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Hunting Brook Gardens Newsletter

A very happy new year to you all! I escaped for a week to La Gomera and was totally blown away by its spectacular beauty and allowed my tan to be topped up ! I have to say the mountain walks were some of the most stunning places I ever visited.

I am sitting here now looking out at the greyest day you could imagine but spring is peeping through it, telling me that it's ready to start the cycle of life again. Snowdrops and winter aconites are the first to pop their wee flowers up, no matter what the weather and ignite my love of gardening again.

I will be holding lots of amazing events and classes through the year including hosting one of the most inspirational gardeners Keith Wiley. The day is entitled 'Gardening Inspiration from Nature - the evolution of naturalistic planting in two gardens'. There are a few places left on both the Plantspersons course and the new Beginners Gardening course.

Many of you may know that I have other passions apart from gardening and this year I plan to start integrating and sharing my passions for spirituality, healing, nutrition, juicing and alterntive health, starting with the Mother Earth Retreat Day on Saturday 2th March and healthy eating and juicing workshops.

The big news of course is the arrival of Doris the Old English Sheep Dog . I finally reached the point where i was ready for another dog after Fred . Doris is a big ball of love and such fun but so far this week she's eaten a bag of dates and licked out a full jar of coconut oil! Oh the fun of parenthood. 


Enjoy this wonderful video made by Dave Kenna (Dak Photography) and music composed and performed by my lovely friend Sinead Morris.




Friday is volunteer day in the garden.

10am Jimi gives an informal class/walk around in the garden for one hour including plant identification, propagaion and all year around maintenance tips. Volunteer work in the gardens till lunch time and have the option to continue on in the afternoon

There are also volunteer positions available when tours are booked in to see the gardens and on public opening days. Contact Jimi on 087 2856601 



The big clean -up has been done in good time this year and the beds are mulched with my own garden compost and a compost called Enrich from the Landscape Depot in Tallaght.

I have just started the huge job of labelling the woody plants in the garden and hopefully in time I will get around to the perennials. I decided to use black plastic labels and a white marker from www.essentialscompany.co.uk . They are very clear and look so much better than white labels.

Once again my aim is to showcase a new selection of plants in the garden this year. Am now in the middle of dividing the new plants I got in various nurseries in the UK and Holland for planting out in the new planting schemes in May. Some of them include: Potentilla 'Flamenco', Lupinus 'Tequila Flame', Lupinus 'Masterpiece' Persicaria microcephala 'Silver Brown' and Lunaria 'Corfu Blue'

Because of my addiction to getting new plants, the garden is always becoming cluttered and last summer many of the smaller perennials where swamped. I have had to make some brave decisions to remove anything I am bored with or getting too big and not earning its place. I was in Doyles Garden Centre in Cabinteely during the week and noticed they have 50% off all herbaceous at the moment - I picked up a few lovely Primulas. 


'Gardening Inspiration from Nature - the evolution of naturalistic planting in two gardens'. Saturday 28th July 10.15am - 4.30pm

Wildside Gardens

"On the wild side - an experiment in new naturalism" (really what we did at the Garden House)

looking at the treasure trove of gardening ideas to be found in nature, from under our noses to far-flung corners of the globe. By allowing our observations of natural landscapes to inform our plantings, Keith believes that we can loosen the strait-jacket that long-established horticultural practices impose allowing the enormous creative potential, latent within most of us, the freedom to express itself

"Wildside - taking naturalistic planting to a new level" (follows on as to how that earlier work has evolved at Wildside)

Since 2004 Keith and Ros Wiley have created from a bare field a 'dazzling new garden...the perfect showcase for his radical and exciting ideas on planting' (The Garden; Feb 2008) which in time 'will surely change the perception of future gardeners'. In this talk Keith follows the development of the garden from its modest beginnings and shows how they are attempting to make the garden look good every month of the year.

