• Accessibility Options

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council Logo


Garden Show Ireland returns to Antrim Castle Gardens

Garden Show Ireland will return from Friday 29 April until Sunday 1 May with celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin announced as show ambassador

Northern Ireland’s leading gardening event, Garden Show Ireland, is set to make a highly anticipated return to Antrim Castle Gardens from Friday 29 April until Sunday 1 May.

Widely regarded as a highlight of the events calendar across Ireland, the 3-day event has consistently attracted almost 30,000 visitors eager to immerse themselves in what is a festival of flowers, food and fun!

Fresh from announcing the return of the event at last year’s One Giant Weekend,  renowned celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin will officially open Garden Show Ireland on Friday 29 April.

Alongside his show ambassador role, Diarmuid will also be involved in the forthcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations, creating a permanent, bespoke installation within Antrim Castle Gardens intitled the ‘Clockwork Garden’.  The garden, similar in style to Diarmuid’s critically acclaimed ‘garden of pure imagination’ created at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2016, will be the first of its kind to assume permanent residency in any garden across the UK.

Commenting on his involvement and subsequent installation, Diarmuid said:

‘I am absolutely thrilled to be working with Garden Show Ireland and delighted that visitors to the show will be able to catch a glimpse of the Clockwork Garden build in real time! My inspiration for the garden comes from some of the UK’s most imaginative minds, resulting in an active, entertaining and playful space. Every 15 minutes the garden actually comes to life and engages in a short performance which certainly surprises spectators and creates a few smiles! It has been my dream to bring it home to where it belongs and Antrim Castle Gardens is that place.

‘It's wonderful to have the opportunity to work alongside students from CAFRE in the physical building of this project. These young people are our next generation of horticulturalists, and their enthusiasm and hard work should be both applauded and nurtured.’  

In addition to enjoying a weekend of gardening expertise, ideas and inspiration, visitors will also have the opportunity to visit the Food NI Food Pavilion to observe chef led food demonstrations and sample food from some of Northern Ireland leading artisan food producers.

The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Billy Webb, commented:

‘Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has been hosting Garden Show Ireland since 2014 and we are very excited to, once again, welcome the event back to Antrim Castle Gardens for 2022. Our gardens are of the most unique and historically intact gardens in the UK and throughout Ireland, therefore the perfect space for Northern Ireland’s premier horticultural event. We are excited to see the Clockwork Garden in action, and its permanent residency in the gardens will be a wonderful tribute to Her Majesty The Queen in the year of her Platinum Jubilee.’

‘As a result of recent world events, individuals have become much more aware of their outdoor space and the need to create a sustainable environment that meets the needs of future generations. On arrival to the show you will actually be greeted by the residents of Scarecrow Avenue, all of whom have been created by our local primary schools using a combination of re-cycled or borrowed materials. Our schools are also being encouraged to create miniature gardens in anything from a bucket to an old boot, either of which can attract, feed or even reproduce your own version of a bird, bee, bug or butterfly!’

Claire Faulkner, Event Director of Garden Show Ireland, added:

‘Since its inception in 2004, Garden Show Ireland has grown significantly, in both profile and attendance. With the shift towards holidaying at home and generally spending more time in our gardens and on home improvements, we have no doubt that this year’s event will be our biggest yet.

It’s wonderful that after a difficult few years we are able to host a 3-day celebration of this calibre, made even more special with the talented Diarmuid Gavin opening the show! Visitors will be spoiled for choice, with green fingered experts on hand to guide them through all their gardening quandaries, whether that be the creation of a climate friendly garden or the addition of an organic vegetable patch to an outdoor space. With everything from a live jazz band and stilt walkers to crazy golf and dog shows in our dedicated ‘Doggie Zone,’ Garden Show Ireland certainly has something for the entire family…including your pets!’

Garden Show Ireland runs from Friday 29 April until Sunday 1 May. A courtesy shuttle bus will operate from the Enkalon and The Junction between 10.15am and 6.15pm each day. There will be a plant and produce creche available for visitors who want to store their garden purchases while they browse, and these purchases will be allowed on board the shuttle.

Tickets for Garden Show Ireland cost £10 and can be purchased online at gardenshowireland.com. Children under 16 go free.