bones of an early nineteenth century garden, this is the creation of Irish celebrity chef Darina Allen. Supplying ingredients for the cooking school, the grounds include a herb garden, fruit garden with peach, apricot and olive trees, a potager, a yew maze, water garden, arboretum, tree house and shell grotto. Guided garden tours available.


•  Bantry House and Garden, Bantry, Co. Cork – like Powerscourt, Mount Stewart and Kilruddery, Bantry House with all its drama and gorgeous views gives us a glimpse into the lifestyles of the Anglo-Irish wealthy ruling class of yesteryear. This garden can get misty – very atmospheric.


•  Blarney Castle and Gardens, Blarney, Co. Cork – includes a poison garden, fern garden with over eighty varieties of fern, ice house, arboretum and pinetum, herbaceous borders, bog garden with large groups of Gunnera manicata (arguably the plant species with the largest leaf in the world) and Irish Garden. Plus of course, that famous stone to kiss for the gift of eloquence!


Gunnera in the Blarney Castle Boardwalk & Water Garden. Photo Ra Stewart
Gunnera in the Blarney Castle Boardwalk & Water Garden. Photo Ra Stewart


•  Garnish Island Gardens (Inacullin Gardens), Garnish Island, near Glengariff, Co. Cork – described by the Irish Arts Review as ‘one of the most important gardens in Europe’. An island garden accessed by ferry, this is an Italianate Arts and Crafts garden created within a warm, humid microclimate. Within this walled garden there is an Italian tearoom and Grecian temple from which visitors can catch very fine views across the bay and toward the Caha Mountains on the mainland. The gardens include a Martello Tower dating from 1805, a Grecian Temple, clock tower and walled gardens. Take the Garnish Island Ferry from the Main Pier in Glengariff.


Garnish Island Inacullin Garden, Co. Cork. Photo Florian Fuchs
Garnish Island Inacullin Garden, Co. Cork. Photo Florian Fuchs


  Muckross House, Gardens and Traditional Farms, Killarney, Co. Kerry – 19th century Victorian house on the shores of Muckross Lake, surrounded by Killarney National Park. The extensive formal gardens were prepared for a visit by Queen Victoria in 1861. Later additions by the Bourn Vincent family include a Sunken Garden, Stream Garden, Rock Garden. The three fascinating Traditional Farms give an insight into agricultural practices through the ages.


Gardens to visit in the western counties of Ireland


•  Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre, Birr, Co. Offaly – this garden is home to an abundance of rare plants collected by the Earls of Rosse on their travels around the world over the last 150 years. It contains the world’s tallest box hedges, the world’s oldest suspension bridge, the first Dawn Cypress in Europe, over 2000 species of plants, rivers, a lake and waterfalls, not to mention some truly beautiful trees. Recent plant hunting expeditions by the current Earl and Countess include Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Iran, South Africa, New Zealand, China and Bhutan. Another great Irish garden recommended by June Powers.


•  Caher Bridge Garden, Ballyvaughn, Co. Clare – a gorgeous little 1 acre garden nestled around a restored riverside cottage on a site that used to be dense hazel and blackthorn scrub, and the design still blends sensitively into the surrounding environs. Plenty of unusual plants including large collections of snowdrops, daffodils, hostas, daylilies, crocosmia, woodland plants and ferns. Open by appointment only.


•  Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Bunratty, Co. Clare – built for the house in 1804, the this beautiful walled Regency garden is protected from westerly winds. Restored by the Great Gardens of Ireland Restoration Program, the planting reflects the way the garden would have been by the inhabitants.


Bunratty Castle and Folk Park Regency garden, Co. Clare. Photo Ra Stewart
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park Regency garden, Co. Clare. Photo Ra Stewart


•  Kylemore Abbey Walled Garden, Connemara, Co. Galway – a 3.5 hectare Victorian walled garden built 1867 – 1871, this garden is a popular favourite, with guided tours of the grounds and abbey, a gothic church, children’s play area and dining areas.


•  Brigit’s Garden (Gairdin Bhride), Roscahill, Co. Galway – a Celtic-inspired garden built by Jenny Beale and opened in 2004, with four separate seasonal gardens based on the festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasa and also incorporating environmental education. Designed by award-winning landscape designer Mary Reynolds.


•  Limericks People’s Park, Pery Square, Limerick City, Co. Limerick – a small but well loved city park with a café, playground, floral borders and statues, and a Sunday market.


•  Boyce’s Gardens, Loghill, Co. Limerick – award-winning gardens overlooking the River Shannon. Sunken garden, perennial borders, water garden and rockery, rose garden, edible garden, meditation garden, pergola walk, and artist’s studio. Open daily May-October.


•  Knockpatrick Gardens, Foynes, Co. Limerick – 100 year-old, 3 acre garden overlooking the River Shannon, now owned by Tim and Helen O’Brien. Garden rooms include large mature trees, pools and water features, roses, climbers, primula path. Open April to October.


•  Terra Nova Gardens, Dromin, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick – a half acre garden or woven pathways, colourful perennials, well-designed spaces and quiet green corners. Open March to mid September by appointment.



Gardens to visit in the northern counties of Ireland


•   Salthill Gardens – Mountcharles, Co.Donegal – a contemporary garden 180 metres from the sea, with an intimate atmosphere within 100 year old stone walls as well as lovely meadows. As Jane Powers describes the garden ‘The vernacular earthworks are an important part of this Donegal garden. There is a stone arch built onto the south-facing wall that backs one of the vegetable areas, so that you can sit in the shallow alcove and admire the dark, sumpruous corduroy of the ridges on the other side’.


•  Glenveagh Castle Garden – Churchill, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal – a late 19th century castellated mansion built as a hunting lodge with walled garden, Italian terrace and Tuscan garden and a lake. Startlingly beautiful walks can be taken through the remote wilderness of the National Park which juxtaposes nicely with the lushness of the gardens.