COST €95 Full day Includes two lectures with Keith Wiley and informal out door classes with Keith and Jimi in Hunting Brook and June Blake's Garden.

Contact Hunting Brook on 087 2856601 or jimi@huntingbrook.com

Keith Wiley

Keith Wiley was head gardener/manager at The Garden House, a 10-acre garden on the edge of Dartmoor in the southwest of England, between 1978-2003, where he created what has been described by national commentators as 'one of the most exciting and innovative gardens in Britain today' and the best example of 'leading-edge horticulture' in this country.

He is a proponent of a 'new naturalism' movement in gardening, which seeks to work in harmony with nature, allowing plants to thrive much as they would in the wild. He takes inspiration from natural landscapes to create areas of planting in his gardens inspired by sights from around the world.

Keith is a regular contributor to horticultural / lifestyle magazines and has lectured widely on both sides of the Atlantic. He has written 2 books :- 'On the Wild side', published by Timber Press, and 'Shade' published by Mitchell-Beasley. In 2004 Keith featured in a photographic exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London as 'one of the most distinguished people in Britain whose work has influenced our ideas about nature, gardens and the world of plants'.



Hamamelis mollis

Memories of last summer in Hunting Brook

Kitchen Medicine - Nutrition, Herbal Medicine & Cookery Workshop. Learn about Kitchen Herbs and Foods, to Eat and Cook for Your Health!

Have you ever wanted to know how to soothe your sore throat with a homemade medicinal honey; ward off those colds with an immune boosting soup or an anti-inflammatory curry; or get your skin looking great for that big event? With some key ingredients your kitchen can become a great source of tasty recipes with healthy benefits & homemade remedies to keep your family feeling and looking good!

If you would like to learn about kitchen herbs and tasty meals that can improve your health, then come along to one of our Kitchen Medicine workshops.

This workshop will focus on nutritious recipes for healthy breakfasts, easy lunches and delicious dinners. We will also share some great recipes for daily snacks. Not only will all these recipes taste amazing but are beneficial for a host of common health problems.

If this workshops sound good to you, then book now for a day packed full of information, tastings and easy to follow recipes to help you enjoy a healthier life.

Fee: €35 (including workbook with lots of information and recipes to take home!)
Place: Hunting Brook Gardens, Blessington, Co Wicklow
Time: 10am to 1pm
Places are limited so booking is essential. To book call Áine on 086 3788857 or email info@springhealth.ie

This workshop will be run by Áine Fanning, qualified Naturopath & Herbalist. Áine has combined her love for tasty food with her passion for great health. Áine has completed postgraduate studies in Sports Nutrition and Functional Medicine and is currently completing an MSc in Personalised Nutrition. She has health clinics in Dublin 2 & 14. Áine is an experienced lecturer at undergraduate and post graduated levels and gives talks on health and herbs to public groups and businesses.

Trevor has being doing amazing healings in Hunting Brook for the last few week . Contact Trevor at the contact details below to make an appointment.

I will be hosting a tour of Irish gardens for Gardens Illustrated Magazine in association with Boxwood Tours - 23rd to 24th September 2013

Here's everything you would want from an Irish gardens tour; a rich selection of gardens with good food, engaging company and - that essential ingredient - wonderful good humour.

We begin and end this journey visiting some choice Dublin gardens, including The Dillon Garden and seductive Mount Venus Nursery. The body of the tour is spent visiting many superb gardens of exceptional quality in counties Wicklow and Wexford, including Mount Congreve, probably the most majestic woodland garden in Europe, as well as Jimi Blake's own garden of Hunting Brook and his sister June's creation at Tinode.

This breathtaking area is blessed with a gentle coastline, mountains, lakes and a treasury of unique and fascinating gardens. Even the hotel has a wonderful garden: Marlfield Houseis a sumptuous, family-run hotel (once residence of the Earls of Courtown) with beautiful rooms and fine food, as well as its own kitchen garden, herbaceous borders and woodland gardens; a luxury country house par excellence.


