On Sunday past crowds gathered at the beautiful Birr Castle Demesne for the annual Rare and Special Plants Fair. Despite the occasional gust of wind - which sometimes toppled gazebos! - the day was a great success and when the sun did shine, it was glorious!
Liberties Press were delighted to attend, along with the lovely Shirley Lanigan to launch The 100 Best Gardens in Ireland. Setting up stall in the Pavillion, surrounded by the tempting scent of various food stalls, Liberties shared their space with Richard Haslam and picked up some flower-arranging tips in addition to selling some books.
At 3pm, we were joined by Lord Rosse who had kindly agreed to launch the book. Liberties' MD Seán O'Keeffe opened the launch, thanking Shirley, Lord Rosse and Bord Biá (sponsers of the fair) before handing over to Lord Rosse himself.
Lord Rosse began by stressing the 'tremendous need' for more books on Irish gardens and as a result his pleasure in the publication of The 100 Best Gardens in Ireland. Birr Castle Demesne features in the book and Lord Rosse was able to talk about some of its delights to the attentive audience. He shared, however, that 'it is very difficult to sell, to market, to promote a demesne like this as a garden' , confirming the need for a book like The 100 Best Gardens in Ireland which recognises the gardens at Birr as one of its finest features. He finished by saying, 'This nation is one and its gardens are one. They are all bred from the same soil.' He praised the book for acknowleding this fact and including gardens from all 32 counties in Ireland.
Author Shirley Lanigan closed the speeches with a few words of her own. She began by saying how her job was really not work at all, but a true pleasure. Shirley's enthusiasm for the gardens of Ireland was evident and the audience could have listened to her talk about Ireland's lush gardening heritage all day. She encouraged everyone to spend their summer visiting Irish gardens, making the valid point that in these recessionary times it is a very inexpensive hobby with access to gardens for under ten euro, sometimes even for free! She consolidated her point by adding, 'And there's cake, there's almost always cake!'
On Monday morning Shirley was on Ireland AM talking about The 100 Best Gardens in Ireland. It seems Presenter Aidan Cooney agrees with Shirley as he encouraged viewers to get the book and plan their trips. He finished the show with, 'Buy it. You'll have lots of fun with it.'
Do what he says and order your copy today!