GLDA’s 27th Annual Seminar 2023

This year, we are focusing on how we should shift our attention to the essence of what makes our landscapes distinctive and how to preserve and capture the spirit and atmosphere of the garden. Design for the landscape should always be adapted for the context of where it is located. How a deeper understanding of the existing context influences our design choices and creates better planning to protect and enhance the richness of the existing ecosystem and biodiversity.

Date: Saturday, 25th February 2023

Venue: Crowne Plaza Dublin Airport Hotel Conference Centre (click for map) Northwood Park, Santry, Dublin D09 X9X2

Time: Registration opens 8 am. Seminar 9 am-5.30 pm.

To book your tickets click here.


Taina Suonio, a renowned Finnish Landscape Designer, Horticulturist and Environmental Biologist, has won multiple RHS Chelsea Flower Show awards. She is also a TV and radio presenter and a researcher in the Fifth Dimension – Vegetated Roofs in Urban Areas research group of the University of Helsinki. She lectures and writes articles on matters related to horticulture, landscaping and the environment. She is the co-initiator and landscape designer of the Greenest of the Green, an internationally awarded block of flats project in Helsinki, completed in 2017.

Randal Plunkett, 21st Baron of Dunsany, is a Film Director, writer, producer, and founder of Dunsany Nature Reserve from Dunsany Castle in Meath.  As an active environmentalist, Randal felt obliged to tackle the looming problem of loss of biodiversity by adopting a radical rewilding programme on a third of his estate (around 700 acres) in a bid to restore the natural heritage of the once forested lands.

Mary Reynolds is a reformed internationally acclaimed landscape designer, bestselling author, and founder of the global movement “We are the ARK” Mary believes that the time has come to re-imagine our work as gardeners and become leaders in the race to save the planet and to save ourselves.


Speaker Update: Unfortunately, our speaker Barry Kavanagh is not able to join us on Saturday due to ill health. We wish him a speedy recovery.

We are delighted to welcome TJ Maher, artist and creator of Patthana Garden, Co Wicklow, who has agreed to take his place. We attach an updated timetable for the day.

TJ Maher
TJ Maher, artist and creator of an award-winning village garden, Patthana Garden, in Co Wicklow. The garden has evolved over 20 years. TJ will speak on a recent major project, the development of a Torc Garden. Work in the new garden commenced in 2020 after the purchase of agricultural land adjoining the existing garden. It is an area designed to connect with self and nature. The new garden has been created without the use of chemicals, carefully respecting nature and the spirit of the land itself, using a combination of garden, native and wild plants. In late summer 2021 work commenced on creating a meadow at the rear of the Torc. It is not a traditional meadow but a reimagined one, a marriage between the creativity of the gardener and the intentions of mother nature.