News & Notices


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”

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

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).



HSHS are running
a 6 session course on how to garden in a healthy and sustainable way; focusing on how to get the most out of your space, no matter how small.  Participants will learn about soil, composting, garden design, and much, much more.

All are welcome to sign up for the series of gardening classes, but booking must be made in advance as places are limited.
This 6 session course costs just €60 and includes HSHS membership for 2018.

The course aims to introduce participants to the basics of growing plants successfully and to give them a good understanding of how plants function and what they require to grow well.
The sessions will be classroom based, with some practical elements wherever possible, such as demonstrations of pruning and potting.

The course would suit people completely new to gardening as well as budding gardeners who are keen to expand their knowledge. Taught by a former lecturer at the National Botanic Gardens, the course is informal & relaxed, with plenty of time for questions and refreshments are included.

Classes will be held in Howth Yacht Club 8:00pm-9:30pm on the following dates:

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

To book your place email or contact Ann Campbell on 086 8183709


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.





Spring Bulb Planting – Scoil Mhuire, Howth.

Howth and Sutton Horticultural Society donated 1000 Narcissi bulbs to Scoil Mhuire Primary School, Howth.
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.

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