•   Oakfield Park, Raphoe, Co. Donegal – an 18th century restored deanery around which a 4.5km narrow gauge railway with diesel & steam train conveys passengers daily. The gardens encompass formal gardens, walled gardens, ponds, lakes, a lakeside Nymphaeum, tea rooms, heritage trees, sculptures, woodlands and extensive walks and trails.


•   Donegal Garden Trail – features over 25 private gardens open by appointment, as well as a selection of regularly open gardens during the spring-autumn season



Best Gardens to see in Northern Ireland


•   Mount Stewart, Co. Down, Northern Ireland – a grand, playful and witty garden imbued with a strong sense of its charismatic owner, Lady Edith Londonderry who took full advantage of the unusually mild climate of Strangford Lough to experiment to her heart’s content from 1921 onward. There are formal areas, wooded areas and lakeside paths lined with Rhododendrons, Irises and Gunneras. The walled garden includes a sunken garden based on a Gertrude Jekyll plan, shamrock garden, Italian garden, Spanish garden and Mairi garden. There are also 30m high Tasmanian Gums and endlessly climbing roses. One of Europe’s best, Mt Stewart also happens to be one of GardenDrum editor Catherine Stewart’s favourite gardens in the world. Allow a day to make your way around the garden.


Mount Stewart garden near Belfast, Northern Ireland
Mount Stewart garden near Belfast, Northern Ireland


•   Rowallane Garden, Saintfield, Co. Down – an informal plantsman’s garden featuring a walled garden, summer wildflower meadow filled with rare orchids, and pleasure grounds full of many rare and exotic specimens sent back from China and the Far East by plant hunters Ernest Wilson, George Forrest and Frank Kingdon-Ward. The design of the garden incorporates the natural landscape, effectively blurring the boundary between garden and nature and includes locally-bred cultivars of Viburnum, Hypericum and Chaenomeles. This garden also includes shrub roses, fuschias, Himalayan blue poppies (Meconopsis betonicifolia), and the national collection of large-flowered penstemons. The rock garden features a large outcrop of local rocks, as well as primulas, heather and dwarf shrubs. The rhododendrons and azaleas are also spectacular from mid-fall to late summer.


•  Castle Ward Garden, Strangford, Downpatrick, Co. Down – set around an extraordinary building that mashes classical and gothic architecture, the Sunken Garden is in Victorian style with formal garden beds.


•   Seaforde Garden, Co. Down – historical 18th century walled garden, restored during the 1970s. Hornbeam maze, National collection of Eucryphias, drifts of spring bulbs, tropical butterfly house. Open Monday-Saturday, Easter to end September.


•   Botanic Gardens, Belfast – established in 1828. Large rose garden, elegant curvilinear iron Palm House, Tropical Ravine (currently under restoration)


•   Glenmount, Dundonald (Belfast) – garden of Nick Burrows – a young, quirky and idiosyncratic garden around a 230 year-old farmhouse. Open May-September by appointment.


•   Ballyrobert Gardens, Ballyclare, Co Antrim – a RHS Partner Garden open daily March-October (except Sundays). Extensive plant collection, nursery, 6 acres of gardens carefully designed to blend into the surrounding countryside.


•   Richardson’s Walled Garden, Greenmount Campus, College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise, Antrim. Dating from the 1820s, this garden is part of the Horticulture Development Centrewhich has over 18 hectares of landscaped grounds


•   Glenarm Castle Walled Garden, Glenarm, Ballymena, Co Antrim. Open daily from St Patrick’s Day on 17 March to mid-October. Glenarm has one of Ireland’s oldest walled gardens. Spring bulbs, summer perennial borders, fountains and sculpture.


•   Benvardin Walled Garden, Dervock, Ballymoney, Co Antrim. 2 acre historical walled garden with kitchen garden, parterres, rose garden, orchard, vinery and hothouses. Open June-August (except Mondays)


•   Kilcoan Gardens, Islandmagee, Larne – open April-September, Wednesday-Sunday. Cottage garden, orchard, perennial beds, meadows, old rose collection, willow arch and prairie border.


•   Downhill Garden and Mussenden Temple, Downhill Demesne, Co. Derry – walled garden, forest trails and a stone temple built on the Bishop’s estate in 1785, right on the edge of a clifftop – a magical setting for a very beautiful building.


•   Florence Court Kitchen Garden, Enniskillen – 1930s style kitchen garden surrounding a Georgian-period home, maintained by the National Trust. Home of the ‘Florence Court Yew’, reputed to be the parent stock of all Ireland’s fastigiate yew trees. The nearby Crom Estate has two yews grown together (one male, one female) dating from the 17th century that forms one of Britain’s 50 Greatest Trees.


•  Ulster Garden Scheme – private gardens open during the May-August season. Some are open on selected dates, others by private appointment.


•  The Argory garden, Moy, Dungannon, Co. Armagh – 320 acre park-like estate surrounding an 1820s Irish gentry home. Spring bulbs, riverside walks, lime allée, courtyards.



Ireland and Northern Ireland Garden Festivals and Garden Shows


•   23rd Annual Sieve Bloom Walking Festival, 29 April – 1 May 2017. A sociable walking weekend with 6-13km walks exploring the flora and fauna of the Midlands with local guides, candlelit dinners, traditional Irish music and a walkers BBQ at the end on Saturday. Suitable for families.


•   Allianz Garden Show Ireland, early May. Located at Antrim Castle Gardens in Northern Ireland, this show includes a professional garden design competition with 20 entrants, garden talks including an appearance usually on the Saturday night by patron Monty Don, tea dances and jazz, exhibitors, a scarecrow avenue and edible gardens created by primary school children. A shuttle bus departs from Antrim town centre.


•   Antrim Garden trail, Northern Ireland, during May. Around 7 selected gardens are open during the festival


•   Bloom in the Park, early June (June Bank Holiday Weekend). This event was originally launched in 2007 by Irish government agency Bord Bia as a promotional vehicle for horticulture. Based on RHS Chelsea Flower Show and RHS Hampton Court Palace show formats, the fair stretches across 70 hectares in the heart of Phoenix Park in Dublin. Ireland’s largest horticulture, food and family festival, this aims to be more than a traditional garden show, bringing together world class Irish food, drink and horticulture industry. One can find Ireland’s top chefs and cooks giving food demonstrations, over 120 different Irish food and drink producers at stalls, full size garden designs displayed, sculptures, botanical art, craft displays, open farmyards and children’s entertainment.


