Galway Lilies and Fields of Athenry

We bought three lily bulbs two years ago and now there are four. Last year they were disappointing. This year they are amazing!  The tallest is 2m20cm, followed closely by two more, but the baby one snapped when it was just 50cm. I’m not sure was it the wind or did something eat straight through it. I think it was something.
They were bought in Clonmel Garden Centre but the maroon is definitely a Galway colour!

Lily Gurt Mór

They are not staked, but are supported somewhat by being planted deep within a large pot. Since early April they have shot skywards on a perfectly vertical plane. Then, because of a nearby overhanging apple tree (Apple Tree Duff) the stems arched gently away as soon as the tree came into leaf. Nature is amazing. Come to think of it, if I were a Galway Lily I’d probably do the same.

Our love was on the wing
We had dreams and songs to sing

I have watched the long buds form slowly, and I’ve waited and waited for the first one to open. The Gaway Lily made me wait until yesterday and the others will likely follow very soon.
I will go back over my hand-written notes to find the variety name, and in the meantime I’ll enjoy these beautiful flowers. I’ll enjoy the scent, the colour and the slow pace of maturity on show today and over the next few weeks.

* Any further information or special tips from other Lily lovers would be very much appreciated.

Camouflaged Raindrops

I include here a famous Galway folk ballad written in 1979, remembering the savagery of The Famine in 1847. In recent years it has been adopted by many as a symbol of Irishness, a symbol of struggle against oppression. For anyone interested in the history of England in Ireland, the Wikipedia article about this ballad is very interesting.

Fields of Athenry

By the lonely prison wall
I heard a young girl calling
Michael, they are taking you away
For you stole Trevelyn’s corn
So the young might see the morn
Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay.

Low lie the fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly
Our love was on the wing
We had dreams and songs to sing
It’s so lonely ’round the fields of Athenry.

By a lonely prison wall
I heard a young man calling
Nothing matters Mary when you’re free
Against the famine and the crown
I rebelled, they ran me down
Now you must raise our child with dignity.


By a lonely harbour wall
She watched the last star falling
As the prison ship sailed out against the sky
She’ll wait and hope and pray
For her love in Botany Bay
It’s so lonely round the fields of Athenry.

Damaged by Circumstances

Up the Déise!


Wednesday, 8th July 2020.

4 thoughts on “Galway Lilies and Fields of Athenry

    1. It’s a heart-thumper, Gill. Mind you, I don’t really know how I got from a lily in my garden to the lyrics of this. One glass of wine is sensible, two makes strange writing links in my head!

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        1. Yes, my garden writing does as much for me as the garden itself! I mentioned somewhere that I hope they’ll I’ve me an iPad when I’m in the nursing home so that I can look back & have a laugh!

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