Right up to the seventies or eighties, folks didn’t really have gardens. Any small plot of ground would likely have been used to grow potatoes and vegetables.
Today is the 100th anniversary of the vote in the Dáil (Irish Parliament) to accept the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It was ratified by 64-57 and thus began the Irish Civil War.
Yes, this is a garden blog. No, it’s not a declaration of where my political opinions lie. I just want to mark the day. Families were torn apart. There was bloodshed and death on both sides.
Realistically, right up to the seventies or eighties (?), folks didn’t really have gardens. Any small plot of ground woould likely have been used to grow potatoes and vegetables. I’m wondering when did garden centres become popular?
In a world ravaged by violence, war, famine, genocide, trafficking and other inhumanities, I came upon this beautiful cartoon…
The car is in garage for servicing, and I’m in The Food Hub Clonmel for a couple of hours, continuing my read of Fintan’s book. As you can guess, I’ve also found some time to write. It’s anther cold wet indoor day.
It has passed through several noble hands. Walter (of the Raleigh), Richard (of chemistry laws fame) and Fred the Dancer’s brother-in-law all had the deeds and seeds.
17th October 2020.
There’s been some Autumnal giddiness this week along with serious work in the garden and homework in my head. I am in the process of moving my website from WordPress to Hosting Ireland, but I asked the team leader to allow me time to get my Six-on-Saturday up and out. No problem, she said. Amid all this ticking of boxes and following my nose, I had some John Cleese moments in the aftermath of my visit to Lismore Castle Gardens last Sunday. More of that laterníos déanaí. My six (plus one) this week comes from the lovely garden in Lismore, twenty kilometres away.
The original castle was started in 1170 and I’m pretty sure they grew a few beans and bushes, along with thorns and truffles from time to time, but the first real attempt to add a garden befitting the castle caisleán commenced in the 1605. My meander through the present gardens, upper and lower, was the highlight of my year. That’s really saying something! I lost myself moving from one section to another through narrow maze-like alleys, eyes ahead in anticipation, moving from one century to the next.
I came upon this erect grass everywhere and I really do want it. Can anyone help me out?
This is the Avenue of Trees na gCrann. one of several throughout, most likely added by some new owner. Speaking of owners, it has passed through several noble hands. Walter (of the Raleigh), Richard (of chemistry laws fame) and Fred the Dancer’s brother-in-law all had the deeds and seeds. Since the 1600’s this has been just one the very many large estates owned by the Duke of Devonshire. The current Duke is Peregrine Cavendish, but I was unable to meet him because of my other Sunday commitments.
As I neared the castle walls I sat to enjoy a Hamlet moment, I was joined momentarily by a hedgehog. It crept slowly out of view as I admired the bigger picture.
Very impressed I was by the many secluded nooks. This one would be ideal for a picnic or romantic moments. I had neither of these but I did sit to take stock of life.
Voila! Here’s the back entrance, the coffee-and-apple-pie café and the newly-established art exhibition gallery. The café was very tempting but the gallery was closed. I saw someone looking down on me from a window, so I assumed an interested gaze at a tree down to my right and pointed the camera away. Later, my thoughts turned to Rapunzel.
One for the road…
The back lawn is spirit-level level, but as I photographed part of the castle from the approaching bank, I needed to shift my weight to my right footcos. Accordingly, the building is leaning. The builders of banks and castles could not have known at the time that this would cause first-world issues. An image of the Rapunzel in Pisa lingered with me.
That’s my short account of my first visit to these majestic gardens. I enjoyed it so much that I will save up for a season ticket. The gardens will open again in March next year, all being well with the world, so I will have some time to save slowly.
I did mention giddiness at the outset. In fact, it persisted until Wednesday, by which time I had produced a few fun items… photo edits, a tongue-in-cheek article and seven tweets. I’m told I’d do Twitter a great service by not bothering.
Wouldn’t you just love to visit many other majestic gardens or castles from around the World? England, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are well represented on the Six-on-Saturday thingymebob created by The Propagator.
Read all about it and follow this week’s gardeners’ gardens. You may join in free gratis, saor in aisce. Ireland has several keen enthusiasts, and my County Waterford is headed up by An Irish Gardener and myself. That’s it for this week. Stay safe, enjoy your garden and garden reading, keep your distance and wash your hands. I’ll be back next week so until then, slán go fóill.