•   Midlands Home and Garden Festival, July 2017. The largest garden festival in the midlands, this is located at the house lawn at Belvedere House in Co. Westmeath. There will be over 300 exhibitors with garden and home equipment, Dutch flower sellers, a continental food market, organic food village, dog agility and bee keeping displays, free seminars and fairy village for children.


•   Wicklow Garden Festival, April-September. Every summer, over 30 public and private gardens in county Wicklow (and neighbouring counties) open their doors to visitors. This celebration of Wicklow’s gardens includes guided tours, gardening workshops, arts and crafts and poetry reading.



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Book Review: Great Gardens of London

Helen Young

I’ve offered to write a review of this book, simply because I enjoyed it. Such books don’t always live up their hype but this is one I’m happy to add […]

Review: Why I don’t like Mayfield Water Garden

Catherine Stewart

Mayfield, a huge, private, cool-climate garden near Oberon in the NSW Central Tablelands has been described as “marvellous” and its public Water Garden a “masterpiece” and “magical“. I first saw greater Mayfield in 2010 and wasn’t that keen but thought it just needed maturation time.

The Living Eden: Madagascar’s Unique Flora and Fauna

Stephen Ryan

Join me and Craig Lidgerwood on this garden tour to explore Madagascar’s unique flora and fauna, exploring Madagascar’s rich and unique wildlife habitats, venturing into exquisite national parks and reserves ranging from […]

When your lawn is all at sea

Deryn Thorpe

Growing lawn in coastal gardens can be a struggle due to salty winds and sea spray, but consider the challenges of sustaining a healthy lawn on a ship in the […]

Ludwigsburg: one of the world’s best pumpkin festivals

Linda Green

The handful of varieties on a supermarket shelf is a fraction of those grown around the world, as you can see with the hundreds of different pumpkins displayed at the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival.

The High Line changes, and is changed by, New York

Kate Seddon

My first walk in the morning light was a revelation, moving from spontaneous vegetation and minimal intervention through striking contrasting swathes of native grasses, flowering shrubs and low ground covers

My challenge, the acceptance, and the Jardin du Bois du Puits

Andrew Davies

I contacted Catherine Stewart with a challenge: find me a garden to visit on my Normandy driving holiday. She said “It will cost you a shiraz”. My summer visit to the Jardins du Bois du Puits was well worth the red!

When cars and landscape collide


Porsche has been turning heads with this soaring new 25m 911 car sculpture by Gerry Judah outside its Porscheplatz headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

I kept my promise: garden skills to give independence in Vietnam

Don Thomson

After 5 years my promise to return to the DaNang orphanage in Vietnam with a plan to give these people gardening skills and then help find them a resort job has finally begun.

Garden travel – how do you temper your desire?

Helen Young

Garden travel starts with desire…you want ALL the beautiful gardens, exotic locations and intriguing local cultures. But I know that this desire is best satisfied when its balanced by restraint, as that’s what will give you the most holiday pleasure.

Wonder, delight & mystery: Australian Landscape Conference in review


The 2015 Australian Landscape Conference was memorable, with over 600 attendees following the input of landscape designers from overseas and Australia – all expert, energetic, upstanding deep thinkers.

River cruising and garden visiting in North America with Botanica

Judy Horton

When thinking of river cruising with garden visiting, most gardeners look to Europe but in September 2016 I will be hosting my second trip for Botanica up the rivers, lakes and canals that connect the USA and Canada.

Holiday with heliconias and hospitality in Colombia

Carla Black

For the last 20 years I’ve loved tramping Panamanian forests, looking for heliconias and marveling at the incredible diversity of humid tropical forests. Recently it’s become possible to get to know Colombian jungles, too

Stunning designer gardens at Auckland Garden DesignFest 2015

Rose Thodey

If you have been thinking of visiting New Zealand, don’t miss this one-off opportunity to see the work of some of our top designers in private gardens that bring out the best of Auckland’s iconic landscape

The Kiss: Gardening with Gustav

Tammy Schmitt

Have you ever seen a piece of art and imagined it as a garden? I am not a horticulturalist, garden designer or landscape architect. My only design experience comes from moving seventeen times in thirty four years and always having to cram my stuff into a new house

Chanticleer Garden, near Philadelphia PA

Amanda Mackinnon

Situated in the beautiful garden state of Pennsylvania, Chanticleer is described as “a pleasure garden.” Whilst I had a giggle over this somewhat quirky term, I must admit that I […]

Welcome to the world’s largest maze, in Fontanellato, Italy

Catherine Stewart

Welcome to the Masone Labyrinth (Labirinto della Masone) of Franco Maria Ricci in Fontanellato, near Parma, Italy. Covering 7 hectares (17 acres), it is the largest labyrinth in the world. Will you ever get out?

Book Review: ‘Lessons from Great Gardeners’


‘Lessons from Great Gardeners’ is an inviting book, profiling 40 ‘gardening icons’ – gardeners and garden designers. You will respond to their creative ideas and their passion for gardens, and learn from them.

Promenade du Paillon in Nice, France: A Public Open Space that Works!

Helen McKerral

Nice may be the playground of the rich and famous but, frankly, few Australians will be impressed by its most famous open space: a small, crowded, pebbly beach, oppressively hot on the day we visited. For me, the real attraction lay within the city.

Which gardens make your heart sing?

Janna Schreier

When I first took an interest in garden design, it was all about the look. Some combination of colours, textures and forms would jump out at me from a page […]

Macquarie Island cabbage at Tasmanian Botanic Gardens

Jennifer Stackhouse

On an already chilly day I made my way into the still colder environment of the Subantarctic Plant House in the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG) for a glimpse of the native vegetation of Macquarie Island.

