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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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Velvet Strand, Portmarnock Beach, Dublin

When it’s right on our doorstep… they say you rarely use it. Personally, I always loved the beach.

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I hated it as a child. I had to get in. People would be in duffle coats and I’d be in my pants freezing, eating salad covered in sand 😉 Oh happy days! Great memories 😆 But when I was a teen my family moved there and the strand took a whole new meaning.

It was more than a getaway for me in the teen sense of it. Because I love[d] nature so much… this had everything. It was I suppose the ultimate in escapism. I had no mobile phone then….. Last week, a meeting was delayed…. an hour to spare. I took my flask of coffee and went for a wander. I loved every second of it.

A few points of note if you are going. Make sure and park in the municiple car park [next to the country club hotel]. Cars parked on the main road have a habit of getting parking tickets. Also I read in the Portmarnock local newsletter that they had done some work on the dunes and grasslands around to attract bees so be mindful of that. Aparently the efforts have been quite successful and numbers appear to have increased. Make sure and see the Southern Cross Monument called Eccentric Orbit. The two islands are Lambay and Irelands eye and a walk up by The old Martello Tower [which goes all the way to Malahide] is also quite nice.

Also do take your time…. and enjoy 😉

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