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Garden Group Tour To Irelands Eye Guide

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ALL CLEAR GIVEN. TRIP IS GO!!!

Not to be confused with another Garden Gig – the grow your own garden course – that I am running this Saturday.

This post is for those attending The Peter Donegan Weblog Garden Group Tour to Irelands Eye.

*ONLY* If your name has been accepted via comment on The Garden Group To Set Sail blog post – can you get on the boat. Hate to sound rude but…. I’d rather you disappointed than the skipper throwing me overboard 😉

Further to my chat with the boats skipper [17:22 hours] departure is reliant upon weather confirmation to be given on this Friday Morning. I have been told to assume however that it is going ahead. The strike through just under the photo above will be removed as soon as full weather clearance is given.

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11.30am arrive

As this trip is all reliant on a boat departing – please be on time!! Think angry Skipper. It is recommended you use public transport. Or do a variation of park and ride. Street parking around Howth is mental on a sunny Sunday!

The Dart stop you want is Howth – do not confuse this with Howth Junction.On exit from the DART station you are right outside The Bloody Stream Pub [pictured left], where we will meet.

Bus numbers 31 and 31B also leave from Lower Abbey Street.

We don’t have a tour guide. But we do have….

Diarmid O’ Cathsaigh from the Howth Peninsula Heritage Society will meet us at the pier and give us a short talk [about 20 minutes] on the history and tales of the island. Big thanks to Mary Stephenson for organising this for me.

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Boat Journey

Boat will depart to Irelands Eye as soon as Diarmuid is finished his talk. All monies [€15] to be paid to the skipper up front. I’d reckon he doesn’t take credit card or cheque.

Clothing

It is recommended that you wear long trousers and good water proof boots if you wish to walk the island. The growth that covers the island is gorse/ thorned/ prickly and wet.

Photography/ Video

Fully recommended. Just google Irelands Eye for images and you’ll understand why. If someone wishes to record Diarmuids chat with us in hi-definition that’d be great.

Lunch

Bring a picnic and flask. And put it in a backpack. A comfy one.

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Weather

the weather is supposed to be good thank God. But – this is Ireland and once we’re there…. we are there. Same rules apply for the bathroom.

Be careful

This is an island.There are jagged edges/ cliff faces etc.

If you are going wandering please do not do so alone.

Birds tend [if they are] to make their nests at ground level. Keep a careful eye out.

Please also be extra careful with wrappers/ rubbish that may blow away when on the island.

Other

My mobile number is vodafone prefix and then 6594688. Use it if you need to.

If Blaithín, Dena and Rosemary start singing Michael row the boat ashore or Rock the Boat – you have my permission to use your logic 😉

It is at this point I will refer to The Garden Group Guide and I’ll look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

I took these pics last week….

The Red Exhaust Pipe Bird Feeder

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Building a garden recently I was asked for something unusual as a feature for the garden. My imagination being what it is, the idea coming to mind is never a problem. It is however a problem for some clients [?] when they can’t see what has never existed before and ultimately a level of trust and/ or a pre-requisite of an also zany imagination is necessary. The alternate. Buy something off the shelf.

On this occasion it was a small garden. The red dead tree was referred to and also I was told….

I want something that is different, unique, unusual, practical, not 17th century type symetry, a little bit out there… but it’s got to be a looker…

Like I always said the rollling stones on vinyl may cost a fiver second hand… but will always be better than than the €50 double cd remastered

Of course, as simple as it may sound, there’s actually about 3 days work in this thing. The main issue being that it would hold upright with it being so top heavy and the fact that the pipe supporting was not straight…. that said I think it’s really cool.

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View more images of the Red Exhaust Pipe Bird Feeder here

What I had done, with my good friend and welder genius George was to take the replacement exhaust pipe for my Daewoo Musso jeep [a 2.5 merc engine btw], give it a labotomy in an attempt to reduce the weight of the combustion chamber; weld some re-bar and other bits to the base so that concrete-less it would still stand upright; paint it burning red and rivet some refelective metal to it allowing us to hook in a bird feeder… then we dropped it into a new look and rebuilt garden…. of course there was a lot more to it than that…. but you get my gist 😉

Cycas Revoluta

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The Cycas or Sago palm, cycadaceae, is a genus of about 15 species. This one, the C. revoluta is better known as the Japaneese sago palm.

These are another batch of plants I spotted in the Cape Garden Centre.

It is generally a very robust plant but with age it tends to begin to lean over, begin suckering and branching out. The leaves can grow to 1.5 metres long. And surprisingly, possibly, this fella only ever grows to a maximum of about 2 metres in height and width…. which kind of explains why I didn’t see any taller versions of it 😉   

The flowers are dioecious [carry both male and female flowering parts seperate]. The male parts [16″ long but up to 32″ long in other varieties] are cone like and pineapple scented whilst the female parts [8″ long but up to 30″ long] can appear as loose clusters of leaves but in C. revoluta appear as yellow fruits.

Personally I love them simply for their foliage.

      

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Beaucarnea recurvata

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Some of these plants were used in the building of the garden in Wallacedene.

Once again they came from The Cape Garden Centre.  

They were however planted as a smaller species [you’ll see them in the images below in sand in a liner similar to a 1 litre pot]. Once again and yet again to say I was blown away when I saw them over the 6′ tall mark is an understatement. They are magnificient.
The beaucarnea, nolinaceae, are a genus of about 30 species of evergreen trees and shrubs. This variety, the B. recurvata, is commonly known as the ponytail palm. The leaves can grown to 6′ tall, the plant itself can grow up to 8metres in height and 4 metres wide. It does produce flowers through the summer time, but alas I think I’ll have to hope that one day I may see that in person…. For the moment, it is still an absoolute stunner… 😉   
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Leucospermum cordifolium x glabrum

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I was blown away when I saw this plant displayed at The Cape Garden Centre.

I have seen these guys before… but they are very much a rarity, in Ireland anyway and moreso in such abundance.

The Leucospernum, commonly known as the pincushion, Protaeaceae, is a genus of about 47 species of evergreen shrubs. What is amazing about this plant is that it grows to about 1.5 meters tall and wide and in South Africa.

It’s recommended use…. as a hedge… 😯 can you imagine that in Ireland !! The best thing after that… it’s widely used for cut flowers.

In case you may get confused… the L. cordifolium do grow, generally to about 2 metres tall, its leaves are about 8cm and the spherical flowerheads to about about 12cm. The little pins are known as styles. It also prefers an acid soil.

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