Sa Pedra Arrubia: Maurizio Usai’s garden

Carlo Gabriele

Sometimes I just need to take a quick look at a garden to understand the personality of its owner. I don’t think it’s because I am particularly intuitive; it’s more that for some gardens the aim of the design is so clear and easy to interpret.

Henry James and his Lamb House garden

Susannah Fullerton

“I am hopeless about the garden, which I don’t know what to do with and shall never, never know – I am densely ignorant,” said Henry James, whose garden at Lamb House was both refuge and inspiration.

Singapore Botanic Gardens: 5 things to LOVE

Stephen Read

Singapore Botanic Gardens deserves its World Heritage Listing – for its economic botany, orchids, rainforest dipterocarps, dynamism, and its managing of change.

Northern Portugal: like Scotland with more sun

Alison Stewart

A June trip to the Serra d’Arga mountain region in northern Portugal, just south of the border with Spain, reminded me of one of the many pearls of wisdom to be found in Catherine Stewart’s blog postings for GardenDrum.

Whisper of stars: Daniel Spoerri garden

Carlo Gabriele

For a very special Italian sculpture garden, the Daniel Spoerri Garden in Tuscany shows a collection of artworks made specifically for him and his garden, flanked by mature plantings of oaks, chestnuts and olive trees.

A garden tour of Italy (Part 2)

Anne Latreille

Travelling in Italy, I am constantly surprised at the green planting that defines the gardens and the landscape. So much so that when colours crop up, they’re a kind of embroidery, something that focuses the eye

Sri Lanka garden tour: a piece of serendipity

Fiona Ogilvie

Sri Lanka is rich with tropical gardens that intertwine many influences, from local ayurvedic and spice gardens, temple and boulder gardens, and the British colonists’ love of gardening

Chelsea 2015: 10 things that caught my eye

Helen Young

What caught my eye at the Chelsea Flower Show 2015? From moss-covered lampshades to colourful potatoes and a must-have shell-covered pig seat, there really was something for everyone.

Astonishment and surprise: Tarots Garden

Carlo Gabriele

I have never seen anything that I can compare to the Tarots Garden: astonishment, surprise, and fascination are some of the feelings I felt exploring this 20,000 square meter Art […]

Chelsea 2015 Fresh: World Vision Garden

Helen Young

One of the Chelsea Flower Show 2015 gardens in the Fresh category that I loved was the ‘World Vision Garden: Grow Hope’, inspired by the beauty of Cambodia. It won a silver-gilt medal for

London’s ‘Sloane in Bloom’ 2015

Helen Young

In Sloane Square close to London’s Chelsea Flower Show, retailers compete annually in ‘Sloane in Bloom’, dressing their shops with glorious floral displays, this year themed ‘Fairytales’.

Gardens of southern Italy & the Amalfi Coast

Angus Stewart

One of my favourite garden tours visited southern Italy, from Rome south to the Amalfi Coast near Naples. Aside from the spectacular views, there is a surprising range of sub-tropical and temperate zone plants

South African garden at Chaumont sur Loire

Leon Kluge

When I opened the email last year asking me to be part of the Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden Festival (IGF), I just about fell off my chair, as it’s been on the top of my bucket list

Lights, Camera, BLOOM – and a win at Philly!

Leon Kluge

Arriving in freezing temperatures, Bayley LuuTomes and I could see this would be a show garden build like no other, but the Philadelphia Flower Show has been a bucket list show for me for a very long time.

The Brontës and their garden

Susannah Fullerton

“There is not a knoll of heather, not a branch of fern, not a young bilberry leaf, not a fluttering lark or linnet, but reminds me of her” wrote Charlotte Brontë, of sister Emily after her death.

Four favourite parks in Central West NSW

Stuart Read

Almost off the radar in terms of heritage listings at state or national level, yet uppermost in local communities’ minds and affections and emblems of regional pride as meeting places, […]

Boab trees of the Kimberley

Linda Green

The 4,000km drive from Perth to Darwin took us through Australia’s boab country, the Kimberley region, where each tree seems to have its life story etched into the distinctive swollen trunk.

Lessons from Italy’s summer windowboxes

Helen McKerral

Container gardening is challenging. Pots often require daily watering, especially on exposed, sunny windowsills. The window boxes of northern Italy’s offer up some handy tips for success

Sir Walter Scott and his Abbotsford garden

Susannah Fullerton

In 1811 Sir Walter Scott bought a small farm on the Tweed River in Scotland where he built the Scottish Baronial-styled ‘Abbotsford’, surrounded by gardens and picturesque grounds.

Review: Garden DesignFest tours

Chantelle Leenstra

Melbourne’s Garden DesignFest has been Australia’s premier open garden style event since 2004, giving public access to creative, elegant, quirky and pampered private gardens

La Trobe’s Cottage garden wins award!

Sandi Pullman

The Friends of La Trobe’s Cottage are a band of dedicated volunteers and who entered for the second time into the Victorian Community History Awards in the category Historical Interpretation.

Garden oddities – floral clocks

Silas Clifford-Smith

One of the horticultural oddities of the last century is the floral clock. A curious landscape design practice of the 20th C., floral clocks have a history that dates back to the 18th century.

Public parks will save our wildflowers

Angus Stewart

Australian designers are evolving a distinctively Australian style for our public parks that can solve the dilemmas of wildflower predictability and tourism damage

The terraced food gardens of Cinque Terre

Helen McKerral

Forget award-winning landscape design, perfectly pruned hedges or immaculate lawns – be inspired by the terraced food gardens of Cinque Terre in coastal northern Italy

The hunt for red wreath flowers…a WA treasure

Kath Bafile

The roads out from Geraldton in Western Australia are lit up in August with the dazzling wildflowers, drawing travellers from all over to a wildflower treasure hunt

Sleepless and Serene in Seattle

Angus Stewart

I had long harboured a desire to visit Seattle with a vague notion of a spectacular marine landscape against a backdrop of mountains and conifer forests. I found all of this as well as

Great Dixter: a manic masterpiece

Angus Stewart

I have long been fascinated by the work of the late British garden designer Christopher Lloyd. So it was with great anticipation that I recently visited his Great Dixter garden […]

