An exciting new book, focussing on the open gardens of Ireland is being launched this week by a Kilkenny woman.
Shirley Lanigan who is also the Kilkenny People's gardening columnist visited every county in Ireland as part of her research for the ‘The Open Gardens of Ireland.’
After two years crisscrossing the island, visiting every garden she could find that opens its doors to the public she has produced a wonderful guide full of beautiful prose and magical descriptions while giving an insight into the people who have provided us with such magnificence. Starting in the spring of 2015, she found her way to postage stamp town gardens and huge historic demenses, roof gardens and island gardens.
As she travelled she was chased by swans and swarms of bees and shadowed by canines.
She learned how to mind orphaned baby birds, barn owls and terrapins.
She met herds of swimming cattle and work parties of pigs, people building follies and repairing miniature castles.
She spent long hours entertaining Dutch hitchhikers and got marooned and surrounded by Loyalist parades on July 12 and was, calmly, herded by sheep dogs around the roads of Cork. She found 427 gardens and met 427 owners and gardeners.
There are many Kilkenny gardens included in the book
She lives in Kilkenny, is married to a committed non-gardener but thinks that one of their two children might have been hit with the bug.
The Dublin launch will will take place in Hodges Figgis Book Store, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 at 6.30pm on Thursday.
The book will be officially launched by legendary gardener, Gerry Daly.
The Kilkenny launch will be held in one of the gardens featured in the book, Butler House, Patrick Street, Kilkenny on Thursday, June 15 from 6 to 8pm.
Edward Hayden, celebrity chef, author and KCLR 96Fm radio presenter, who featured at Ireland's premier gardening event, Bloom last week is launching the book locally.
Anybody who will be in Kilkenny on June 15 is invited to attend where there will be numerous surprise guests.
Her previous works include: ‘The O’Brien Guide to Irish Gardens’ (Pub. O’Brien Press. 2001); ‘The 100 Best Irish Gardens’ (Pub. Liberties Press. 2010) and 'The Pocket Guide to the 100 Best Irish Gardens’ (Pub. Liberties Press 2012).