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The Galway Garden Festival, on the first weekend of July, the 6th and 7th, in Claregalway Castle, Galway promises to be another special event. This year includes the first gardeners’ competition which gives gardeners a chance to show their creative flair and design a planter pot. Diarmuid Gavin will judge and award the prizes for each category. Winners of the ‘Best Modern Garden in France’ Sylvie & Patric Quibel, le Jardin Plume, Normandy are travelling to Galway to speak about their garden. Breton gardener Tanguy de Toelgoet will speak on cultivating a potager garden and will be joined by orchid specialist Brendan Sayers, National Botanic Gardens, Dublin.

On Sunday, July 7th, speakers include the poet John F. Deane and Dom Anthony Keane OSB, Glenstal Abbey, Co. Limerick who will bring a unique perspective to this festival.

A variety of nurseries and garden suppliers from across Ireland will offer a range of plants, trees, seeds, shrubs, herbs, tools, baskets, pots, garden furniture, art work and equipment. Expert craftspeople including stone masons, thatchers and weavers will be present to demonstrate and advise on their crafts. Birdwatch Ireland, The Irish Seedsavers, The Organic Centre, Rossinver, the Green Sod Land Trust, GIY Ireland and other impressive organisations will be here to advise and share a range of knowledge and experience. An extensive range of gardening books, botanical art books etc will be available in the bookshop. Last year’s highlights included the botanical art exhibition and this year, it will be even better as more artists will show their work.

Music is a key feature of the festival each year and The Summer Music Opera Ensemble, The West Coast Jazz Band, St. Patrick’s Brass Band, The Army Band of Western Command and The Baytone Acapello Group will all be playing during this festival. Freshly cooked food and drinks are available each day. Children’s entertainment will keep kids busy, leaving parents time to enjoy the event.

Claregalway Castle is an early 15th century castle—one of the earliest De Burgo Tower houses—and has been saved from near collapse by a gradual restoration program which began in 2003; it now houses a collection of furniture from late 16th /early 17th centuries. It can be viewed at various times during festival. Festival admission is just 7 euro allowing people to support some of the Irish based traders and food suppliers who have travelled from near and far to be at the festival. Charm a leisurely atmosphere and a warm welcome are the results of everyone organisaing and participating in this event. All gate profits go to The Christian Blind Mission and Galway Simon Community.