When the Mediterranean comes to Cork and gardeners wish to take a short break from their hobby there’s the enjoyable business of garden visiting to indulge in.

Along with garden visiting, there are shows to attend and what better way to spend a whole day out than at the annual Mallow Homes and Garden Show which takes place once again at Mallow Racecourse on the weekend of May 27th to 29th.

This is the only garden show in the country run entirely without sponsorship yet it continues to enlarge and improve a collection of permanent gardens many of which undergo complete makeovers from one year to the next.

Extra attractions this year include a visit (on the Friday only) of well-known personality Dermot O’Neill who will speak on ‘Aspects of Gardening’ during the afternoon.

Once again the show continues to organise free hourly lectures and presentations with Peter Dowdall, flower arranger Teresa O’Brien and Charlie Wilkins plus guided tours on demand, and advice and tips from over fifty of the country’s top specialist growers.

Extra attractions this year include a pet show, vintage car collection, active retirement talks, artisan food market, model boats show and experts from the Taste of North Cork Experience.


The emphasis this year is once again on colour with lots of new and unusual flowering and foliage plants to whet plant-lovers appetites.

A garden devoted to the 1916 Centenary Rising by designer Finbarr O’Neill will be one of the highlights of the show, whilst renowned landscaper Darren Drummond (who created last year’s Frozen Garden and currently curator of the entire event) will be showing visitors how to make and manage gardens in ‘awkward’ spaces!

Designer Larry Lynch moves to a new site at the show which will become home to a display of unusual herbaceous perennials, and Ballyseedy Homes and Garden (new entrants) will be hoping to impress with their eclectic mix of summer bedding, perennials and hanging basket specimens in a specially designed garden.

Dominic Cullinane (who organised the first Mallow Show back in 1999) makes a welcome return and I for one, look forward to seeing what Dominic will undertake at this year’s event!

As usual, ample free parking will be available just outside the venue and a shuttle bus service will operate from Mallow Rail Station during the day.

Full catering is available at the show, along with crèche facilities, toilets and first aid stations. Children are free again this year and whilst the entry goes to €15 there are €10 concessions for seniors.

Come along and enjoy a full day at Mallow Racecourse. See you there!