FORUM 2018 – NORTHERN IRELAND – 13th/14th OCTOBERBack to the grapevine


The Walled Kitchen Garden Network’s Forum this year will take place, for the first time in Northern Ireland, on the 13th and 14th of October. We will be based at Clandeboye near Belfast, which is close to our main destination, the beautiful Mount Stewart Estate.  Mount Stewart does not have large enough conference facilities whereas Clandeboye can easily accommodate us.

Situated on the peninsula between the Irish Sea and Strangford Loch, Mount Stewart enjoys a unique microclimate enabling many Southern Hemisphere plants to thrive.


However its walled kitchen garden is very much ‘work in progress’, as will be demonstrated by Neil Porteous the head gardener (who is also regional head of all the National Trust gardens in Northern Ireland).





From the NT’s website;   AN EXCITING CHALLENGE.

The garden team have high hopes for the walled garden. Plans include replanting the rose garden, restoring the dairy, crafting and fitting new wooden gates, reinstating a path network, installing decorative borders and restoring the glasshouse which houses the vine.
‘The restoration of the walled garden will make the house come alive and be a source of excitement in its own right,’ says head gardener Neil Porteous. ‘The chance to restore this space to how Lady Londonderry had it is quite a thrill!”
A nursery in the restored walled garden will also give visitors the chance to see how Mount Stewart’s wider gardens are cared for. The garden will be home to young trees and shrubs before they’re given a permanent place in Mount Stewart’s extensive woodland gardens.
This is an ‘Early Bird’ notice; more details about the programme of speakers for the 13th and the gardens we will visit on the 14th will follow.
Susan, Lucy & Mike



Margaret E McCarthy

My husband and I are very interested in attending.

Hello Margaret, we look forward to meeting you at our first overseas Forum in Ireland this October. Let’s hope the weather will be as warm as the traditional Irish welcome.


Hi Mike, my wife and I are hoping to join you from New England for this event!
Although I never met Fiona Grant we emailed for several years prior to her untimely passing. Jim

Hello Jim, It will be great to meet both of you in October. Susan and I both still miss Fiona, especially when planning a new Forum. We are hoping our visit to Ireland this year will be memorable!


Hi Mike, trip planning has started. Please let us know about accommodations for this event. Do we handle this or is it part of the Forum? Since it is a bit of a hike from Western Massachusetts we would feel better about confirming them before filling in the rest of our travel plans. Thank you. Jim


Jenny Hedin came to stay with me in London this week for Chelsea and we both want very much to join you for the Forum, logistics notwithstanding – happy planning!!

Hi Jenny, that’s great news! We look forward to seeing both of you again.
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