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how green is…. joerg steegmueller

Introduced to me through my good friend Darragh Doyle, recently I had the privelige to meet with Joerg Steegmueller of The Dublin Event Guide. Apart from being one of the most interesting people I have ever met, Joerg is also one of  lifes genuine nice guys… plus he has a sense of humour 😉

Have a look and see what you think.

ps: normal horticulture resumes on monday 😆
ps: email Joerg dublineventguide [at] gmail [dot] com to subscribe

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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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recycle a [red] satellite… ?

I wanted a bird bath for my ‘wild’ fruit garden area

remember my very dead [& red] tree….?

remember my long grass under the fruit trees….?

I found a satellite and had some paint left over….

I also needed a bird bath… 😉

And I fancied a little ACDC….

It makes me smile in the morning 🙂

Here’s how it was all done…. enjoy!

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the garden of remembrance

I was waiting for a bus a few weeks ago. Checked the bus timetable… and with an hour an a bit to spare [coffee flask in hand] I took a stroll up O’Connell Street towards Parnell Square and into The Garden of Remembrance.

My Auntie Bridie [God bless her 🙂 ] used to take me here when I was about 6 years old… back in the day when a trip into Dublin City was a treat filled day of ice-creams in the lashing rain, sitting in an old clear plastic raincoat of hers and maybe a trip to The Savoy Cinema [if I was ‘really good!]. In hindsight, I guess this was where she went to rest her legs when I had her worn out!

To the park… it is quite simplistic in its lay-out and overall design. But I love the little snug part where one can sit in quiet and ponder. It is also the heart of Dublin City and where a little tranquility is the order of the day…. this is a little gem.

Designed by Daithí Hanley to commemorate “all those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish Freedom”. It was opened in 1966. The main statue by Oisín Kelly of The Children of Lir [love that story] is to symbolise birth and ressurection.

The Garden commemorates insurgents from various uprisings, including the 1798 rebellion, the 1803 rebellion of Robert Emmet, the 1848 rebellion of Young Ireland, the 1867 rising, the 1916 Easter Rising and the war of independence.

I could be critical of the plants… but I won’t. As a park it is genius. Well maintained overall, clean tidy and a little bit of new with the glass of the Parnell Square entrance. It is that one painting that you could stare at for hours…. and here there are so many of them to see.

the war memorial park

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I don’t think I’ve been to this park since I was about 18 years old. For no apparent reason. [It is where I was once employed.] But it has to be said, if there is a park comparable to poetry…. This *is* it! I’ve missed it…

The history, the story, the layout, in it’s entirety… I love it. Not as many know about it. Maybe because it’s only across the road from the ‘more popular’ Phoenix Park – but for me – this is the ultimate.

Built to commemorate the 49,000 Irish men who lost their lives in the 1914-1918 Great War. This was in one way employment for those who returned home and was built [to the best of my knowledge] entirely by the hand. Designed by Edwin Lutyens – even his name may suggest you might be bored by that ‘ye olde stylee symetrical garden crapola‘. Not on your nelly! For its symbolism – the roses tiered to that of a coloseum; the four book rooms representing the four provinces; the walkway in the shape of a horseshoe as it was one horse power built and the central garden to replicating the alter of a church – it even includes two massive water features as the candles…. the list goes on.

Outside of that, the park is relaxing & very well maintained. There are places near the water to sit and watch; places within the rose and herbaceous plants to ponder and versus that open areas enough to cycle, run, picnic or just lie down and look up at the dappled shadow created by the very many mature trees around the grounds.

Visit it, love it, take your time and enjoy.

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