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.