09 October 2018 By Tash Ellens
This weekend our friends from the Walled Kitchen Garden Network are holding their annual Forum at Clandeboye Estate in Northern Ireland. The Forum is a weekend event, boasting specialist guest speakers, exclusive tours of Clandeboye Estate and Mount Stewart, with visits to other nearby walled gardens.
about the walled kitchen garden network
The Walled Kitchen Garden Network (WKGN) consists of national organisations and individual experts working with enthusiasm and interest towards the restoration of walled gardens. The group was created in order to provide an integrated approach and support network. The WKGN is partnered with a number of organisations, including but not limited to: Historic England, The Gardens Trust and The National Garden Scheme (NGS).
Our relationship with WKGN dates back 20 years, it is built on experience, enthusiasm and a likewise interest in sharing beautiful gardens with incredibly history. Our directors, Chris Sawyer and John Lawson have been active supporters from the beginning and are delighted to continue Alitex's partnership through participation and attendance at this year's event.
the wkgn forum
For the first time the WKGN are hosting the Forum in Ireland where Cladenboye Estate provides the perfect setting, with its beautiful courtyard garden as the starting point for this weekend. It is one of the few great, private estates of Northern Ireland that still remains in the ownership of the original family.
A series of intimate walled gardens adjoin the courtyard and house. The plans for the restoration of this historic site include: replanting the rose garden, restoring the dairy, crafting new wooden gates, installing decorative borders, paths and restoring the glasshouse which houses the vines.
The weekend begins with a tour of the gardens and talks from 3 knowledgeable guest speakers:
1. Neil Porteous - Head Gardener at Mount Stewart, Regional Head of National Trust gardens in Northern Ireland and plantsman.
2. Finola Reid - Garden historian and acknowledged expert on the history and restoration of walled gardens in Ireland.
3. Terence Reeves-Smyth - Historian and author, on garden and architectural history and archaeology, he is the Senior Inspector in the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency: Historic Monuments Unit.
Following this, the Sunday includes visits to restored Bangor Castle Walled Garden, Lord and Lady Dunleath's home Ballywalter and a final stop at Mount Stewart where Neil Porteous will provide an exclusive and informative tour.
To read more on the Walled Kitchen Garden Network visit their website: www.walledgardens.net
You can also get involved by registering here, and help the WKGN to discover walled kitchen gardens in your area.