Posts

the poetry of plants [reviewed]

at trinity college

at trinity college

Saturday 15th November 2008, from 2-5pm saw four guest speakers take the stand for The Lewis Glucksman Memorial Symposium. What must have been a near full auditorium in the Edmund Burke Theatre in Trinity College [sponsored by Bloom and in association with Dublin City Library].

Chaired by Professor Moray McGowan; The first speaker was Dr Matthew Jebb. He started with what he titled as ‘a poem to Boatany’. An amazing speaker, he wowed the crowds with the question that ultimately was ‘are the plants taking advantage of us?’, based on a plants ability to survive. His thinking, that the apple tree for example that started in Kazakhstan with a pip that contained cyanide and yet has become one of the most successful trees ever. His facts wowed and entertained while his accompanying slides drove home how much 2 cubic kilometres of H2O that plants split apart through photosynthesis each day actually was and that 30 times the size of Ireland was actually grown as wheat.

my notes from the day...

my notes from the day...

Dr Shelly Siguaro as with all the other speakers politely kept within the very tight timing schedule. Her piece was entitled ‘The Poetics of a Paradox’. She queried whether gardens & politics are political. She noted that a plot was a plan but also a place to grow. Her most amazing analagy was that ‘changing garden norms was like cross dressing in front of the lawn’.

Andrew Wilson was speaker number three. His sermon was ‘Visual Poetry’ He started with a personal homage of sorts to his brother, a sports writer for the Guardian and how competitiveness played a part in his life. I liked that. He queried whether nice and ugly was not better than fab or “shoite” and commented that garden shows while intense and dazzling where then only ever a memory.

The final speaker was Ms Anna Pavord and ‘Search for Order’. She spoke of common names versus latin. She told the story of the herb women, whose job it was to collect the plant for the doctors for cures and rather than walking the 8 miles – they’d simply give the doctor the nearest thing to them. So the cures didn’t work and eventually the study of plants became necessary. She spoke of William Turner, the 1st UK botanist, who wrote a book of plants names – but they were all in english and so it was useless abroad.

All in all, this was a great day. It was brilliant in fact or as Andrew would encourage his students to say ‘it was fab’. I really, really loved it. I look so very much forward to the next one. Bulaidh bós, well done all – you really did yourself proud.

savour the culture

september 13/ 14 phoenix park

september 13/ 14 phoenix park

I’m looking forward to this. I like Farmleigh House and if you do nothing else on this day the tour of the house is so worth while. Straight from the promo page [pretty much] here’s what one can expect at this free for all – unless you decide to buy something – event.

On Saturday & Sunday 13/14 September Bord Bia with the OPW, will host Ireland’s first ever national independent drinks festival at Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park. Featuring the very best of Ireland’s independent micro-breweries, cider makers, distillers and liqueur companies. Patrons will have the opportunity to taste and purchase an array of products from the very best of Irelands somewhat “lesser known” but innovative and unique drinks companies, and meet the brewers, distillers, cider and liqueur makers behind the high quality range of products on offer – see here for a listing of the companies taking part.

SeptemberFest offers something for all the family, both young and old alike. With various bands playing on the music stage, to street performers, medieval displays and a lecture series on Irish food and drink history, there will certainly be something to whet the appetite in more ways than one!

Artisan food producers will also be on site throughout the event to feed the masses with their range of hand crafted crepes, quiches, pies, hot dogs, burgers and lots more besides.

The festival will be open each day from 11:00am to 6:30pm and admission is free. There is limited car-parking available on site as well as an extended bus service which runs throughout the Phoenix Park and includes numerous stops at Farmleigh.

Landscaping Costs How much?

In conversation with some members of the ALCI, I decided to do a brief survey on landscaping costs, generally speaking.

All my staff are qualified in horticulture. We are members of the ALCI. I am a member of The Institute of Horticulture. Full Insurances. Quality Approved System and enough design and landscaping awards et cetera.

I think I was just having an ‘alright’ day here rather than my usual [i think I needed coffee…!] but, I must reiterate the point being made here is transparancy to the point where choice can be made and we know the cost based on the service we will get. After that, when you get that service, its just a matter of getting paid… the reason possibly for my [allowed] bad day.

UPDATE: I have decided that the entire bill of the contract mentioned that was ‘not paid – in full’ should go to Niall Mellon Township/ Garden of Hope Charity.  A trip I will make to South Africa this November. The amount is €2,750. Like a pink boat with a nice ending – that has cheered me up!

giving berth to pour l’amour de jeux – bloom 2008 [8]

...

This morning at 5.45 am after 11 long hours labour, Pour L’amour de Jeux finally gave berth to a 7 tonne, 11 metre long Pink Boat in the Phoenix Park Dublin.

With amazing help from John Farrell, John Friel, Whittens Road Haulage, The Garda Suíochana, Maura Hickey, Colin Browne and Gráinne Walker; this journey was finally made possible. If I have left anybody out it is because none of us have slept since finishing loading at 12.30am and arriving back to depart at 3.30am!! But it must be known the real journey started a long time ago.

…and so what started as a child like dream has been given berth and here another story begins. Today, some laughed, some smiled and some pondered; But whatever this story [ultimately the garden], brings to you, it was built only pour l’amour de jeux [for a love of the game] and no matter the size of your smile when you see it complete – this amazing journey if nothing else, has left me in no doubt regarding the amazing people and the genius minds I work and spend so much time with. Thank you all [it’s not over just yet], but it’s certainly a little easier….