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Get-together 2018 - last pre-christmas update

14 December 2017 00:05:29

So the clear favourite for our January Get-together is Saturday 13th January in Johnstown Garden centre.

I am assuming that the format will be unchanged - so for new members or those who haven't come along before ...

1. This event is open to all garden.ie members and their chosen companions.

2. Someone mentioned they felt they couldn't attend last year because they hadn't been putting up journals - Putting up journals is not in any way a requirement - it is a meeting of friends old and new!

3. We do a Kris Kringle event each year - if you want to participate bring along a vaguely garden-related preferrably wrapped gift of maximum cost €10 

4. Anyone coming along is welcome to bring along their surplus plants to swap with other members - you can sort all this out on the site before the event!

5. We abandoned the idea of a big raffle as it ended up delaying people wanting to get on the road home before dark.

I'll be putting up more details after the New Year but for now I'm off to tuck in to some mince pies and won't be putting up anything more about this event until then.

TerriShoos TerriShoos 14 December 2017 09:13:30

In the diary! Nice to look forward to after the grandkids have gone home. Thanks a million for organising it and have a good Christmas. 

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 14 December 2017 10:19:45

Looking forward to 13th and many thanks for all you work in organising the day, Hazel. 

Jacinta D Jacinta D 14 December 2017 16:16:06

It's been years since I was at the Get -together. We'll have to have our holidays during the summer in future.

JoanG JoanG 14 December 2017 21:51:11

I feel a smile of contentment coming on ... thanks Hazel. 

LindaB LindaB 15 December 2017 13:22:16

I'll be there :)

MargieD MargieD 15 December 2017 20:57:12

Thanks Hazel. Am looking forward to it.

Last January was my first time attending, and I hadn't met anyone from the group beforehand or posted here. I had read about it on the f/b page but was unsure of attending. It was Jackie who encouraged me to go. I was made feel so welcome and it was a lovely afternoon. I hadn't brought anything to swap but was gifted a Monkey Puzzle, which is triving here.  Since then I've been gifted and swapped lots of plants and seeds with new friends, had day trips to Bloom and garden centres and private gardens. Over Christmas Im looking forward to getting my swap pots organised! I've already bought the Kris Krindle gift!

So, for anyone worrying about not knowing anyone in group, go and you will meet a lovely group of people who all share your love of gardening. 



PeterW PeterW 15 December 2017 21:21:59

Well done Hazel

Jemo Jemo 15 December 2017 23:32:25

Spot on Hazel


Get-together 2018 - Update on Venue

13 December 2017 00:42:11

I heard from O'Meara's today. They usually close their Cafe in January but could open it for us if we wanted it but they could only offer soup and sandwiches or paninis and with people travelling it probably isn't a runner. However it might be somewhere to consider for during the year. I liked their sugestion that a visit to Belvedere House could be combined with a visit to their garden centre. The guy who spoke to me today said that although they do not offer a discount to groups he maintains that his plants are more keenly priced than Johnstown! 

So lookinig at the feedback so far it appears that  Johnstown even though it is a Satruday is favoured by most people. Indeed some people are saying that Saturday suits them better!

I'm hoping that we will have a big turnout this year as I feel that we could very easily lose the bond we have developed through the disappointing technical problems on the garden.ie website, which after all is what brought us together in the first place!

And thanks to all of you who have said such nice things to me! I really quite enjoy organising this event - it is a lot easier than having an Open Day, I can tell you!!!! And what makes it all worthwhile is meeting up with all my lovely garden.ie friends old and new for a natter - and seeing everyong having a good time!


Liztai Liztai 13 December 2017 13:11:21

So it's JOHNSTOWN, on a SATURDAY, that is JANUARY 13th exactly one month from today - better see what I might have to swap! 

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 13 December 2017 15:59:41

Thanks Hazel for all the trouble you have gone to in organising the get together.  It would be great to have other outings during the year. As Elizabeth said it seems that Johnstown Garden Centre on Saturday 13th is the favourite and I think it is the best venue for space and nice surroundings, warm and decent food and good road access.

MargieD MargieD 13 December 2017 19:53:21

Great, I'll mark off that date so Hazel. Johnstown is great location being on the motorway. 

Will keep an eye out now for Kris Kindle gift and organise some swaps.

Thanks for all the work involved in organising it.



Jemo Jemo 13 December 2017 19:54:24

Good work Hazel....thanks.

JoanG JoanG 14 December 2017 21:38:58

Great ... that's the first engagement for 2018 gone into the diary!  Thanks again for organising the day; your description sums up the get-together perfectly, which is why I always enjoy it so much. 

Get-together 2018 - alternative venue

11 December 2017 18:22:47

I have been looking at an alternative venue that might actually be able to accommodate us on a Sunday - I'm waiting to hear from them if they can.

It is 

O'Meara's Garden Pavilion near Mullingar

Just click the link below to see what its all about.

So the main points - it is near the M6 and M4 motorways - find it on Google Maps to see what your journey would be like.

They seem to be able to accommodate us on a Sunday in January but this hasn't been confirmed yet.

They only have a cafe rather than a restaurant and for a group such as ours could probably only offer soup and sandwiches.

Two options for this time of year:



Johnstown Garden Centre


O'Meara's Garden Pavilion
Saturdays only May be able to do Sunday
Full restaurant Coffee Shop - probably only soup and sandwiches
Sale discount available to us on the day Haven't discussed discount yet.

Please state your preferences on this journal. I'll post more details if they become available.


