Shrubs of the Month – January

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).



Shrubs of the Month – December

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.

Ilex “Golden King”
Image courtesy of Karl Flynn

Ilex “Golden King”

Glossy leaves with grey-green mottled centres and bright, golden-yellow margins. Despite its confusing name this compact, evergreen shrub is a ‘female’ variety of holly producing reddish-brown autumn berries that ripen to red. One of the best golden variegated hollies, it’s a great specimen plant for a sunny shrub or mixed border. Supplied in a 2-3 litre conatiner at a height of 40-60cms.



Hammemellis mollis ‘pallida’
Image courtesy of Karl Flynn

Hammemellis mollis ‘pallida’

This hamamelis produces large, sulphur-yellow blooms with a delicate, sweet scent. They seem to glow in winter light.

Shrubs of the Month – November

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.

Prunus subhirtella “Autumnalis”
Image courtesy of Karl Flynn

Prunus subhirtella “Autumnalis”

A broad, spreading, deciduous tree, Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’ is capable of reaching a height of 8m (26ft) at maturity, but usually attains rather less. The leaves are 7cm (2¾in) long, oval and sharply toothed. The flowers are pink in bud, semi-double, 1cm (½in) across, pendulous, held in small clusters and white when fully opened, although they acquire pink tones as they fade.  Unlike spring-flowering cherries, ‘Autumnalis’ flowers in flushes between November and March or even April, only being temporarily halted by cold weather. This tree is frequently to be found in lists of plants flowering in public gardens on New Year’s Day. The flowers are not profusely carried but, nevertheless, look good against a blue sky, and gladden the heart when there is so little else of colour in the garden.

The autumn leaf colour is also rather better than in many other ornamental cherries. And these trees are also extremely hardy. For example, they grow well along the burn at Kailzie Gardens, near Peebles in the Scottish Borders, which is 210m (700ft) above sea level and experiences comparatively harsh winters.

Jasminum nudiflorum. Image courtesy of Karl Flynn

Jasminum nudiflorum

A popular and reliable shrub, introduced from China in 1844, and widely grown as a wall shrub. It can be allowed to scramble freely over a low wall or up a bank, or trained up a vertical framework. Unlike many other jasmines, winter jasmine does not twine, so will need tying-in if grown vertically. The stems are bright green and give an evergreen impression, even in winter when the tiny bright yellow blooms appear, weatherproof in all but the coldest snaps. Regular pruning keeps bushes under control and prevents bare patches from appearing. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the Award of Garden Merit (AGM).


“The Burren – A Rocky Place” A talk by George Sevastopulo

“The Burren – A Rocky Place”
A talk by George Sevastopulo
Wednesday 7th November  @ 8:00pm
Howth Yacht Club

Join HSHS for what promises to be a most informative talk on the Burren landscape by George Sevastopulo
Everyone Welcome
Members Free
Visitors €5
Refreshments included

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.

Shrubs of the Month – October

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.



Mutisia illicifolia
Photo courtesy of Karl Flynn

Mutisia illicifolia
A superb climbing plant with leathery, dark green leaves, Holly-like but ending in a long, slender tendril. The most attractive flowers, between 2 and 3 ins. across, are pale pink to mauve in colour. Although practically hardy, the plant is perhaps best grown in a cool (or even cold) greenhouse when it will be almost continuously in flower.



Ceratostigma spp.
Photo courtesy of Karl Flynn

Ceratostigma spp.

HSHS Autumn Show 2018

A heart-felt thank you to all of you, visitors, exhibitors, judges and helpers who contributed to make the show a success.  The show is one of our shop windows and is a real contribution to the social fabric of Fingal.  Without all of you the show would not happen, so thank you all once again.


With best wishes,

George Sevastopulo
Show Secretary
Howth and Sutton Horticultural Society






Birr Castle & Tour of Kerry and Limerick Gardens

Autumn Show Saturday 1st September 2018

Dear members,

Please find attached Plant list for the Autumn Show 2018  and see just some of the amazing plants which will be available at the Autumn Show on Saturday 1st September 2018.
Do pass it on to anyone who may be interested in the fantastic bargains to be had!

Please do come along and exhibit.  Members and non members are most welcome to enter the Autumn Show.  We are accepting entries right up until Friday evening 31st August or Saturday morning 1st September until 11am.  If you would like any extra schedules for family, friends or neighbours let us know and we can arrange to get one to them.  The schedule is also available to download and print here AS2018.

All donations are most welcome so why not bake a cake or buns for the cake stall, donate books to the book stand or dig and divide something from your garden for the plant sale.  It’s a great opportunity to have a clear out!

As always we’ll be looking for helpers and volunteers, but most of all your exhibits!

If you can help out for an hour, please email, as we need helpers on Friday from 4pm – 8pm and all day Saturday.

But most of all, come along, bring your friends, and enjoy the show!
2.30pm -4.30pm on Saturday 1st September 2018

We look forward to seeing you all there.

Best regards,
Howth & Sutton Horticultural Society Show Committee

Flavours of Fingal Show

The Flavours of Fingal County Show runs every year in Newbridge House, Donabate.  It’s an agricultural, food  and family event.  This year it’s on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June, and they have added a horticultural section which everyone is invited to enter.
Download Flavours of Fingal Show Schedule 2018
Well worth a visit.  For further information see

Rowallane and Castlewellan

Outing to Rowallane and Castlewellan, Co. Down
12th May 2018

by Mary Guyett


Beechgrove Garden Castlewellan, Co. Down Saturday 12th May 2018 Photo courtesy of Mary Guyett

It was lovely to visit the North again last Saturday .  Our trip was to the Rowallane National Trust Garden and Beechgrove Garden in Castlewellan.  You can see us all in the photograph above, taken at Mr. Sam Harrisons Garden, Beechgrove, Castlewellan, Co. Down.

Rowallane Garden Photo courtesy of Mary Guyett

We were blessed with a beautiful day and it brought back memories of an overnight stay in the Strangford Arms Hotel in 1993 when we visited Mount Stewart Gardens, Rowallane and a Butterfly House.  There were seven members on the outing last Saturday who were on the tour in 1993.  To jog your memory have a look at the photograph of our members on that trip back then.

1993 Members Outing to Mount Stewart and Rowallane
Photograph courtesy of Maura de Burca

Included is Meriel Latchford, former Howth and Sutton Horticultural Society president and Percy Lovegrove and his wife Doreen.  Percy organised the visit.  Sadly they are no longer with us, but are fondly remembered.

A big thank you to Margaret Freyne for organising the outing last Saturday which I am sure was enjoyed by everybody.

Mary Guyett

Beechgrove Garden Seat Photo courtesy of Mary Guyett


Rowallane Garden May 2018 Photograph courtesy of Mary Guyett