Garden Show Ireland 2024: when it is, how much are tickets and why it's Diarmuid Gavin's favourite weekend

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Irish garden designer and TV presenter Diarmuid Gavin’s favourite weekend of the year isn’t far away.

As ambassador for Garden Show Ireland, he will be among the thousands of gardening enthusiasts descending on Antrim Castle Gardens for this year’s big event from Friday, June 14 to Sunday, June 16.

“I can’t wait to return to Garden Show Ireland to meet the throngs of gardening enthusiasts who descend on the beautiful and historic Antrim Castle Gardens for three days in June to revel in plants, design and outdoor festivities,” he said.

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"It’s my favourite weekend of the year and I’m looking forward to telling garden tales and answering questions! So come and join us for the greatest of garden parties.”

Over the weekend, Diarmuid will be interviewed by presenter Pamela Ballantine MBE on The Garden Stage where he will share ideas and inspiration on garden design and creation.

Among his other duties, Diarmuid will welcome visitors to the Clockwork Garden he created for the Platinum Jubilee. Each day at the show he’ll chat about the inspiration behind the garden and about the magnificent planting.

The designer also created the Coronation Garden at Hazelbank Park in Newtownabbey, which was officially opened in May 2023 by King Charles III and Queen Camilla,

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Now in its 20th year, Northern Ireland’s largest gardening festival promises to be bigger and better than ever before with a celebration of flowers, food and fun for the whole family.

Garden Show Ireland Show ambassador and celebrity garden designer Diarmuid Gavin pictured at his Clockwork Garden at Antrim Castle Gardens. Picture: Darren Kidd / Press EyeGarden Show Ireland Show ambassador and celebrity garden designer Diarmuid Gavin pictured at his Clockwork Garden at Antrim Castle Gardens. Picture: Darren Kidd / Press Eye
Garden Show Ireland Show ambassador and celebrity garden designer Diarmuid Gavin pictured at his Clockwork Garden at Antrim Castle Gardens. Picture: Darren Kidd / Press Eye

The three-day extravaganza offers a wealth of inspiration for gardeners of all levels. Across the weekend there will be the opportunity to learn from experts in the gardening industry, browse and buy from specialist plant growers, and attend workshops and demonstrations on various topics, from flower arranging to vegetable growing.

The Garden Stage offers an exciting mix of interactive talks and discussions with well known garden experts and presents three garden ideas: a contemporary patio garden, a traditional cottage garden and a vegetable garden.

Plantsman Paul Smyth and horticulturist Marie Staunton, along with organic vegetable growers Klaus Laitenberger and Biruk Sahle, will host demos with advice and ‘how to’ discussions and they’ll be up for answering queries from the public.

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The Floral Art Pavilion situated in the Parterre Garden, meanwhile, will host displays by members of the Northern Ireland Group of Flower Arrangement Societies, and this year for the first time, hosts a series of demonstrations and workshops.

Enjoying the blooms at the 2023 Garden Show Ireland. Picture: Darren Kidd / Press EyeEnjoying the blooms at the 2023 Garden Show Ireland. Picture: Darren Kidd / Press Eye
Enjoying the blooms at the 2023 Garden Show Ireland. Picture: Darren Kidd / Press Eye

The Flower Farmers’ Pavilion hosts a series of talks, demonstrations and workshops by members of the Northern Ireland Flower Farmers Association.

The show also boasts a bustling craft and food village in partnership with Craft NI and Food NI, where visitors can enjoy a delicious selection of artisan food, fantastic local crafts, live music and much more.

Younger members of the family won’t be left out of the fun, with plenty of activities to make sure they enjoy the day out too.

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Here’s what you need to know about this year’s Garden Show Ireland.

  • Is there a timetable of events and workshops?

To find times of each day’s activities, go to gardenshowireland.com and click on the relevant day.

  • How much are tickets?

Tickets cost £12.50, with concessions £10. Children under 16 go free.

  • Can tickets be purchased at the entrance?

Yes. However, people are encouraged pre book as this is a very popular event and may sell out quickly. You can purchase a ticket online through the Garden Show Ireland website, phone the Culture Hub on 0300 123 7788 or email [email protected]. Once purchased you will receive a confirmation email which can be used as your ticket on your phone or electronic device. The Culture Hub is open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am – 5pm.

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  • Are dogs allowed?

Yes, dogs are welcome at the Garden Show Ireland but must be kept on their leads at all times. As events are often busy with crowds, music, entertainment and food, owners should consider if their pet would be comfortable in this type of environment.

  • Is the show accessible and wheelchair friendly?

Yes – the show has been designed to be as accessible as possible, but wheelchair users should be aware that some paths around the gardens may be a little bumpy.

  • Where is the entrance to the show?

The entrance to Garden Show Ireland is at the Barbican Gate in Market Square in Antrim town centre. Opening times are 10am – 6pm daily with the last entry at 5pm. Once you arrive you are welcome to stay as long as you like. The event closes at 6pm.

  • Is there parking at Antrim Castle Gardens?

There will be no parking at Antrim Castle Gardens on the days of the show, parking is available a short walk away in any of the town centre car parks or at The Junction Retail Park one mile away. A free shuttle bus will run between The Junction and Antrim Castle Gardens all day from 9.30am to 6.30pm.

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