Jacinta D Jacinta D 11 December 2017 18:36:04

That's a lovely Garden Centre. Not one I've visited often, but definitely worth a shot for the party.

Jackie Jackie 11 December 2017 19:14:38

I would prefer Johnstown and I dont mind it being on a Saturday, thanks Hazel

Jemo Jemo 11 December 2017 19:19:22

Hazel, O'mears is fine but it does not have the same food facilities, but my preference is for johnstown...thanks, Jemo

Michelle finn Michelle finn 11 December 2017 20:58:25

i would prefer Johnstown GC

Michelle finn Michelle finn 11 December 2017 20:58:26

i would prefer Johnstown GC

MargieD MargieD 11 December 2017 21:08:13

Hazel, im ok for either day.

I'll drive anywhere, as I'm in kildare both are handy. 

Thanks for all the work done on it. 

Elizabeth7 Elizabeth7 11 December 2017 21:22:30

I think Mullingar is even a longer drive for the Corkonians.

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 11 December 2017 22:24:52

My favourite would be Johnstown Garden Centre and either Saturday or Sunday is okay with me. Not a great road from Waterford to Mullingar at this time of year.

Jackie Jackie 11 December 2017 23:22:44

Hazel I’ve posted this journal over on FB too 

AitAlainn AitAlainn 11 December 2017 23:43:16

Just catching up on all your journals now Hazel.Thanks for doing the organising again!  I'll try to make it wherever it's on but Sat 13th is looking doubtful for me - I do have a soft spot for Johnstown though!  

Jacinta D Jacinta D 12 December 2017 05:59:01

I also posted this onto Facebook. But Jackie, maybe you could delete yours and keep the comments and opinions together on the one? It would be easier to keep track of.

Periwinkle Periwinkle 12 December 2017 09:28:18

Just catching up on this now Hazel!  Thank you for your enthusiasm and hard work.  As I missed the Get together last year I would love to be able to join this year! A Saturday in Johnstown would be my preference. 

Hoeys Hoeys 12 December 2017 09:46:40

thank you for all your time Hazel, i missed last year but maybe this year i can make it, Saturday in Johnstown would be perfect.. if we will not get snow


TerriShoos TerriShoos 12 December 2017 09:46:54

Either would do us, Mullingar's probably a little closer but little in it. Would O'Meara's accommodate the plant swap? Not that we'll have much to swap as our kids are setting up a garden from scratch so they're first on the list for slips and cuttings. 

Keego Keego 12 December 2017 12:04:32

Hi Hazel thanks very much for all your hard work on organising the get togethers. I love the idea of the get togethers during the year. For Christmas I would prefer a Saturday and Johnstown is always great and we get the sale price so that gets my vote. Nice to be able to get something wholesome to eat as well if people are travelling a distance.

Rachel Rachel 12 December 2017 14:00:39

Johnstown vote from me too. Thanks, Hazel.

Myrtle Myrtle 12 December 2017 14:21:21

Hazel, Johnstown on the Sat would be my choice. I hope to be there and would be happy to help if needed. Thanks for organising again. I like the idea of meeting up around April time and it would be a good time of year for plant swap too.

Scrubber Scrubber 12 December 2017 20:27:44

Johnstown would be mypreference Hazel and so grateful for all your work and preparation.

JoanG JoanG 12 December 2017 21:58:56

Just adding my vote for Johnstown too, Hazel, and Saturday is fine for me. Thanks again for all your organising efforts, looking forward to the get-together. 

Liztai Liztai 13 December 2017 13:03:05

I love Johnstown too, but Mullingar has nice memories for me, so I would have happily gone for O'Meara's too. I agree, the plant-swap is an important issue also.

Winter Wonderland at Gortnalee

11 December 2017 01:04:23

This is my work-around for albums since the site is not able to upload them at present.

If the link doesn't work please let me know!

Winter Wonderland at Gortnalee


Jacinta D Jacinta D 11 December 2017 02:10:20

Your link worked, Hazel. Smashing photos.

Gracedieu Lass Gracedieu Lass 11 December 2017 22:29:36

Beautiful winter photos.

Get-together 2018 - consensus so far

11 December 2017 00:30:16

Just in case you think I've disappeared - Thanks to all the people who expressed an interest in our get-together in January.

Here is an update of the story so far ....

Day: People would much prefer a Sunday to a Saturday. I am still looking around for a venue that can accommodate us on a Saturday. I hope to have an update on this in the coming days.

Date: Whether it ends up as Saturday or Sunday there seems to be a consensus around the weekend of 13th/14th January.

Venue: Johnstown does seem to be a preferred location but if i can find somewhere who would accommodate us on a Sunday we might reconsider. I have spoken to Jim in Johnstown and he is happy to give us the Sale Discount on that date although the Sale will actually be over. He also mentioned that some of the new season's stock would be available on that weekend. However, they cannot accommodate us on a Sunday.

Other events during the year:

There seems to be quite a bit of interest in gatherings throughout the year so I provisionally suggest Ratoath for a late Spring event Easter is horribly early this year - 1st April - so maybe the May Bank Holiday might be a good time to visit Ratoath particularly if John Lord is prepared to give us a talk and a tour of his garden.

Arboretum in Carlow is another good suggestion. They have an excellent restautant so maybe a September event here might be of interest?

Regarding the other events - provided it is just a couple of phone-calls and some journals I am happy to co-ordinate these events throughout the year unless someone else wants to do it instead?


LindaB LindaB 11 December 2017 10:26:19

Thanks Hazel, your work is appreciated!!!


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