Forty Shades of Green: Gardening in Ireland, Then & Now.
Irish historian and lecturer Tom Duncan was welcomed to the Trinity Arts Centre to give the February talk.
He explained the history of gardening in Ireland broadly reflects the changes in Irish society over the last few hundred years. There are no Irish gardens of note extant before the late 17th century.
Formal gardening in the French manner was introduced but only Kilruddery survives in magnificent isolation. English classical gardening styles were carried on, but again, little survives. The broad and simplified landscape sweep of “Capability” Brown did indeed find enthusiasts, such as the Duke of Leinster at Carton.
The 19th century saw the development of new ideas as the professional classes began to garden. Ideas of husbandry and horticultural worth were widely debated and from Ireland came one of the most influential figures of the late Victorian gardening world, William Robinson; so too, one of the greats of plant collecting, Augustine Henry.
20th century gardening was something practiced quietly, in private, reflecting the polarised nature of Irish society after World War One. Nonetheless, great advances were made at every level. This has culminated in recent years with a true renaissance of gardens and gardening: old gardens restored, new gardens created, none more so that in Helen Dillon’s marvellous garden in Dublin.
The next meeting of the society is on March 2, when Annie Gray will speak on ‘To please the palate, charm the eye – 400 years of food as ephemeral art’
Always at 1.45pm in the Trinity Arts Centre, Gainsborough (01427 676655) on the first Thursday of the month (ex Jan, July and August).
For membership call: 01427 788550. Visitors are very welcome for £5 entrance.
Further info from chairman: Jillian Horberry: 01427 752230.
A light lunch is bookable for noon with Rachel by the preceding Monday on: 01427 838780 or Polly on: 01427 839042.