Thursday 22 August 2013

Garden Festival Winner

Many congratulations to our day pass winner, Emily Rainsford Ryan. We look forward to welcoming her to the Ballymaloe Garden Festival on either the Saturday or Sunday, on the weekend of August 31st.

 Do check out the complete programme of events here. And remember we have the Big Shed full of food and plant stalls, family fun and live music as well.

I hope to see many of you there! Fingers crossed for sunshine!

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Ballymaloe Garden Festival - Win a Day Pass!

It's such a beautiful time of the year. The gardens and greenhouses are just so lovely at the moment. I know it sounds like a cliche, but when I walk around, I just can't help but give thanks to the good Lord that I live in the middle of a farm and that we have the opportunity to grow and produce so much of our own produce.

Inspired and buoyed up the success of  Lit Fest this May and the glorious summer we have been enjoying, we have decided to have our first Ballymaloe Garden Festival at the end of this month! We are, needless to say, both hugely excited, and incredibly busy, planning what we hope will be another magical event! Do read on for your chance to win a day pass!

Once again events will take place in both the Grainstore and Big Shed at Ballymaloe House, and here at the Cookery School in Shanagarry. So mark the weekend of August 31st in your diaries and join us - it looks to be an incredible line up, with many of my personal gardening heroes, gathered in our glorious surroundings. See the complete programme of events.

The festival is dedicated to sustainable gardening, and we are so excited to be welcoming so many inspiring experts to share their knowledge with us, ranging from rare plants to garden design, wetland systems, urban gardening and herbal medicine, through to flower arranging and cooking with flowers.

We are delighted to be welcoming back familiar names from Lit Fest. Guardian newspaper gardening columnist, author and presenter Alys Fowler will lead foraging walks through the gardens at Ballymaloe and Michael Kelly will inspire you to “Grow it Yourself”. Gerard Mullen, Bloom 2013 gold medal winner will talk garden design using our native materials. Helen Dillon, award winning creator of The Dillon Garden in Dublin, will speak about the evolution of her garden."The doyenne of the kitchen garden", Joy Larkcom will be speaking, as will Madeline McKeever of Brown Envelope Seeds, Jim Wilson from Irish wildlife, as well as our Ballymaloe crew -  myself, Rory O’Connell, Elizabeth O’Connell, and Susan Turner.
Click for a complete programme of events.

There will be workshops, garden walks and talks on composting; the almost forgotten skill of seed saving; foraging, preserving and pickling natures’ bounty; flower arranging with natural and native flowers; painting flowers in watercolour; wild birds, bees, butterflies and much more.

And if you want to explore our beautiful farm and gardens here at Ballymaloe Cookery School, there will be a free guided tour at 3pm on both days.

The Big Shed at Ballymaloe will once again be abloom with abundant plant, craft and food stalls. There will be music and fun fringe events for all the family.

Tickets for the events will be available on the day at the door and prices range from €8-12, and a number of them are free. Day passes, which cover entry to all events for €45 are available online now. 

ONE lucky person can win a DAY PASS for either Saturday OR Sunday. Just tell us below which day you want to come and why. We will choose our favourite answer at midday (BST) on Wednesday 21st August. Be sure to leave contact details (either email/ Facebook/ Twitter) with your answer.

For another great Garden Festival ticket giveaway do visit our local baking blogger, The Queen of Puddings.

We look forward to welcoming you!