Six-on-Saturday – Altamont

I googled the phrase “hummed and hawed”, and was delighted to see that there’s a variation for American hummers & hawers. Yes, it seems that delaying tactics are slightly different over there.

The advice was very definite. Go to Altamont, they said. Paddy said it. Geraldine and Ann said it too. I hummed and hawed just a bit too much, until Marion said: “Oh, for God sake, just go!” So I did. I went to Altamont Gardens in County Carlow.

It’s not often that I’d choose to drive narrow country roads rather than good motorway, but on this occasion I did. It was a good idea. I’m glad that there was no humming or hawing involved. It’s a time of year when the countryside looks great, and I relished the chance to slow down a bit.

When I visited on Monday last, it was bitterly cold and I forgot my hat. I did have a hood on my jacket but it wasn’t satisfactory. I was like a blinkered horse, able to see only a narrow view of landscape directly ahead. There are times when a good thick head of hair would be an advantage.

The snowdrop season is almost finished, but there’s plenty else to be seen. The Hellebores caught my eye along with the Crocuses.

Recently, while planting up some pots, I was reminded of the three important plant types to include… a thriller, a filler and a spiller. Well, someone must have told the gardener about it. There’s a striking thriller Phormium, some filler Skimmias and Snowdrops, and finally some Ivy to finish it off over the edge. If planting pots were The Great Bake Off, this would definitely be into the next round.

I was stopped in my tracks by the scent of this Daphne. I don’t remember the variety, but no matter. I dallied for a few moments to take it all in. Really and truly, variety names are a lot of bother. A daphne is a daphne.

Apparently, the lake was dug out during the time of The Great Famine. That’s a sad thought when viewing something that’s now so beautiful.

Having rounded the lake, I returned to the oak pathway to enjoy once again the lovely Hellebores in reverse.

That was Monday, cold but dry. I’m reminded to be content with cold dry days, particularly because Tuesday and Wednesday were biblically wet, and not a kilometre was cycled until yesterday. Today, I’ll be playing catch up with my plants and seedlings.

The glasshouse is filling up. It’s not a problem at the moment, but in a few weeks these seedlings will need to be potted up. Perhaps I could take on an apprentice?

  • Carex buchananii Firefox 22-008
  • Stipa tenuissima (Mexican Feathergrass) 22-012
  • Uncinia rubra 22-013
  • Rudbeckia (Gloriosa Daisy) 22-033
  • Rudbeckia Cutting Mixed 22-052
  • Festuca glauca (Fescue) Blue Select 22-010
  • Foxglove Dalmation Peach F1 22-034
  • Gaura Sparkle White 22-040
  • Gaura lindheimeri The Bride 22-051
  • Lettuce Morton’s Mix 22-057
  • Spring Salad Mix 22-058
  • Chrysanthemum (Shasta Daisy) Silver Princess 22-037
  • Pennisetum macrourum 22-048
  • Aster Milady Mixed 22-054
  • Cosmos bipinnatus 22-004
  • Salvia nemoros (Meadow Sage 22-029
  • Cosmos Sensation 22-030

There are a further six in the propagator that haven’t germinated yet. Who said that being retired is easy?

On the other hand, there’s always time to learn something new. I’m familiar with the phrase “hummed and hawed”. That said, I googled it and was delighted to see that there’s a variation for American hummers & hawers. Yes, it seems that delaying tactics are slightly different over there.


What’s this Six-on-Saturday we keep writing about? We are a group of gardeners who write. We write about six items in our gardens, and we do it on Saturdays. You can find out more about it here. Thank you Jon.

That’s it for this week, a cháirde. Until next week, I hope that all will be well in your world. Slán go fóill.

Pádraig.

Author: Páraig

Changing my mind, one thought at a time. When head is good so is everything, including some fast biking and slow gardening.

16 thoughts on “Six-on-Saturday – Altamont”

    1. Very good to be able to return to normal activities again. This Covid isn’t gone, but life seems a bit more normal… except of course for war & death.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well, you certainly took your time to get there so I hope you enjoyed the visit despite the bad weather. There’s a nice walk down to the river which would be closed at this time of year as the ground is wet and, health and safety regulations would declare, dangerous for visitors. That daphne is D. bholua ‘Jacqueline Postil’, absolutely divine fragrance. Finally, with your humming and hawing in mind, Lismore Castle Gardens are opening from the 17th onwards! I’m sure you’ll get there before the end of the summer!

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    1. The house seems to be derelect, but the gardens are stunning. Free entry too. I was thinking if they charged a few bob it would help with refurbishment.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I have vague recollection of having a daphne many years ago. It did not thrive. I’ll definitely add this one to my wish list.

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