Guilfoyle and his warm climate plants

Arno King

A few years ago, whilst researching Polyscias (commonly called Aralia) cultivars for a magazine article, I came across mention of their discovery and introduction by William Guilfoyle during his voyage […]

Wordsworth’s outdoor office at Rydal Mount

Susannah Fullerton

Wordsworth is of course familiar to all as one of the greatest of English poets, founder of the Romantic movement and Poet Laureate. What is less well known is that […]

Garden travel to broaden your mind

Stephen Ryan

I am about to jump on a plane and head off to France to lead a tour of gardens and châteaux of Normandy and the Loire Valley and if you […]

Rudyard Kipling and his garden

Susannah Fullerton

The first plants that Rudyard Kipling ever knew were exotic ones. He was born in India in 1865 and spent his first years surrounded by palms, mango and banana trees, […]

Tasmanian garden shopping

Jennifer Stackhouse

We’ve long harboured a desire to live in a beautiful house and garden in Tasmania. It seemed like a dream – not something that would actually ever happen – but […]

The romantic Garden of Ninfa, Italy

Jennifer Stackhouse

It was May and I was travelling through Italy enjoying a feast of gardens from Sorrento in the south to Lake Como on the north. That’s late spring in the […]

Botswana’s delicious Delta

Jane Griffiths

“I am the magic ingredient” is written on the back of the chef’s T shirt in the open plan kitchen at Xudum Lodge in the Okavango Delta. Beyond the kitchen, […]

Giverny, a ‘bucket list’ garden of flowers

Alice Spenser-Higgs

The list of 1001 Gardens to See Before You Die includes the Giverny garden of Claude Monet and it is truly one for the bucket list. For gardeners who love […]

Gardens & volcanoes in Costa Rica

Alison Stewart

It’s been a very, very wet and grey winter in the UK and we felt the need for some warmth and light, so in the first half of February we […]

A South American plant curiosity

Peter Whitehead

Whilst travelling in South America, we came across this intriguing plant by the name of Llareta – the Spanish name for the Yareta – Azorella compacta. It was highly conspicuous […]

Patagonian paradise

Peter Whitehead

We recently returned from an eight-week odyssey to South America – it was one of those ‘bucket list’ things that had been gestating for quite a while. Once the ‘retired’ […]

Bronze medallists

Stephen Ryan

Coloured foliage can certainly make a statement but like anything in the garden that isn’t green it can be overdone. Too many gold leaves can be glaring in strong sun […]

Water lily GIANTS at Longwood Gardens

Amanda Mackinnon

Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, USA is a sheer delight to visit. It’s one of those places that’s so good that it’s hard to pick a highlight. However, one of my […]

Morocco’s ‘Majorelle’ & Hotel La Mamounia

Linda Green

As I mentioned in my last post there were only two gardens that I really wanted to visit in Morocco, Jardin Majorelle and Hotel La Mamounia, both of which are […]

Getty’s Roman villa and garden, LA

Sandra Simpson

The ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, buried when Mt Vesuvius erupted in AD79, clearly made an impression on 19-year-old American J Paul Getty, soon to become an oil tycoon, when […]

Captain Cook’s ivy a worthy sailor

Matthew Popplewell

“Ambition leads me not only farther than any other man has been before me, but as far as I think it possible for man to go.” A quote by Captain […]

Gardening World Cup Japan 2013

Leon Kluge

Once again the USA, New Zealand, France, South Africa, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the UK and Malaysia were all represented this year at the prestigious Gardening World Cup held annually in […]

Longwood Gardens a garden Disneyworld

Amanda Mackinnon

The state of Pennsylvania in the USA is a treasure trove for horticulturists. With 30 public gardens within about an hour of the capital Philadelphia, it’s hard to know which […]

Green is the new black in Melbourne

Georgia Whyte

A few months ago I took one of my regular trips down to Melbourne to visit a close girlfriend who lives there. Over the three days I was there, I […]

Escape summer heat in New York’s parks

Anne Latreille

July in New York City. Extreme heat and humidity, heavy traffic, surging crowds. What to do? Where to go? Art galleries seemed a good choice, being air-conditioned. But I could […]

A country house in France – and garden

Margaret Cory

I have a friend who lives in France and she and her husband owned a beautiful, old, stone house in the Lot in south west France which they have just […]

Orchid fever

Ros Andrews

As a first time visitor to the Chelsea Flower Show in late May, I felt like a kid in a candy shop. So much to see in such a short […]

The floating gardens of London

Paul Urquhart

Twice a year, a unique barge community of barge gardens floating on the Thames is opened to the public to raise money for charity. Known as the Downings Road Moorings […]

Fountains, flowers (& storks) of Morocco

Linda Green

There were only two gardens that I wanted to visit when we went to Morocco, Jardin Marjorelle and the gardens of the hotel La Mamounia, both in Marrakesh. I’ll do […]

La Louve – a very special garden

Peter Whitehead

I was very fortunate to visit La Louve in early June this year when taking a Ross Tour to Paris and Provence. How lucky we were with a glorious sunny […]

Flowers on Crete

Stephen Ryan

The reason you haven’t heard from me for a while is that I’ve been travelling around the island of Crete for four weeks! (Well someone has to do it!) and […]

The succulent Karoo

Leon Kluge

Flying over the white snowy mountains of the western cape and looking down at one of the 7 new natural wonders of the world – Table Mountain, towering above Cape […]

A garden in Provence

Bernard Chapman

My partner and I decided to celebrate 35 years together by holidaying in Europe, mainly France. We had always wanted to see and smell the lavender fields of Provence during […]

Juan Grimm in harmony with nature

Warwick Forge

Everyone responds to the gardens of Juan Grimm – leading South American designer – and I often wonder at their beauty and the reasons for their success. It is in […]

Louisa Jones fell in love with France

Warwick Forge

Louisa Jones fell in love with France and Provence as a student in the late 1960s and lives there to this day. English friends said there were no important gardens in […]

