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August 2008

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Grand day out!

Sandra O'Hagan and her fellow members headed to County Waterford

On a sunny day in June, ten members of the Barryroe Gardening Club set off for Cappoquin House in Waterford as Nicola had been keen for us to visit her old place of employment. Now I could probably eke out a mini-series with the different twists and turns of the day, suffice to say it was very interesting in more ways than one.

Appropriately, Nicola led the four-car convoy and I tagged along to keep her and Poppy, the dog, company. Carefully avoiding the toll road, we arrived as arranged and were greeted by the owner, who left us in Nicola's very capable hands. Getting a guided tour from the very friendly ex-gardener made for an interesting visit and the garden was beautiful. There were a few unusual specimens and several quite common species grown in a very different way - we admired the flowers of the Mexican daisy covering a wall. As Nicola reminisced with old friends, the rest of the party went ahead to find a place to have lunch.  

The day was going so well that nobody was ready for it to end therefore we went to the local park for a nice stroll.

After some fantastic grub at Foleys on the Hill in Lismore, we headed off to the Lismore Castle. The display of large sculptures, dotted around the place, received a mixed reception. I personally loved the long borders divided into sections by yew hedging and we unanimously disliked the grasses planted in white gravel.

The flower shop, Bonnie's Bouquets, was very close by - at the back of which was a tiny garden raising money for charity. This diminutive space was a complete contrast to the earlier estate-garden visits and we were served refreshments by a very friendly couple who had created their own piece of paradise. The day was going so well that nobody was ready for it to end therefore we went to the local park for a nice stroll. Complete with bandstand, fountain, water feature, sculptured tree, a historic ice house and some very unusual concrete benches, it was certainly no run-of-the-mill park.

This was going to be a tough act to follow but Nicola had one last attraction up her sleeve - a nearby walk which included assorted follies known locally as The Towers. These were built by a rich man as grand entrances to his house, Ballysaggert, which has now disappeared. Our club definitely has a soft spot for a good folly and these were pretty special. After a short stop for a drink and a bite to eat it was finally time to head home. There was plenty to talk about on the return journey and everyone agreed that it had been a grand day out!

 

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