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Howth and Sutton Horticultural Society was founded in 1943 and is one of the longest established horticultural societies on Dublin’s northside. Our society hosts two shows each year; one in Spring and one in Autumn. Our members enjoy a planned programme of events, outings, workshops and lectures throughout the seasons

Spring Show 2018

Saturday 14th April 2018
2:30pm – 4:30pm
Spring Show & Plant Sale
St Nessans Community School, Baldoyle, Dublin 13

Members and non members are most welcome to attend and/or exhibit at the annual HSHS Spring Show.  There will be a plant sale, book stall, raffle and refreshments for all to enjoy on the day.
Admission to Show: €2.  Entry for HSHS Members, visiting exhibitors and children is free.  Wheelchair access to all parts of the show.  Download your copy of the schedule here Spring Show Schedule 2018
Every entry makes a show so don’t be reluctant to have a go this year. One entry or more from every member or visitor will guarantee a super show and there are classes to suit all.

AGM 2018

Wednesday 7th February 2018
ollowed by Discussion on Showing
8pm Howth Yacht Club

The annual AGM will be followed by “A Discussion on Showing”. There will be a Q&A session on showing plants, flowers & vegetables, crafts & baking, with particular reference to the Howth shows. Interesting & fun with an expert panel!

Gardening for Beginners Classes


Wednesday 24th January 2018
Gardening for Beginners – Getting Started
*Advance Booking Required*
8pm Howth Yacht Club

A course of 6 classes starting in January 2018, covering all the basics of gardening, learning how to get the most from your garden.  Places are limited so booking is essential.  To book your place email

Wednesday 24th January 2018: The Very Basics – Soils, Compost & Fertilizer
Wednesday 31st January 2018:  Your Outside Room – Garden design & layout
Wednesday 21st February 2018: Lawns & Flowers for year-round colour
Wednesday 28th February 2018: Trees, Shrubs, Hedges, Climbers
Wednesday 21st March 2018: The Edible Garden – Fruit and Vegtables
Wednesday 28th March 2018: Greenhouses, Growing Organic, Pests & Diseases, House Plants

Shrubs of the Month


This selection of shrubs is chosen specifically for the poor, thin, acid soils common on the upper parts of the Howth Penninsula. The two we have selected below are at their best this month.


Daphne bholua “Jacqueline postill” Photograph courtesy of Karl Flynn

Daphne bholua “Jacqueline postill”
Originating in the eastern Himalayas, Daphne bholua forms an upright growing evergreen shrub with leathery mid-green oval leaves. ‘Jaqueline Postill’ produces intensely fragrant flowers which are pink on the outside and white within. It will thrive on any fertile free draining soils provided they are not too dry. It makes an ideal shrub for the small garden because it is quite slow growing and flowers during the late winter when most other plants are dormant. Daphnes hate transplanting and should only be pruned when absolutely necessary.


Garrya elliptica Photograph courtesy of Karl Flynn

Garrya elliptica

Male forms of Garrya elliptica are impressive plants when laden with their long elegant tassels in winter and early spring. Female plants have much smaller catkins and clusters of round deep purple fruits in summer. ‘James Roof’ is the most popular variety because its tassels are much longer than the species, 20-30cm (10in)ong and lasting for many weeks, making a striking backdrop to other smaller plants. The shrubs are nominally hardy, although without the shelter of a warm wall some foliage might suffer wind scorch, and are unaffected by salt winds and city air. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).



Christmas Party & Cookery Demo

Wednesday 6th December 2017
8pm Howth Yacht Club

HSHS Christmas Party and Cookery Demonstration by Mary Drum. 

Winner of RTE’s Amateur Cook of the Year award in 2008 Mary Drum will demonstrate some easy canapés to prepare for Christmas.  Mulled wine, tea and coffee will be served on the night.  Please bring a small homebaked cake or homemade savouries to share.  There will be no plant exchange at this event.  Download Mary Drum Christmas Canapés 6th Dec 2017

News & Notices

As we begin to think about preparing for Christmas, below are a couple of recommendations you might like to consider.  They would make lovely gifts for family or friends, whatever the occasion.

