25 August 2009 21:42:15
Ugly Duckling Behaviour
We thought we'd have a little outing to feed the ducks and swans over near the mills in Skerries. There is a wooden railing along the entrace to the mills and on the other side is a pond which is always full of ducks and usually a swan or two, and the odd seagull as well. We decided today to go round the other side and sit on the grass to feed them but this was a big mistake. We sat down and started throwing the bread in. But straight away we felt uneasy. Soon we were surrounded and had to make a run for it. The swans staggered out of the pond and started hissing and spitting. We quickly handed over the bread and made a hasty retreat. I felt like I had been mugged. By a swan.
21 August 2009 19:56:48
I'm liking the changes to the site. My friends are all in alphabetical order now I feel so much more organised. And when I type a message I get to see the message I am replying to below - much better. And we now have the option to see more 'more recently updated profiles' which is great but I think when you click on one of these it should bring you straight to the journal as more often than not that is what you want to read. Now all I want is for the entire back catalogue of The Irish Garden to be archived and searchable on the site! A tall order maybe, but I visited some gardens recently that I know have been featured in the mag in the past and I would like to read about again but I'm not likely to go through my piles of mags to find them.
We showed Olga around Skerries on Monday. It was lovely to see her again and I hope she enjoyed her visit. Maybe next time she visits we will actually be living in Skerries. She presented Eoin with a Yuri Gargarin T shirt which he has hardly taken off since! I'm very impressed that she met 21 members in her time here and she was very impressed with the hospitality of the Irish. Glad to hear we still have it!
15 August 2009 10:37:01
Yeats Country - Ben Bulben
I will arise and go now,
and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there,
of clay and wattels made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there,
a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
14 August 2009 20:18:02
The Seaside Walled Garden at Lissadell
Just back from a whistlestop tour that brought us from the Glens of Antrim to the Mountains of Sligo and on to the lovely lakes of Leitirm. The highlight for me has to be Lissadell. We visited it on a rainy day and only got to do the tour of the house and visit the kitchen garden but it was just too wet and everyone was too worn out to do the Alpine garden - I was thinking I'm not really into Alpine plants so I wasn't too bothered, but later I had a nagging feeling that I had missed something. The next day we found ourselves heading for a beach nearby and I managed to wangle a visit to the Alpine Garden by myself and boy was I glad I did! All I can say is it is absolutely splendid, with a backdrop of Knocknaree mountain across the bay with Queen Maeve's tomb on top(which we also climbed). Definitely worth going back for! (more photos to follow...)
09 August 2009 11:17:00
Apple 'Discovery' just about ready to Munch.
These apples are looking almost ready to eat. They are the variety 'Discovery' and are juicy and sweet. This tree was a wedding present, along with another apple variety James Grieve. The James Grieve one has Canker but is still fruiting well. The Canker is actually on the main stem so I can't cut it out. Discovery doesn't seem to be affected. I love the red apples - they look so tempting.
09 August 2009 11:11:28
Mile-a-minute - a rampant climber
This Russian Vine, or Mile-A-Minute is well named as it is completely taking over the barn.
09 August 2009 11:07:44
Here are some fruits on one of the Oak trees - and they are not Acorns! They grow when a gall wasp lays its eggs on an Oak bud and the Gall grows to surround the baby wasps. In the autumn you can see a little hole where the wasp bores its way out. I don't think they harm the tree but how the wasp gets the tree to grow a little house for it is a bit of a mystery.
09 August 2009 10:55:59
We grew this Hollyhock from a seed mixture so we didn't know what colour it would be but we are delighted at how well it has done. It is planted in Eimhin's Swing garden. We're planning to save seeds to see what colours we get from it next year. We also just got two nice new wooden swing seats as the old seats broke and it was a while before we could find replacements that didn't break the bank!
05 August 2009 21:46:46
The Sunken Rose Garden
Yesterday, on the way home from the Big Smoke we visited the War Memorial gardens. We have driven past so many times and always said we should visit so yesterday we did, and it was a revelation. Who would have thought that beside such a busy road was such a beautifully contemplative garden, filled with hundreds of roses, circled with hebaceous borders and yew hedges. The granite buildings contain the names of the nearly 50 thousand Irish soldiers who were killed in active service during the First World War. I plan to go back to see if two of my Grandfather's brothers are listed, one of whom lied about his age so that he could enlist.
The gardens were designed by Lutyens (friend and collaborator of Gertrude Jekyll) on a grand scale and the rose gardens echo the style of the garden he designed at Heywood, Co. Laois, with the sunken areas with a central pool surrounded by terraces.
Among the perennials were Romneya, Phlox, Anemones, Echinops, Cimicifuga, Hydrangea, to name but a few. I made a new Album of photos and would definitely recommend a visit - its free and very accessible - just off the N4 at Kilmainham. And after you see the Sunken Rose gardens you can take a stroll through the parkland and along the Liffey to watch the canoeists and ducks!
05 August 2009 10:05:42
If only we could depend on the weather......
My brother took this pic when he was down for my Mam and Dad's 40th wedding anniversary celebration last weekend. We were lucky with the weather, although we did eat under cover just incase. Everyone was amazed at what a jungle the garden had become - not sure if thats good or bad! But I'll take it as a complement!
01 August 2009 20:51:55
Aren't these just lovely?
01 August 2009 20:36:08
Rita D, Nadine and Olga (aka Ternie)
Had another lovely visit to Nadine's garden today and also had the pleasure of meeting Rita D and Olga (all the way from Russia) there. I brought a few plants for Nadine but ended up going home with twice the amount I brought. Thank you Nadine! Nadine's garden is a stunning riot of colour and character. I managed to take a few photos between showers and will put them up soon. Hope to meet Olga again before she goes home and may see Rita sometime in the West. Anyway, thanks Nadine and should I tell everyone that you suggested having the next garden.ie plant swap at your place? Opppps!