The Gardening Weekend at Renvyle House was a tremendous success and we'd like to take this opportunity to thank all our experts who took part in the weeekend all who brought interesting topics and practical solutions for both the experienced and beginner gardener with humour and great advice.
Klaus Laitenberger (Organic Gardener, Author & Lecturer),
Ange Gohlke (Head Gardener at Kylemore Abbey’s Victorian Walled Gardens)
and Special Guest Fionnuala Fallon (Journalist & Gardening expert)
Friday evening commenced with a welcome reception where our experts were introduced and the outline of the weekend was discussed. The weather was not wonderful but it did not deter the 80 strong gathering of keen gardeners in participating in the various outdoor praticals and the field trips to Kylemore Victorian Walled Gardens that were held over the weekend.
On Saturday morning we divided into two groups so that all would get a chance to have hands on experience. Group A travelled to meet up with head gardener, Ange in Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Gardens. Ange gave introduction and guided tour through the Victorian Walled Gardens of Kylemore Abbey. She then gave a demonstration of summer bedding sowing with different requirements in the restored glasshouse and how to successfully propagate cuttings and the secret of record keeping. She also took the group to the show them how to prune Espallier fruit trees.
Group B remained at Renvyle House where Klaus gave a presentation on an "Introduction to Growing Organic Vegetables" in a very informed and entertaining manner (we remembered a lot as a result!) Klaus also gave a "Seed Sowing Demonstration" and in his little book which has all the details you need for planting a successful vegetable garden (the key message was use quality seeds and you will need less of them for a good crop). The group then moved out of doors to show planting in raised beds. And in the afternoon group, Klaus gave a demonstration on the correct way to prune apple trees for good crops for years to come.
In the afternoon, both groups switched over. Upong returning to the hotel Fionnuala Fallon gave a great talk on "Irish Gardens and Gardeners" with beautiful photography by her husband Richard Johnston. She described how families relatively new to gardening picked it up very quickly and within a few years, on a little land, were able to have fresh produce over the seasons, for their families. Fionnuala also described the benefit of Community Gardens and indeed Gardens for schools as much of the modern population are losing touch with the earth.
After a delicious dinner cooked by Tim O'Sullivan and his team on Saturday night there was a table quiz, some serious questions, some less serious and all of it great fun.
After breakfast on Sunday morning Klaus and David Coyne (Gardener at Renvyle House) showed how to make a lazy bed, you could sense the fun element of competition between the Leitrim way or the Connemara Way - well, time will be the deciding factor on that one, we'll let you know as the potatoes grow!