Burle Marx’s other gardens

Paul Urquhart

Many of the gardens designed by Burle Marx have been demolished or languish under neglect but many are lovingly maintained. A few we can visit quite easily, more though are […]

Roberto Burle Marx’s private Sitio

Paul Urquhart

Roberto Burle Marx single-handedly changed the face of tropical garden design while introducing to the world a host of amazing indigenous Brazilian plants hitherto ignored by Brazilians. In the process […]

Of spice and tea

Jill Sinclair

As someone who came to the study of landscape history from a love of flowers and gardening, I write surprisingly little about horticulture. So, to make amends, this whole post […]

War and Peace

Julie Thomson

On a day when all manner of people turned out to publicly and conspicuously commemorate ANZAC Day, marching, singing, praying, dressing up in uniform, waving flags, wearing medals, beating drums, […]

That’s what gardeners do

Julie Thomson

You can always pick gardeners on holidays. They have these funny habits they indulge when they are away from their familiar terrain. I speak both of my own behaviour and […]

The ugliest plant in the world

Stephen Ryan

As you all probably know I’m a mad keen plant collector and within the constraints of climate and the size of my garden I want to grow as many different […]

Lonely trees

Linda Green

Do you ever see a tree and think “Where did you come from, where are your parents, how did you get here?”? I occasionally ponder these questions when I see […]

The Rock Garden at Chandigarh

Jill Sinclair

It started in 1965 as an illegal development on protected forest land. Its creator was inspired by Le Corbusier’s use of concrete in the city of Chandigarh, yet what he produced […]

Xylothek – a touching, reading adventure

Bernhard Feistel

As we can read in this forum or elsewhere, gardening from a distance is far from easy, if not mad; awkward to plan and yet full of surprises. Last week […]

The last place you’d look for passionfruit

Jennifer Stackhouse

My neighbour, artist Ros Goody, has the best crop of passionfruit ever this year, which is odd as her vine, possibly self-sown, grows under and around a jacaranda. It is […]

A Year (or two) in Kew

Tim Entwisle

As I prepare to leave London this week, I thought I’d reflect a little on my nearly two years at Kew, how I got here and why I’m leaving. A […]

World’s largest plant show

Amanda Mackinnon

Every year in north western Germany the worlds biggest plant show takes place. Essen, the 9th largest German city, plays host to over 1500 exhibitors from 40 different countries. They […]

Auckland to Ayrlies – with cocktails

Helen Young

Having been lucky enough to lead more than a dozen garden tours to various parts of Europe, Japan and Australasia over the last 10 years, I’ve recently returned from a […]

Giant squill is simply delightful, Madeira

Tim Entwisle

No I haven’t been to Madeira. But according to Greg Redwood, one of my colleagues here at Kew, I should go there rather than to (mainland) Portugal. This was in […]

Garden tour of Great Barrier Island, NZ

Rose Thodey

Last year I overdid it, positively gorged myself, on garden travel. But just after enjoying a wonderful weekend at the Melbourne Garden DesignFest in the middle of November, there was […]

Plant promenade in Paris

Tim Entwisle

At 10 metres above the ground, maybe 10 metres wide, nearly 5 kilometres long, and packed with trees, shrubs and views of Parisian streets, the Promenade plantée is a trend […]

New Zealand’s geothermal vegetation

Helen McKerral

During our recent holiday on New Zealand’s North Island, we saw ecosystems that were so different to South Australia’s landscapes that they seemed positively alien. The apparent darkness of a […]

Mama nature’s merge with architecture

Leon Kluge

Having to be on the filming location at 4.00am in the morning is not what I call fun, especially because I am not the most bubbly morning person, not at […]

You say Burma – I say Myanmar

Peter Whitehead

Hilary and I have just spent two blissful weeks of the second half of October in Myanmar and we are still dreaming about this amazing country. I guess everyone can […]

Nature’s leaf rainbow

Matthew Popplewell

Having returned from a whirlwind tour of the UK, few places could have left a more lasting impression than the wondrous colourful transition of the leaves and progression into a […]

Garden DesignFest is Design Feast

Catherine Stewart

I am smugly replete. What an amazing two full-on days of gardens. About 327 gardens all up I think, although maybe that was me feeling a little drunk on the […]

New Zealand native garden – Te Kainga Marire

Helen McKerral

One inner-city garden in New Plymouth, near Mt Taranaki on the west coast of New Zealand’s north isle, defies this English style. Te Kainga Marire is a native garden open to the public by appointment for a modest fee from September to April.

Monty Don’s French gardens

Jill Sinclair

One of my more exciting projects over the past few months has been providing consultancy advice to a forthcoming BBC TV programme on the history of French gardens, presented by […]

Western Australian wildflowers

Angus Stewart

The southwest corner of Western Australia is without doubt one of the world’s greatest spots for wildflowers, with visitors flocking from around the globe to see them. However, I’ve got […]

The GREAT baobabs of Madagascar

Leon Kluge

I find myself extremely fortunate to live so close by nature’s biggest wonderland – Madagascar! There is no place more strange, more unique, and best of all more exciting for […]

The James Bond garden tour

Tammy Schmitt

I recently popped over to Plant Postings to read about the amazing garden tour of Italy Beth is planning for herself and other bloggers. I just returned from a garden tour […]

The Loire Valley

Anne Latreille

Back home again after two weeks in France’s beautiful Loire Valley, its sights and sounds are still singing in my mind. Most of all I remember the ducks quacking gleefully as […]

Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay

Linda Green

When I last visited Singapore two years ago, the Gardens by the Bay which opened in June this year was just a building site but now it has been transformed […]

Pukeiti Gardens, New Zealand

Helen McKerral

The wonderful thing about being a gardener on vacation is that, no matter where you are in the world, you meet people who love plants. The climate may be different, […]

Celebrating the coconut

Amanda Mackinnon

Ask someone to think of a tropical island they’ll usually conjure up images of palm trees, white beaches and crystal clear waters. If you’ve been lucky enough to spend some […]

