For this week the National Botanic Gardens is hosting the largest collection of Tomato
cultivars ever assembled in Ireland. The Totally Terrific Tomato Festival takes place
at Killruddery House and Gardens each year in September.
This year 203 cultivars went on show.
The Botanic Gardens grew 42 cultivars for the show, and is now displaying the 200 strong
display for the next week or so. It is a chance to come face to face with ‘Indigo Rose’,
'Broad Ripple Currant', 'Mary Stout's Three-Sided', ‘Paul Robeson’ and 'Purple Bumblebee'.
The Totally Terrific Tomato Festival was founded by organic grower,
Nicky Kyle, from north county Dublin in 2012. Jane Powers, garden writer
and tomato devotee helped Nicky bring the festival to Killruddery House
and Gardens in Co Wicklow, the home of Fionnuala and Anthony Ardee.
Killruddery has a strong interest in food growing and preparation
and in sustainability, so it was the perfect venue for the festival.
Twenty two other growers from all over Ireland (and Wales) contributed
tomatoes: Airfield Estate,
Madeline McKeever of Brown Envelope Seeds,
Dermot Carey, Derek Dunne, Chris Enright, Jean Perry of Glebe Gardens
in Baltimore, Co Cork, Andrew & Jenny Glenn-Craigie, Alan Kennedy, Frank
Jesper at Killruddery Estate, Nicky Kyle, Lorraine Marrey, Kathryn Marsh,
Aga Mizuno, Wendy Nairn, Aileen O’Meara, Ann O Suilleabhain, Kay Osborne,
Alun Owens, Ann Philips, Jane Powers, Medwyn Williams