The President Invites: Travels with Michael Bowyer, Springtime in Ireland

Springtime in Ireland with Michael Bowyer
from £989
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Join NAFAS President Michael Bowyer on this wonderful trip to southern Ireland to see beautiful gardens in springtime and meet the designers behind some of the country's best known gardens.

You will visit Helen Dillon's Garden, Powerscourt Estate, Hunting Brook Gardens, June Blake's Garden and Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens, and also be treated to a floral demonstration from NAFAS demonstrator and current President of the Association of Irish Floral Artists, Christine Hughes. Based for five nights at the 4* Ballsbridge Hotel in the centre of Dublin, you will also have plenty of time to explore the vibrant Irish capital. 

Don't miss this wonderful adventure! Places are limited, so we advise early booking.


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The Dillon Garden

The Dillon Garden

Located in Monkstown on the outskirts of Dublin, the new Dillon Garden is the work of celebrated TV gardener Helen Dillon. Enclosed behind granite walls, this town garden is filled with exotic plants, ornamental climbers, flowering shrubs and tree ferns.

Powerscourt Estate & Gardens

Stretching over 47 acres, this is one of the most beautiful gardens in Ireland, offering a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues, ornamental lakes and rambling walks. 

Powerscourt Estate & Gardens

Hunting Brook Gardens

Hidden in the foothills of the majestic Wicklow Mountains, Hunting Brook Gardens is an extraordinary contemporary Irish garden. Created by the noted Irish horticulturalist, teacher and plantsman Jimi Blake, it boasts one the country's largest private collections of plants. Jimi is known for his fiercely colourful and theatrical large-scale planting combinations and Hunting Brook has them in plenty! 

Hunting Brook Gardens

June Blake's Garden

This beautiful garden extends over approximately three acres and contains an eclectic collection of plants from around the world. Look out for bold herbaceous planting and a shade garden of ferns, grasses, bamboos and other woodland plants, punctuated by enormous granite boulders. 

June Blake garden

Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens

Famous for its collections of conifers and rhododendrons, these fascinating botanic gardens owe much to the work of Thomas Acton, David Moore and his son, Sir Frederick Moore, curators of the 19th century National Botanic Gardens. The 19th century was a period of great botanical and geographical exploration and many plant species from around the world were introduced into Ireland for the first time. The different soil and climatic conditions at Kilmacurragh meant that these specimens thrived, resulting in the unmissable gardens that we can see today.  


Dublin is a multi-cultural creative hub with a warm and welcoming vibe. Nestled between Dublin Bay and the Dublin mountains, its streets brim with signs of the city's vibrant history and proud heritage. The centre is lively and filled with characterful pubs and restaurants, not to mention enticing shopping districts. A UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin is also home to many wonderful bookshops. 

On Saturday night following dinner at your hotel, you will be joined by Christine Hughes, current president AOIFA (Association of Irish Floral Artists) and NAFAS National demonstrator for a series of floral demonstrations.


Christine Hughes NAFAS National Demonstrator

Bailsbrook Hotel Dublin

One of the most renowned, stylish and luxurious hotels in Dublin’s south, Ballsbridge Hotel is famous for its Irish hospitality and quality service. Set in the heart of Dublin 4, it is 20 minutes walk from the city centre.

Day 1: Thursday 20th May

Make your own way from Dublin airport to the 4* Ballsbridge Hotel. Check in is from 3pm.

1800h: welcome drink at the hotel with your Tour Manager and Michael Bowyer 

1900h: group dinner at the hotel

Day 2: Friday 21st May

Breakfast at the hotel

0930h: depart by coach for a 2.5h panoramic city tour of Dublin with a local guide. You will make a stop at Phoenix Park, Europe's largest enclosed public park, where you will be able to get out and have a walk. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped off in the city centre for some time at leisure.

PM: you will be picked up from the city centre by coach and taken to Helen Dillon's wonderful new garden in Monkstown. You will return to the hotel in the late afternoon.

Evening: at leisure - you might like to visit some of the nearby restaurants for supper, or go back into the city centre to explore Dublin by night

Day 3: Saturday 22nd May

Breakfast at the hotel

1000h: depart by coach for Powerscourt Estate & Gardens in County Wicklow. You will have plenty of time to explore both the house and gardens, as well as enjoy lunch* in the beautiful surroundings. (*Lunch is not included in the tour price.)

1400h, approx: depart Powerscourt for the hotel, arriving around 3pm.

1700h: floral demonstration by Christine Hughes, a member of the Association of Irish Floral Artists (AQIFA) at the hotel.

1900h: group dinner at the hotel, joined by Christine

Day 4: Sunday 23rd May

Breakfast at the hotel

1000h: depart by coach for Hunting Brook Gardens in Blessington for a private tour, followed by a light lunch.

PM: guided tour of neighbouring June Blake's Garden, including refreshments

Late PM: return to the hotel for evening at leisure

Day 5: Monday 24th May

Breakfast at the hotel

1000h: depart by coach for a guided tour of Kilmacurragh Botanic Gardens in County Wicklow. You will also have time to explore at leisure. Lunch* is available in the cafe. (*Lunch is not included in the tour price.)

Late PM: depart for the hotel, arriving around 1700h

Evening: at leisure

Day 6: Tuesday 25th May

Breakfast at the hotel and check out (12 noon at the latest)

AM: time at leisure to explore Dublin until you need to depart for the airport and your flight home.

Tour ends


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Tour Includes

  • 5 nights bed & breakfast at 4* Ballsbridge Hotel
  • Welcome drink and talk from Michael Bowyer on arrival evening
  • 2 nights group dinner at the hotel
  • Coach travel as per programme
  • Panoramic city tour of Dublin with a local guide
  • Visit to Helen Dillon's Garden
  • Visit and entrance to Powerscourt
  • Floral demonstration by Christine Hughes
  • Visit to Hunting Brook Gardens with guided tour and light lunch
  • Visit to June Blake's Garden with guided tour and refreshments
  • Visit to Kilmacurragh Gardens with guided tour
  • Services of an ECT Tour Manager

£989 per person*

* prices are based on two people sharing a twin or double room. The single room supplement is £350

There is a deposit payment of £250

Please register your interest so we can let you know when booking opens 

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