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16 October 2014
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Autumn 2001
  Armchair Gardening

Video: Gavin's Irish Gardens
Video review by Trevor Edwards
1 July '02

Gavin's Irish GardensDiarmuid best known for his unconventional garden designs on TV programmes such as Homefront in the Garden and Homefront Inside Out returns to his native Ireland to reflect on the question What is an Irish Garden? This is the question he patiently explores in this personal journey through some of Ireland’s most beautiful gardens. From the formal splendour of Powerscourt, to a tiny rock garden in County Clare, the wide variety of gardens featured include the well-known and the unknown, the formal and the informal, the old and the new, the large and the small, the serious and the fun.

Although I adore watching TV gardening programmes the thought of purchasing a garden video would previously not have appealed to me UNTIL NOW! While watching this video not only did I find myself challenged by the question of "What is an Irish Garden" but also excited and inspired by the many lovely gardens which are in effect on our doorstep. I found myself resolving to visit many of the gardens in the near future.

The video features many fabulous gardens including the following to name but a few:

  • Our own and much loved Mountstewart, Co. Down built in the 1920’s the home of Lady Londonderry now under the stewardship of the National Trust.
  • An fear gorta a cottage style garden on a Rock base in a very natural surrounding in Co. Clare.
  • Lorna McMahon’s rocky garden with a delightful stream in Ardcarraig Co. Galway In this garden we can see inspiring before and after shots of the garden restoration.
  • Esther Maloney’s garden of Ballindooling House, Co. Kildare has been restored under the directorship of Finola Reid of the Great Gardens of Ireland Restoration Scheme. Interesting this is one of 22 Irish gardens to have received assistance from this organisation!
  • Derreen, Co. Kerry is a typical Robinsonian style of garden design – is it a typical Irish Garden?
  • Glendale in Rathfarnum Co. Dublin is a refreshing, suburban garden which according to its owner Noelle Ann Curran is "constantly under change".
  • Glanleam, Valentia Island in Co. Kerry was started c1832 is now owned by Meta Kreissig who intriguingly refers to her "war against nature"

I agree with the comment that is made that many of the great gardens in Ireland are similar to the great gardens of England and that an Irish garden didn’t exist until recently! I wonder if some of the new gardens featured will become Great Irish gardens of the future? Diarmuid concludes by saying, "he recognises an Irish garden when he sees it but he is not sure he can tell us what it is!

I can confidently recommend this inspiring and enchanting 52-minute video exploration of Irish Gardens that can easily be visited by many of us. Go for it & Enjoy!

Video Gavin's Irish Gardens
Available from ( or telephone number 01752 333900.
Price £15.99 (Including delivery)



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