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Robinia Pseudoacacia Frisia

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I had an email in today reminding me that October was just around the corner…. And it is. With that comes tree planing season. That said, this photo was taken last week and there is great potential for me to end on an entirely different subject-ish 😉 My idea here is just to get you thinking of what is merely weeks away….  Plan now for when you will essentially be buying a twig, stick or dormant plant and you will reap the rewards.

Imagine if everyone in Ireland planted just one tree how beautiful this country would look….

This however is the Robinia pseudoacacia ‘frisia’.

Leguminosae/ papilionaceae. The Robinia’s are a genus of about 20 deciduous species and grow pretty well in Ireland. ‘The books’ note that it may upset your tummy if you eat any part of the tree. On one hand, who eats trees anyway. On the other, better safe than sorry and I tell you in advance.

To it’s name; Psuedo meaning false, and acacia being an entirely different tree, this is often commonly known as the false acacia or the black locust. It’s attractiveness comes down to its foliage which is almost like the sweet pea or pea’s that I have grown in my garden – but then it is Leguminosae [legume] which is essentially the pea family.

This variety of Robinia can grow up to 50 feet tall. It’s golden foliage turns to a more green in summer and to a more orange in autumn. I love it also for its perfumed [although I can’t smell diddly] white flowers than grow in little hanging clusters or racemes* in summer time.

They also remind me slightly of these Gleditsia – funnily enough, they are commonly referred to as the honey locust. Well, you learn something new every day. Go. Buy. Enjoy. Let me know how you get on.

*raceme: [def] a cluster of flowers along a central stem

Ladies View, Killarney

No this not a postcard. This is the view from what is known a Ladies View, In Killarney. It is one of the most amazing places I have ever been to in my life.

People say Ireland can be expensive – well this is as easy as a picnic, if you chose to do it that way and it is one of the few things in this country that the government cannot put a tax upon. Personally, I would [and will] sit looking at this for days.

I made it here because I took the road less travelled. I got lost, intentionally – and was so happy that I did. From Killarney town it took me approximately 4 hours in total to get to Macroom in Cork. To put in context it only took me about one hour on the way over 😉 The reason it took so long is that I stopped everywhere.

To be honest I found it hard trying to pick out just one photograph of my journey. I will go back. Sooner than I thought. When you do – don’t bring a sat nav. You’ll thanks me for it. I promise. Instead swap it for a poetry book.

View more images of Ladies View, Killarney

This was the journey from Conavee to Killarney…..

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kilkenny Castle Rose Garden & Park

On Monday the 26th October 2009 I went to visit Kilkenny Castle Rose Park & Gardens. I went under the recommendation of my good friend Pat Fitzgerald.

As I walked up towards the castle I was bemused at the amount of brand spanking smooth polished granite that adorned such a vast are[n]a, complete with mirror polished steel against this ancient backdrop of the beautiful castle…. who on Gods earth decided on this…? such a shame. And to those who did this… you should be ashamed.

That out of my system. It was the gardens I went to see.Admission is free. The grounds are very well maintained.The sight of new tree planting schemes is to be applauded and admired. I really do love this park… The hills of grass so high in parts that one couldn’t see over the far side. The wooded areas were left with stacks of wood [brilliant for wildlife]underneath the canopy of wooded leaf areas. The leaves adorned some of the footpaths but not all. There are so many options when walking here… the poem ‘the road less travelled’ really does come to mind. The walkway by the waters edge is superb, so romantic, such a break from the norm…

It really is so very well done.  The grounds staff deserve a standing ovation. I could have stayed here all day….

The bad bit…. the rose garden was closed off. I attempted to sneak in under the advice of two local ladies…. but I got caught and was chucked out 😉 So this now becomes a review of Kilkenny Castle Park…

Go there and visit. Take your time. Bring the kids. Bring the dog. Watch out for the such beautiful secluded seating areas. Take your time and enjoy. This is up there with the best of them.

More images of kilkenny castle gardens can be viewed here

national trails day sunday october 4th ’09

ballyboughal image courtesy of phil-o-kane photography

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Sunday October 4th sees the national trails day arrive.

I love the great outdoors. I love it when I am warm…. and outdoors. This day is all about getting wrapped up and getting out and about. There’s the usual reaons as to why being active is good for you but its is also very much from by point of view about nature and actually seeing, feeling and touching it.

If you are interested… here’s what discover Ireland have to say

It’s autumn. The days are fresh. The colours of the countryside are just spectacular. You should get out there! Why not visit our Discover Ireland website and choose from over 100 scenic looped walks, great forest trails or more challenging mountain trails. There are walks to suit all levels of ability and experience from the relatively easy 2-hour stroll to more challenging 5-hour trails.

I did my own version of this last January around Limerick and Cork and I loved every second of it. There’s also more information at the National Trails Day website.

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see for yourself...

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dubh linn garden

Nestled in behind Dublin Castle, just off Dame Street [palace st. to be exact] is one of the finest gardens I have ever entered in my life. You know when you just get that ‘feeling groovy’ kind of a nice feel….? That’s exactly what I got…

Only one problem…. there is little to zero information available on the **garden*** [Not the Castle…. the garden] to be found on the web….?

It drove me a little demented to be quite honest. Mainly as I was so impressed. But I was in luck on my day there. A very kind man on his lunch break who worked in the neighbouring Chester Beatty Library noticed my confusion and explained the cobbled lawns were ‘eels’; the fact that the glass balls are the eyes and that it was based on a celtic mythology design… 😉

It is also [he explained] where the river dodder and the river liffey met – this meeting is what created a black pool – traslated into Irish one gets Dubh Linn. And it is from this that Dublin got its original name. It is also the site upon which the garden sits today.

I didn’t stop my ‘research’ there, I rang the very helpful Margaret Gormley of the OPW. Margaret is an amazing lady that I know from spending too much time in the Phoenix Park making gardens;) Turns out the gardens were designed by a lady called Ana Dolan, who also works with the OPW [I did try to get in touch with Ana…].The plaques that are brimmed with names that I noticed on the walls…they’re the names of all of the people who took part in The Special Olympics; the sculpt being the emblem of. It is also believed that the gardens are approximately 15 years old. [Thank Margaret!]

On the 15th November 2004 the gardens received  The Best Landscaped Open Space Award by The Tidy Towns unit of The Dept of Environment, Heritage & Local Government….

The other amazing fact of note is that the lawn is best viewed from the State apartments or… a helicopter. The lawn doubles as a landing pad for those who can!

If you are planning to visit, The Chester Beatty Library is a must. The coffee shop, The Silk Road Café does ‘real’ really good coffee and cakes and personally I even like the gift shop. Do be careful on planning a day there and ring in advance if you must as it may be closed for official state business.

My 3 pin plug type frustrations aside, the garden is serenity at its finest. Go there. Enjoy! Absolutely amazing.

*if I do receive any further info I will update here

UPDATE 1st July ’09:

I received an email from Denis Mc Carthy of Dublin Castle with this information ‘copied from an OPW publication Dublin Castle Art by Róisín Kennedy.’

** I really do appreciate Denis getting back to me but – Once again it’s a pity it is not available online for the world [wide web] to see [and not in PDF format btw please ‘if’ it is]

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update #2 1st July ’09:

this update comes courtesy of Keith Nolan – as keith explained he eventually goes into that garden – that said the information is amazing. Thanks Keith 😉

Update 2nd July ’09:

and this beautiful overview of the lawns taken by Niamh. Thanks Niamh 😉

dubh-linn-garden courtesy niamh smith

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