Chelsea 2012 review & retrospective

Paul Urquhart

Sometimes it is hard to crystallise your thoughts about an event especially when there is so much visual white noise around. I found that after visiting Chelsea 2012. I have […]

The heart & soul of America

Mary Gray

If you had to choose one place in the United States that you felt all Americans should visit, one landscape or landmark representative of the “American ethos”, what would it […]

Wilpena Pound

James Beattie

Over three hundred kilometres north of Adelaide in South Australia looms a mountain range with breathtaking natural beauty on a grand scale. As I sit here penning this blog to […]

Ornamental vegies at Villandry

Jennifer Stackhouse

Well it seems vegetables are hot. And, if they are colourful and ornamental, well they’re even hotter. If you want to see vegetables used to ornamental perfection, then I recommend a […]

Costa Rican gardens

Jan Hintze

Part of my trip to Central and South America a few weeks ago involved a quick trip to Costa Rica. We (a group who were attending the Heliconia Society International […]

My pilgrimage to Uluru

Catherine Stewart

What is it about a rock in the middle of a desert landscape that can create such a siren call? For years I’ve thought “I just have to go there”. I […]

Grand Cayman’s QEII Botanic Park

Jan Hintze

A few days ago I was on Grand Cayman Island, on my way to Panama for the Heliconia Society International Conference and my daughter took me to visit this garden. […]

Girl & boy hydrangea at Trebah Garden

Tim Entwisle

Trebah Garden is in the far west corner of Cornwall, half an hour or so by hedge-row lined roads from Falmouth (i.e. a couple of miles). ‘Trebah’ means house by the […]

A Mediterranean cottage garden

Alison Stewart

The British really do take their love of gardening with them when they move to other parts of the world. I’ve just come back from a short stay in the […]

Horticulturists in Ohio

Amanda Mackinnon

What do 10,000 horticulturists and a heatwave have in common? They can all be found in Columbus, Ohio each July. The OFA Short Course expo is considered the melting pot of […]

Singapore Garden Festival

Linda Green

There’s been a little run on garden festival reviews in GardenDrum lately but when I read that the Singapore Garden Festival is being held again this month I thought it […]

Peony paradise!

Peter Whitehead

I had promised Catherine a story about my incredible visit to the Peony Festival at Luoyang in central China in April this year. It’s a bit late, as I have […]

Real, or not? Dubai, Chelsea & Aalsmeer

Helen Young

Some things you see when you’re travelling are amusing or thought provoking, and it’s nice to have a blog like this to share them. I’m very lucky to lead a […]

Floriade 2012, Venlo, The Netherlands

Clare Bell

Having heard so much about Floriade in the Netherlands, I was keen to experience this world famous European garden event held every ten years and looking forward to two days soaking […]

Turning forests into trees into poems

Tim Entwisle

I’ve returned from my visit to Ionia, or at least the island of Chios, home of Homer and Mastic and once part of that Ancient Greek empire on the Aegean Sea. I […]

Bushwalk from Sullivan Rock to Mt Cooke

Linda Green

I recently went bushwalking in the Monadnock National Park, named for the huge granite rocks that have resisted erosion…

Basils – sacred and fragrant

Arno King

Over the weekend I purchased a Tulasi plant (Ocimum tenuifolium, prev O. sanctum) known as sacred, or holy basil. The plant is renowned as the most sacred of Indian plants…

International Garden Festival at Chateau de Chaumont

Linda Green

The International Garden Festival at Chateau de Chaumont in France's Loire valley should be on the 'bucket list'…

Tuna and other succulent fruit

Tim Entwisle

To avoid death you may eat a cactus but not a euphorbia. To avoid an irritating meal don't eat the prickly bits of either. Mostly it's the fruit of cacti that people eat…

An Indian Adventure

Peter Whitehead

I’ve been asked to write about our experiences (plus some plant info!) on our recent trip to India – this February 2012. Our third visit to India (it won’t be the last) and each time…

Subtle palette in winter’s woods

Maria von Brincken

I took a drive a few weeks ago up to the Catskills mountains in New York state. I hadn't driven there from Massachusetts before, although I realized I had been there before…

Snowy Mountains wildflowers

Angus Stewart

The wildflowers of the Snowy Mountains are truly one of Australia's great botanical treasures. During mid-summer the high plains around Mt. Kosciuszko are lit up…

No dogs but three dragons in the land of the spaghetti western

Tim Entwisle

Forget the dogs now it's all about dragons. Most of them have been slain but like Jurassic Park they rise again…

Island of Dogs

Tim Entwisle

The Guanche bred rather large and ferocious dogs on a cluster of islands one hundred kilometres west of Morocco, just under four hours flight from Gatwick…

Peruvian Roadsides

Jan Hintze

A few years ago, as part of the Heliconia Society International Conference, I went to Peru. I went a couple of weeks earlier with some friends…

Garden ghosts on Norfolk Island

Adam Woodhams

After a couple of recent visits to Norfolk Island, a sublime place sitting like an emerald jewel in the glistening, turquoise South Pacific 1,200 or so kilometres east…

The High Line of New York City

James Beattie

New York is a city that fires the imagination. This is probably because of NY’s reputation as one of the most cutting-edge cities in the world. Creativity…

Tasmanian garden tour

Anne Latreille

Just back from a week looking at gardens in Tasmania, I am trying to decipher my scribbled notes. But maybe I don’t need the notes to tell you about it. […]

Seeding Africa

Tim Entwisle

There are some 675 million hectares of forest in Africa, now. This forest (only one tenth of it primary natural forest these days) is being removed at the rate of […]

Ancient Parisian acacia has a crise d’identité

Tim Entwisle

Well at last I’m really ‘talking plants’. As regular readers know, Talking Plants ( is a blog devoted to plants and gardens, with an eye for the quirky or scientific, or […]

Loulou de la Falaise at Château de Chaumont

Linda Green

When I came across that familiar name in the obituary pages of the paper, Loulou de la Falaise I knew who she was. It’s not the sort of name that you could […]

Garden Stay

Klein Bosheuwel Guesthouse

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: South Africa - Western Cape

Highlights: Klein Bosheuwel has a beautiful established garden with roses and a large variety of flowers, shrubs, trees and winding paths...

