Belfast Telegraph

Garden Show Ireland to take root at newly restored castle grounds

BY AMANDA FERGUSON

It's been in full bloom for a decade – and now it's moving to pastures new.

Details have been unveiled for the 10th annual Garden Show Ireland which is to be held at the stunning Antrim Castle Gardens for the first time.

Running from May 9-11, the new-look event will include appearances by Channel 4's River Cottage team, Alys Fowler from BBC Gardeners' World, Ireland's world-renowned plantswoman and broadcaster Helen Dillon, and much more.

Previously held among the regal surroundings of Hillsborough, its new backdrop is the 400-year-old gardens of Antrim Castle, which has undergone a major restoration.

Antrim Castle Gardens is one of the most historically intact gardens under public ownership in Ireland and boasts over four centuries of heritage.

Garden Show Ireland director Claire Faulkner said the new home was fitting.

"The show has grown and has many new elements this year," she said.

"These gardens offer great space and superb facilities, and the central location makes it accessible to a wide catchment area.

"The restoration work is simply breathtaking and we are excited and privileged to be working in partnership with Antrim Borough Council to present our 2014 Show in these stunning surroundings."

Antrim mayor Roderick Swan said: "This prestigious event will not only attract many visitors to the borough from across Ireland, but will also provide an ideal opportunity to celebrate the restoration of this historic place."

And Eddie Rowan, events manager at Northern Ireland Tourist Board, is also looking forward to a new location.

"I have personally attended the event in previous years and have always enjoyed the experience and the professional organisation of the show. We wish the organisers every success for 2014 and beyond at this stunning new location," he added.

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