Tours, Talks & Picnic Afternoon Tea

Twin Trees Heywood Festival 2020.

 2:30 pm – Saturday 22nd August 2020.

Our Festival is a 100% Outdoors & Socially Distanced event!

After the success of last year’s Tours, Talks & Afternoon Tea, we are delighted to announce that it will take place again on Saturday August 22nd, 2020.

A Guided Tour of Heywood Gardens, with Lutyens’ descendant, Amanda Pitcairn, followed by talks with Dr. Matthew Jebb, Botanic Gardens, and Geoff Stebbings, Editor of Garden Answers Magazine, and former Head Gardener at the Royal Botanic Gardens.

The talks will take place, either side of Afternoon Tea, which will be served picnic-style, in keeping with Covid 19 regulations.
More details to follow.

Guided Tour

Our guide for the Tour of Heywood Gardens is Lutyens descendant Amanda Pitcairn.

Amanda who is a direct descendant of Edwin Lutyens, has a degree in History and an MPhil in Public History and Cultural Heritage, from Trinity College Dublin. She is passionate about history and communicating history to the public. She loves to make history interesting, relevant and above all fun without compromising on the facts. 


Dr. Matthew Jebb – Botanic gardens of Ireland

We are thrilled to welcome back Dr. Matthew Jebb to Ballinakill, and the Twin Trees Heywood, Art & Culture Festival, on August 22nd 2020.

Dr. Jebb, Director of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, captivated us all during last year’s event, held in All Saints’ Church, Ballinakill, with an amazing talk, entitled Lambay, Lutyens & Jekyll.

This year Dr. Matthew Jebb’s talk will discuss two themes – How Jekyll Cultivated An Architect, and House Or Garden; Which Came First? 

The talk will explore the collaboration between the architect Edwin Lutyens, and garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll, that blossomed into life long friendship. How Jekyll had recognised and promoted the talents of the architect, at such a formative juncture in both their careers, and how the art forms they both aspired to perfect required such a deep knowledge and union of the crafts and skills of architect and gardener!

And where better to host such a wonderful talk, than in the heart of one of those collaborations; the magnificent Heywood Gardens, designed by Lutyens in 1906, landscaped by Jekyll, and fully completed in 1912. It stands today as testament to the essence of not just their alliance, but also the application and execution of their art!

Geoff Stebbings

We are also thrilled to welcome Geoff Stebbings to Ballinakill, and the Twin Trees Heywood, Art & Culture Festival, on August 22nd 2020. Geoff is the Editor of Garden Answers magazine and a broadcaster on BBC Radio. He has wrote several gardening books and won two Garden Media Guild awards.

Many of you may know Geoff as The Biking Gardener, and he writes frequently in his blog, on all things plant and garden.

“Lifelong biker (since I was 17) and gardener (since I was 7). Two disparate threads I know but they come together sometimes!”

Geoff Stebbings Talk at this year’s Tour, Talks and Picnic Afternoon Tea, is titled ‘Jekyll And The Modern Garden’, and will explore the influence of Gertrude Jekyll’s garden designs on today’s modern gardens.

Tickets are now available >>>here 
€40 + Booking Fee

Tours, Talks & Afternoon Tea Picnic

A series of photographs from our Tours, Talks & Afternoon Tea, at the Twin Trees Festival 2019.

Amand Pitcairn, descendant of Sir Edwin Lutyens, who gave an excellent guided tour of Heywood Gardens.
Amanda Pitcairn, descendant of Sir Edwin Lutyens, who gave an excellent guided tour of Heywood Gardens.


The fountain by the pond, in the sunken garden, Heywood.


The Pergola, at Heywood Gardens


Attendees assemble for Amanda Pitcairn’s guided tour of Heywood Gardens, On a glorious August morning


David Averill FRIAI, Lutyens Trust, giving his talk, ‘Lutyens & Heywood In Context’, at All Saints’ Church, Ballinakill


Dr. Matthew Jebb, Botanic Gardens, Ireland, delivering his talk, ‘Lutyens, Lambay & Jekyll’, in All Saints’ Church, Ballinakill


Geoff Stebbings


A first view of the sunken garden, Heywood Gardens


Make A Day Of It!

Spend a day in Ballinakill & Heywood Gardens – August 22nd 2020

Prior to our Tour, Talks & Picnic Afternoon Tea, which gets underway at 2:30pm, why not join us in Ballinakill Village where so much will be going on!

It will be day three for the artists on this year’s En Plein Air event, which will see them bring their easels to the village, and their work from the previous two days in Heywood Gardens, and the surrounding woodlands, will also be on display, in our Open Air Art Exhibition.

Our Guided Historical Walk of Ballinakill & Heywood, takes place at 11am, and tickets are just €5 +booking.
Local historian, and co-author of Ballinakill A Journey Through Time, Ger Dunphy is the guide for this walk. The route will avoid busy roads, and there is a section of off-road walking, with moderate terrain throughout. The walk will be approximately one hour in duration.

It promises to be both an enjoyable and informative walk, with the Masslough Lake, Trench Family Mausoleum, Heywood Estate and Gills Pond just a few of the many places of interest that will be visited, along the route.

Before or after your walk, why not treat yourself to a coffee and choose from a wide range of wonderful foods, all of which will be on offer at our Laois Food Market, in the village square, and pay a visit to picturesque Gills Pond, where the festival’s Fishing Competition will be in full flow!

Twin Trees Heywood Art & Culture Festival 2020
Twin Trees Heywood Art & Culture Festival 2020