Garden Stay

Tabu Bed and Breakfast, Cairns

Tabu Bed and Breakfast

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: Australia - Queensland

Highlights: ‘Tabu’ is located in the foot hills of Cairn’s rainforest in northern Queensland. An exclusive pavilion-style room (1 only), opens...

Garden Stay

Nursery Cottage in Ojai Valley, California

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: USA - California

Highlights: The cottage was built in 1927 and has been recently renovated. It is located at Australian Native Plants Nursery in...

Garden Tour

Royal Châteaux & Gardens in the Ile de France

Académie des Arts de Vivre

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: France - Paris and environs

Highlights: If you dream of exploring some of the world’s most enchanting gardens and castles in the countryside surrounding Paris, join...

Garden Stay

Owl Pen Cottage at Chapel House, Rydal NSW

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: Australia - NSW

Highlights: The Owl Pen is a rustic cottage, set in stunning 9 acre garden at Chapel House in the quaint rural...

Garden Stay

The Jungle Lodge, Mount Tomah NSW

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: Australia - NSW

Highlights: The Jungle Lodge is adjacent to the beautiful Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens at Mount Tomah in the World Heritage-listed Blue...

Garden Stay

Havelock House, Hawke's Bay

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: New Zealand - North Island

Highlights: Havelock House is a charming and stylish 4 star Bed and Breakfast, just 3 minutes from the attractive village of...

Garden Stay

Millgate House, Yorkshire

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: United Kingdom - Yorkshire

Highlights: Rise from a great night's sleep and look out over the sheltered, walled garden. After a delicious breakfast, wander on...

Garden Stay

Cedar Park Gardens, Rolleston, NZ

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: New Zealand - Canterbury, South Island

Highlights: Cedar Park Gardens is a delightful B&B, set in 1.5 acres of trees, perennials, shrubs and bulbs in a...

Garden Stay

Mandulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge Sri Lanka

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: Sri Lanka

Highlights: Open your front door to one of the most spectacular views imaginable – majestic mountains, lush green valleys and tea...

Garden Stay

Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Fujita Kanko

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: Japan - Tokyo

Highlights: Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo is a premium hotel surrounded by beautiful Meiji-era gardens, established in 1861. Featuring delights in every season...

Garden Tour

French Enlightenment Gardens

Académie des Arts de Vivre

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: France

Highlights: Join the Académie des Arts de Vivre (AAV) on this private tour of the enchanting late 18th century landscape gardens...

Garden Stay

Coucals Cottage, Queensland

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: Australia- Queensland

Highlights: Ideally situated only a 30 minute drive from Brisbane, Coucals Cottage offers a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom self-contained home surrounded...

Garden Tour

Loire Valley Garden Tour

Académie des Arts de Vivre

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: France

Highlights: If gardens are your passion, join the Académie des Arts de Vivre (AAV) on this enchanting Garden Tour through the...

Garden Tour

Celebrating Andre Le Nôtre, visionary landscape designer

Académie des Arts de Vivre

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: France - Paris and the Ile de France

Highlights: Andre Le Nôtre, was the visionary landscape designer who created the legendary gardens at Versailles for Louis XIV. His classical...

Garden Tour

Royal Châteaux & Gardens in the Ile de France

Académie des Arts de Vivre

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: France - Paris and environs

Highlights: If you dream of exploring some of the world’s most enchanting gardens and castles in the countryside surrounding Paris, join...

Garden Stay

Tudor Park Country Stay & Garden, Invercargill

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: New Zealand - South Island

Highlights: Set in twenty acres of the best fertile Southland farmland, this NZ Gardens Trust 'Garden of Significance' extends over three...

Garden Stay

Brickendon Colonial Farm Village Cottages

Brickendon Farm

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: Australia - Tasmania

Highlights: Brickendon Estate offers guests an extraordinary experience of staying on a World Heritage Site in an original convict built cottage...

Garden Stay

Hoshinoya Karuizawa

Hoshino Resorts

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: Japan - Nagano prefecture

Highlights: Hoshinoya Karuizawa is a secluded resort in Negano Prefecture, surrounded by mountains and forests only one hour from Tokyo by...

Garden Stay

Rosetta House, Durban

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: South Africa - KwaZulu-Natal

Highlights: Four luxury en-suite bedrooms (three with own entrance and patio) set in an established garden. All rooms are bright and...

Garden Stay

Bondi Beach Eco Garden, Sydney

Bondi Beach Eco Garden

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: Australia - NSW

Highlights: The Bondi Beach Eco Garden is nestled in the leafy quiet end of Hall Street, a short stroll from the...

Garden Stay

Southdown Cottages, Bowral

Southdown Cottages

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: Australia - NSW

Highlights: Southdown Cottages in and around Bowral in the beautiful NSW Southern Highlands offer 4 uniquely decorated self-contained cottages, accommodating 2-4...

Garden Stay

Redbrow Garden and Guesthouse, Murrumbateman

Redbrow Garden & Guesthouse

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: Australia - NSW

Highlights: Redbrow Garden be the place for you to relax, rejuvenate and unwind. Take an early morning bushwalk to hear the...

Garden Stay

The Boomerangs at Johanna

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: Australia - VIC

Highlights: Architecturally designed, The Boomerangs cottages blend with the natural surroundings. Birdlife is prolific and privacy is assured. There is nothing...

Garden Stay

Kamahi Cottage, Otorohanga

Kamahi Cottage

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: New Zealand - North Island

Highlights: Kamahi Cottage as a stress-free getaway for visitors and friends. If you're planning a honeymoon, special celebration or peaceful weekend...

Garden Stay

Chorleywood B&B, Burradoo

Chorleywood B&B Burradoo

When: Available on demand/by appointment

Countries: Australia - NSW

Highlights: Chorleywood B&B in Burradoo in the NSW Southern Highlands features 'Chorleywood', a spacious, detached, private cottage with its own entrance...