The price per person sharing is £1,998 (single supplement of £150 levied by the hotel). The price includes dinner (with wine), bed and buffet breakfast accommodation for three nights at the Marlfield House with four light lunches and return flights from London, Heathrow. Those wishing to make their own flight arrangements should state this on the booking form and deduct £122 per person from the price.

For further information about this trip, day-to-day activities, hotel accommodation and details of how to book, please contact:

Boxwood Tours, Rhiw, Llanbedr, Gwynedd LL45 2NT, UK.

Tel +44 (0)1341 241717
Email mail@boxwoodtours.co.uk
Website www.boxwoodtours.com

NOTE itineraries are subject to confirmation. Places are limited, so early booking is recommended. 

Healing With Mother Earth Retreat

With Jimi Blake At Hunting Brook Gardens
Saturday 2th march
10.15 am - 3.30 pm

Join Jimi for this very special retreat day in the natural beauty of Hunting Brook Gardens. He has developed a deep spiritual connection with the plants, land, Bronze Age Ring Forts and the Standing Stones here over the last ten years. He would like to share their powerful healing energy and how you can connect into this at any time.

The Day

  • Healthy juices on arrival - Jimi will show you how to make his favourite morning juices
  • Relaxation / meditation / grounding session
  • Jimi will guide you through a healing walk in the gardens, forest valley, open meadows, Standing Stones and Ring Forts.
  • Staying healthy is about staying connected to mother earth. Learn how to build a relationship with mother earth
  • Delicious Organic vegetarian lunch and snacks
  • Talk on some of Jimi's favourite foods (including recipe sheets)
  • Energy balancing techniques

Cost for the day is € 65

"By living with nature and mother earth over the seasons, we come to listen to what it is whispering to us"

Contact Jimi on 087 2856601 / jimi@huntingbrook.com /www.huntingbrook.com
Jimi is available for individual or couples healing walks.
Please contact Jimi for details


Tullamore Garden Club
Tue 5th February
The Contemporary Mixed Border

Howth Horticulture Society
Wed 6th March
The Contemporary Mixed Border

The Royal Horticulture Society Seminar
National Botanic Gardens
'Collecting Plants For A Better Garden'
Saturday 9th March

Mullingar Garden Club
Thur 4th April

If you would like to book Jimi for a talk please check out www.huntingbrook.com . to see the full listing of his talks.


A morning yoga session to wake up the body and mind with posture and breath work. Connect with inner and outward strength and feel ready to take on the day. €70 for six classes or € 12 drop in www.westwicklowyoga.ie0879090895

"Snowdrop Gala and other Spring Treasures"

Venue : Ballykealey Manor (near Altamont)
Date : Sat, Feb 2nd, 2013

Programme :

9.30am : Registration, tea/coffee, biscuits.
10am -11am : Rod Leeds
"Galanthus, Some Favourites Both Old and New"
(from the classic green tipped to the very newest cultivars)
11.30am - 12.30pm : John Grimshaw
"Growing Snowdrops - A Personal View"
(John Grimshaw, co-author, editor of 'Snowdrops' will speak about his experience of growing a diverse collection of snowdrops over many years, covering both cultivars and cultivation techniques).

12.45pm - 1.45pm : Lunch at Ballykealey

2pm - 5pm : Visit to Altamont, guided tour with Paul Cutler.
(Snowdrops, Spring bulbs, hellebores, etc for sale)
Avon Bulbs, Ashwood Nurseries, Harvington Hellebores, Rod Leeds and many more specialist nurseries.

€70 ( before January 20th , 2013 )
Cost includes lectures, lunch, admission to bulb sale, guided tour.

Contact : Hester Forde (Coosheen Garden) - 086 8654972
Robert Miller (Altamont Plant Sales) - 087 9822135

Source: HoriTrends News Room