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37th Alpine Weekend
November 25, 2022 - November 27, 2022
The 37th Alpine Weekend is going ahead this year!
The speakers at this year’s event will be:
- Vojtěch Holubec
- Jim Jermyn
- Brendan Sayers
Saturday 26th November
10.30 Jim Jermyn – ‘The Dolomites’
14.30 Brendan Sayers – ‘Native Irish Orchids’
16.00 Vojtěch Holubec – ‘The Cream of Czech Gardens’
Sunday 27th November
9.30 Vojtěch Holubec – ‘Tien Shan – The Book Promotion’
2.00 Jim Jermyn – ‘Branklyn Garden – A Legacy to the Rentons’
Vojtěch is a researcher and Head of the Agricultural Plant Gene Bank in the Czech Republic. He has been interested in alpines and botany since childhood. He loves mountains and travels extensively to photograph plants and wild habitats, most recently to China and Central Asia. He is obsessed with crevice rock garden construction, and made the main rock gardens in the show garden of the Rock Garden Club Prague (RGCP) and at the International Horticultural Exhibition IGA Erfurt, Germany. He headed shows of the RGCP and served as the President of RGCP for 6 years. The AGS awarded him the Lyttel Trophy in 2010.
Jim Jermyn is currently the Property Manager/Head Gardener for NTS Branklyn Garden, Perth. He specialises in Alpine and Woodland plants with an interest in the Genus Meconopsis. For 20 years he was proprietor of Edrom Nurseries in Berwickshire. Jim lectures widely in the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA. He has written three books: The Himalayan Garden, Growing Plants from the Roof of the World; Alpine Plants of Europe – A Gardener’s Guide; and Mountain Walks in Eastern Europe. Jim lives in Perth with his wife Alison. He is currently Chairman of The Meconopsis Group, serves as a Trustee on The Merlin Trust, is an honorary member of The RHS Joint Rock Garden Committee, and a council member of The Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society (The Caley).
Brendan trained at NBG Glasnevin and spent most of his horticultural career there. He came to specialise in orchids and is well known for his work on the orchids of Belize and on native Irish orchids. In 2011 he was awarded the HH Bloomer award from the Linnean Society of London and in 2017 he was awarded the Westonbirt Orchid Medal from the RHS. His collaborations of Ireland’s Wild Orchids and Ireland’s Wild Orchids – a field guide with botanical artist Susan Sex are much coveted publications.
What To Expect
Since its outset, the Alpine Weekend has always been held in the headquarters of the Irish Contrywomen’s Association, An Grianán, a location which is really handy for alpinists both North and South, if a little hard to find on one’s first visit. Google Maps and satnav nowadays take care of that problem. It’s a very comfortable and friendly venue, with all the facilities we need for accommodation, dining, and lectures and, of course, a bar. The sea is very close by, so many of us venture down for a walk on the strand in the mornings before the day’s events get underway.
The aim of the Weekend is for those of us with a passion for alpine plants to learn more about them, from the invited experts of course, but also from each other. There is much informal sharing of knowledge, and very often of seeds and plants too. The lecture topics are carefully chosen to give variety, covering both the cultivation of alpines and also their occurrence in their natural habitats.
We assemble late on Friday evening for high tea, followed by an informal session where members share their alpine experiences of the past year with slides of plants and gardens. It’s a great way of socialising and renewing acquaintance.
After a leisurely breakfast on Saturday morning, we have time to view the specialist trade plant sales before the official programme begins. We hold three lectures on the first day, interspersed with refreshments of lunch and tea (and more visits to the plant sales). Then after dinner the evening’s entertainment begins, generally a table quiz followed by an auction of plants contributed by members. Then, exhausted, we retire to the bar.
Between the two lectures on Sunday we hold the members’ plant sale, an eclectic mix of plants, garden, alpine or even vegetable, contributed by members and whose sale contributes to the running of the Society’s activities. There’s also a discussion forum for members to get advice on all aspects of alpine cultivation from the (many) expert growers attending.
Finally we meet for tea, and the all-important raffle, before dispersing into the, by now, gathering gloom.
Directions to An Grianán
From the South:
Travel on the M1 motorway and exit at junction 10 immediately after crossing the Boyne Cable Bridge.
Take third exit off roundabout heading for Monasterboice / Drogheda.
From the North:
Travel on the M1 motorway and exit at junction 10 immediately before crossing the Boyne Cable Bridge.
Take first exit off roundabout heading for Monasterboice / Drogheda.
At next roundabout take second exit heading for Monasterboice
At next roundabout take first exit onto the old Belfast road heading north.
After 4km approx immediately after Pope John Paul’s monument turn right into filter lane at sign for Termonfeckin.
( this is after two lanes merge into one climbing hill. )
Drive approx 6k directly to a dangerous partially blind crossroads. Straight through .
Drive 5km approx and take Left turn at T junction.
Right turn after 100m.
Drive directly into Termonfeckin to a T junction facing Church.
Left turn and after 100m, right turn at lights for An Grianan.
Note that we were unable to hold the Alpine Weekend in 2020 or 2021 due to the Covid pandemic.