Garden Show Ireland 2016: Antrim Castle


It’s that time of year again so it must be Garden Show Ireland at Antrim Castle. As  in previous years I am here judging and giving talks and answering questions: holding the fort till Monty Don gets here tomorrow for a guest appearance!

Friday brought some lovely weather and the place was very busy. As soon as the last judging was done and my first talk was out of the way I had a break and that meant some plant shopping! I didn’t go too mad but one stall had some nice, flowering plants of Paris quadrifolia – surely our most beautiful native plant. I had to have two! So, here are a few selected highlights.

One show garden/display category is the cameo gardens ‘It starts with a pot’.


Gold medal winner and ‘Best in show’ for the category went to this display from Hydebank Wood College. It had lots of details and was so creative. Screens were made from copper pipe and the cabbage trees made everyone chuckle.

I usually hate plastic bottles in gardens but these ‘walls’ were really smart.

Another Gold went to CAFRE college to celebrate their success as the Worldskills competition. It was beautifully constructed and well planted.

muvk allo
Just as much care and attention went into the display from Muckandmore Allotment Association which was all about recycling and growing.

jilly dougan
And Jilly Dougan Edible Landscapes went to town with loads of different edibles in a huge assortment of containers.

The Randox Health Garden was full of colour and featured these animated willow figures.

Another competition was between the local authorities, to highlight their regional food specialities.

armagh city banb
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council celebrated the ‘Bramley’s Seedling’ apple, which I have posted about before.

The category was won by the exhibit from Antrim (sorry for  the vagueness but my notes are in the car). It portrayed the local flax and eel industries.

‘Loved the creativity of this table.

This was another small garden around the grounds.

And now we move on to the wacky.

Why is this boy looking so intently at this pot full of flowers? Is he a budding gardener?

No. He saw a telltale sign of movement that the unwary miss at their peril. For these are not just any old pots of flowers.

They run after the unwary!

pots 2
And if that doesn’t freak you out, this probably will!

pot lady
And no, that is not photoshopped (I say that because the photo looks fake even though it is not!)

And so on to a few of this year’s scarecrows, made by children from primary schools.


Here are two from ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’ by Rowandale Integrated Primary School.

And Stuart the Minion from Carnlough Controlled Integrated Primary School

And Wallace (and rabbit), in his Antipesto role from Kilbroney Integrated Primary School


Fore more details visit:

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3 Comments on “Garden Show Ireland 2016: Antrim Castle”

  1. joy
    May 7, 2016 at 10:13 am #

    if your weather is as good as ours its perfect for a show . I need Wallace to sit in my garden I loved him best lol.

  2. derrickjknight
    May 8, 2016 at 11:39 am #

    Thanks for the excellent report, Geoff. I smiled at the notes in the car

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