The Hare
Conall O’Caoimh
Image courtesy of Conall O’Caoimh

Howth Ceramics
Conall O’Caoimh has been creating ceramic art and functional stoneware from his home studio in Howth for over 20 years.

Conall has a wide range of ceramics for sale; suitable for both home and garden.  He also welcomes private commissions.  His studio can be visited by appointment only.  For more information on Conall and his work see

Conall is an active member and contributor to the society and owner of Ardán, a garden our members had the privilege of visiting last May, as part of the HSHS Open Garden Day in support of St. Francis Hospice Raheny.



Dublin Bay: Nature and History

By Richard Nairn, David Jeffrey and Rob Goodbody
A new title published this month and co- written by our much valued longstanding HSHS member, David Jeffrey.

Dublin Bay tells us about the history and ecology of the Bay, and it’s importance to our city and country.

It truly is a beautiful publication, filled with insightful information and colour photographs and is on sale now in Hodges Figgis or online from the publisher Collins Press


The Open Gardens of Ireland
by Shirley Lanigan
Another book we highly recommend is The Open Gardens of Ireland,
widely available from all good book shops.

It is a comprehensive guide to the 427 gardens throughout this isle that welcome visitors.  It is a ‘must have’ for all garden lovers and a great thing to have in the car or stuffed into your bag while travelling through town and country.

The book features two local gardens, Medina and Ardán, which HSHS members have been lucky enough to visit many times and whose hard-working owners are wonderful contributors and members of our society.

Fionnuala Fallon – “The Education of a Gardener”

Wednesday 1st November 2017

8pm Howth Yacht Club
Lecture by Fionnuala Fallon
“The Education of a Gardener”

Fionnuala is well known to us all, both from the Irish Times, and as an inspiring speaker and is a practical, knowledgeable gardener who will present her tips and ideas for all spaces!  Admission for non members is €5

Flower bed rejuvenated – Scoil Neasan Baldoyle

Flower bed in Scoil Neasan, Baldoyle, created in 1993 to mark the Golden Jubilee of the Howth and Sutton Horticultural Society. Photo credit: A. Campbell

With the help of “David Nolan Gardening”, we planted a host of Spring bulbs and revamped a flower bed which was created in Scoil Neasan, in 1993 to mark the Golden Jubilee of the Howth and Sutton Horticultural Society. We have a great relationship with Pobailscoil Neasan, where we hold our Annual Spring & Autumn Shows each year.

*David Nolan is a member of HSHS and he runs a garden maintenance business.  David Nolan Gardening Maintenance can be contacted on 086 0519207

Spring Bulb Planting – Scoil Mhuire, Howth.

Howth & Sutton Horticultural Society donated 1000 Narcissi bulbs to Scoil Mhuire Primary School, Howth and every pupil got to plant 2 bulbs.

Thank you to the pupils, parents and teachers who helped with the planting on what was a very enjoyable day. We look forward to seeing them in bloom next Spring.

Spring Bulb Planting – Scoil Mhuire, Howth. October 2017. Photo credit: A. Campbell

Spring Bulb Planting – Scoil Mhuire, Howth. October 2017. Photo credit: A. Campbell

Spring Bulb Planting – Scoil Mhuire, Howth. October 2017. Photo credit: A. Campbell

October Lecture – “Rowallane – a Plant Paradise”

Averil Milligan, National Trust Gardener, Rowallane Garden, County Down. Photo courtesy of Averil Milligan.

Wednesday 4th October 2017
8pm Howth Yacht Club
A lecture by Averil Milligan, Head Gardener at Rowallane Garden, “Rowallane – a Plant Paradise”.  Rowallane is a magnificent, varied, fifty acre National Trust garden near Saintfield, County Down, famous for its display of plants from many parts of the world. Averil is the Head Gardener and has been at Rowallane for over 12 years. She is a very knowledgeable and engaging speaker.

Members, why not introduce a friend to HSHS by bringing them along to this event for free.  Admission fee for non members is €5

At each lecture we encourage members to bring along a choice of plants for distribution amongst ourselves. Contributors get first choice followed by others for a small fee. If there are any leftovers they will be nurtured for future plant stalls at the shows.