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Carlow Garden Festival 2024

Expert advice, workshops, gardening displays and food fest events combine to make the Carlow Garden Festival one of Ireland’s finest annual garden festivals

The gardening paradise of County Carlow, best described as one county, one garden, will open its garden and castle gates to gardening enthusiasts for the Carlow Garden Festival at the end of July.

This annual festival, organised by the Carlow Garden Trail, and renowned as one of Ireland’s finest garden festivals, takes place from Saturday, 27th July until Sunday 4th August.

To gain a deeper understanding of the Carlow Garden Festival and experience the highlights from last year's vibrant event, please visit the link below.

Saturday, July 27th in Arboretum Home and Garden Heaven, Leighlinbridge

Talks by leading UK garden designers Alan Gray and Ann-Marie Powell

A special evening to mark the start of the 2024 Carlow Garden Festival. Embark on a journey through East Ruston Old Vicarage with renowned garden designer Alan Gray, and discover the magic behind its transformation from a blank canvas into what is regarded as one of England’s finest private gardens. Following this, the stage belongs to the acclaimed UK garden designer, Ann-Marie Powell, fresh from her win of the People’s Choice Award at RHS Chelsea. 

Her infectious enthusiasm for all things gardening is bound to captivate the audience. Delve into her world as she shares her profound insights in “A Passion for Plants – Ann-Marie Powell Opens her Garden Notebook,” promising an evening brimming with inspiration and botanical insights.

Expect lively discussions, anecdotes, and just a hint of humour!

Sunday, 28th July in Duckett's Grove

Arthur Parkinson at Duckett's Grove

Step into the enchanting world of Duckett’s Grove Historic House and Walled Gardens for a talk with bestselling author and UK gardening expert, Arthur Parkinson. Renowned for his book, “The Flower Yard,” Arthur brings a treasure trove of ideas and inspirations for gardening enthusiasts of all skill levels. Discover seasonal planting ideas and recommended varieties to spark creativity and create the perfect flower border.

Described by Sarah Raven, whom he regularly works for, as “intensely creative” and heralded as one of the most influential new voices in UK gardening, this talk focuses on Arthur’s wealth of knowledge and flair as he shares his expertise on creating vibrant and ever-changing outdoor spaces. His insights from the creation of Emma Bridgewater’s raised bed garden at her pottery in Stroke-on-Trent will also form part of the talk.

Arthur unveils the secrets to curating a flower garden that thrives through the seasons, sharing his top plant varieties and innovative planting techniques designed to maximise beauty in your own outdoor space. Whether you’re an experienced gardener looking to elevate your gardening space or a novice, eager to learn more about flower gardening, this talk promises a wealth of knowledge to spark your creativity.

Friday 2nd August in Altamont Plant Sales

Celebrated landscape architect and recent gold medal winner at the Chelsea Flower Show, Tom Stuart-Smith makes his first, eagerly awaited visit to the Carlow Garden Festival. Tom’s talk details his extensive experience designing public gardens that invite and inspire visitors.

Over the last decade, Tom has crafted numerous notable gardens around the world, each with a unique story and purpose. From the serene Le Jardin Secret in the heart of Marrakech to the contemporary elegance of the Hepworth Wakefield Garden in Yorkshire, Tom’s designs exemplify how public gardens can be both beautiful and accessible. During his talk, Tom explores the key elements that contribute to a successful public garden, sharing insights on the intricate balance between aesthetic appeal and functional space.

In addition to his renowned public projects, Tom discusses The Serge Hill Project, a community initiative he and his wife, Dr. Sue Stuart-Smith, have passionately developed. Central to this project is The Plant Library, a horticultural resource aimed at fostering community engagement and education through gardening. Tom sheds light on the project’s goals, the challenges faced, and the inspiring outcomes of creating a shared green space that brings people together.

Travelling to Carlow from Dublin Airport

Expressway, Bus Éireann’s premium coach service, provides direct and regular services on over 15 routes throughout Ireland. Expressway operates Route 4 from Carlow to Dublin City/Dublin Airport and Waterford serving Carlow Town (Barrack Street), South East Technological University SETU (main entrance), Leighlinbridge Cross (R448 Fuel Station) and Royal Oak near Bagenalstown (near Slip Road). Full timetable available on Expressway offers the ease and savings of purchasing tickets online to reduce the last minute hassle of buying tickets. Bus tickets can also be purchased when boarding any of the Expressway coaches between the main service centres.

Carlow is also served by a number of other routes operated by Bus Éireann. A modern fleet of comfortable coaches offers a cost-effective alternative to the hassle and stress of accessing increasingly restricted car parking and busy town centres. A majority of routes provide hourly services for timely travel to wherever you need to go. Their routes allow travel to major airports around the country in luxury with extra comfort leather seats, while you stay connected with on-board FREE wi-fi. Full timetable available on

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