What is the Southern Symposium?

The Southern Symposium is a semi-formal fun gathering of Ireland’s plants-people held every Autumn at Kells Bay. Since 2014 the Symposium has been addressed by a veritable Who’s Who of the International and Irish horticultural Community. There are formal presentations by the guest speakers, an informal tour of Kells Bay Gardens, a buffet lunch, and a Symposium  Dinner.

Who can attend?  

Anybody with an interest in plants is invited to attend. A Symposium Ticket makes an ideal Gift for the Plant Lover in your life. You can book tickets here>

Images from previous Symposiums, Click to enlarge.


When is it on?

This year’s Symposium takes place 30th September – 2nd October 2022.

Who are this year’s guest speakers?

  • John Anderson – Keeper of the Gardens, Windsor Great Park, England

“A Head Gardener’s journey from Mount Usher to Windsor”.

  • Darach Lupton PhD – Curator – National Botanic Gardens

“Hop, Skip and Jump – the Curious Distribution of some of Ireland’s most Enigmatic Native Plants.”

  • Robert Wilson-Wright – Plant explorer & Proprietor Coolcarigan Gardens

“Isle of Bliss The remote island of Socotra”

  • Alasdair Moore, Head of Gardens & Estate, The Lost Gardens of Heligan

‘Tresco and Heligan: plants, history and meaning.’

What does it cost?

30th September

Symposium Banquet. 6.30pm €45
Incl, Introduction, Guest Lecture and 3-course Thai Welcome Dinner
The Guest Speakers will attend. This is a great opportunity to meet with knowledgable, high achieving gardeners.

1st October

Main Event, 10.00am 3 Guest Speakers, Buffet lunch w/Wine, Garden Walk €75

2nd October

Visit to Plant Nursery (included in Main event)


Limited availability in Kells Bay House.
Click here for availability.

Some alternatives

Taobh Coille Gleesk, Kells, Co. Kerry (066) 947 7626
Cáitíns Pub and Accomodation Gleensk, Co. Kerry (066) 947 7614