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Autumn Colour…

Can you imagine if every house in Ireland planted just one tree, how beautiful would this country look….

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I really do love this time of year.

Last week I was walking down Griffith Avenue and being honest it almost brought me back to my childhood days of not that long ago…
I used to love the leaves on the ground and absolutely hated it when people swept them all up and made the place look tidy. When I saw the piles I was one of those ‘little terrors’ who kicked them all over the place and most likely got an ear clipping for it 😆
Sidetracking slightly, Jane Powers who does the Irish Times garden column, this weekend wrote about the beauty of autumn colour. A great read. Bulaidh bós Jane.
You see, landscaping, well more the trends [?] took a turn for the worst in my opinion over the last few years. Trees, if not all then most definitely the larger members of the family were not allowed. They became surplus to requirement. Some, quarantined them in the high maintenance category. So much so that I find it hard to find [for example] a ‘conker tree’ in North County Dublin…. which is why I went to Griffith Avenue 😉 [I also visited my older brother who lives just off and had some home made chocalate pie and real coffee….]
But its not until, maybe, one sees a tree in its finest splendour through a season that one thinks…. well maybe I would like one of those. And with that in mind tree planting season is almost upon us…. Now is the time to decide that you would like.
Can you imagine if every house in Ireland planted just one tree how beautiful this country would look. If you don’t plant one…buy one for somebody you like to brighten their day up… then go and admire their one… or rake some leaves up and allow the kids to kick them all over the place…. 😆
As a by the way…. autumn colour is brought about by a build up in sugars from warm temperatures during the day and then a cold night where the sugars are held in the leaf.
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irish basketmakers association

kathleen....
kathleen....

Basket making on a landscaping weblog…? You better believe it!

It is an amazing craft and brilliant to watch…really it is. But more I like the fact that ‘most work with natural materials such as willow, rush, straw and hedgerow materials’ – says the leaflet that IBA secretary Kathleen Mc Cormick gave to me.

I had met Kathleen at bloom in the phoenix park in June. The association [at this time and that I am aware] doesn’t have a website but you can contact them through their email address basketbarn [at] ireland [dot] com or through the Crafts Council of Ireland.

Kathleen is a lovely woman and as she explains if you have any other queries just conatct her and she’ll put you in touch with the right people in your area. Go on! Give it a go…. most of the materials you need are right in front of you 😉

UPDATE: 1st February 2010 I got this email in from Kathleen

Peter, true to your word, you did make a flick of the interview.

I was in Cornwall visiting my daughter and her family when my grandson( Isaac 14yrs) clicked on something and up came your interview! Good man and I thank you. I would love to have it linked to my website if that was possible. It is www.basketbarn.ie, Hope to see you in 2010 at Bloom. I might even do a woven (fabric) instalation for the CCoI if my suggestion is accepted. God loves a tryer and judging from your efforts you are in that category.

Warm regards, Kathleen

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Father Collins Park

Fr Collins Park
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I was talking to a friend of mine, Aidan, gate meister extraordinaire and part time garden enthusiast…. he was telling me about this [now] park that used to be a field where he and his Father used to hunt when he was younger…

Peter, you just got to go & see this park… it is out of this world

I knew the field. I said I would. I did.

To describe this park in a few words is impossible. To describe it on video would be unfair. This is without a doubt possibly the finest ‘new’ park I have ever seen in my life.

Named after Father [Fr] Joseph Collins who was the hardest working and first parish priest of the Donaghmede area the 52 acre park took about 1.5 years to build.

It is young. In fact it is still unfinished in parts. But it is pure genius at its absolute finest. I like the fact that no soil was removed to build the huge water area left the site… instead it was banked. I love that the old surrounding woodlands were kept in tact and replenished with younger native trees. Even better is the 5 wind turbines that power every single element required for the park to operate. Something more?? The wetland areas in the park are the filtration systems for the parks water and the lake and the wetlands are the drainage system for the football pitches!

From a tree planting point of view… it has a bit to go, but for the most part the maturest and finest specimens were used. It is a park I will very much look forward to seeing mature over the years. From a plant point… it’s been kept simple. Planting is en mass. But planting has been considered very wisely and logically.

Could I pick a fault? No. Not one. As I said it is a young park. In fact it only opened a few months ago. It is evolving. Still. It is still getting over the usual teething problems – but – I wouldn’t let that get in my way.

Jogger, skateboarder, walker, footballer, family, cyclist or tree hugger… you name it –  all catered for here. Even where I live in Bally-go-pothole I am so envious of the people who live within walking distance of this awe inpiring gem. It was raining when I was there and not even that could put me off wanting to take my time.

I think Joseph Collins is smiling [a big one at that] knowing what was built in his name. Brilliant. Pure Genius. Love it 🙂

Go take a look.

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solanum crispum glasnevin

solanum-crispum-glasnevin
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there are about 1,400 members to the solanum family. I particularly like this one climber mainly for its blue and yellow dotted trailing flowers. A member of the potatoe family… for that reason I believe] I find this beauty always does well in Irish soils given half a chance.

The crispum members of the solanum family are also known as the chilean potatoe tree –If you wish to delve more into the plant names gig then click here to read more – They’re a group of fast growing, evergreen climbers that can grow to an eventual of 20 foot tall.

It is above all the first climber to make **the list** for good reason… it grows easily almost anywhere, it’ll take a good beating when it needs a little cutting back [great  for those who can’t look after plants so well] and worth ever s[c]ent it will cost you.  Above all of that it is an absolute stunner. Enjoy!

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ardgillan demesne

ardgillan demense
ardgillan demense

I went to see Ardgillan Demesne; It is a park, a castle [but not a true castle…], a playground, a gardens…  the second Sunday in March. It is by far the finest example of a park I have seen in Ireland to date.

Unlike Malahide Castle – all parts of the ‘demesne’ were open. It is put simply, amazing. I truly love it.

I could list every point of what was great – but – everything was great… except for the weather. Which was great by the time I was leaving. From start to finish including the coffee shop [and the photographs on the walls from Balbriggan Photography Society] was perfect. There wasn’t a hair out of place.

If I could give this park a 6 out of 5 rating I would. Well done to the grounds staff – you really have taken how a park and gardens should be maintained to a new high.