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supporting plants…

looking for a little alternative other than the sheet of trellice that keeps rotting away behind that overgrown climber? maybe a more presentable way to support that new tree you just bought? maybe a new way to divide that strip between you and the neighbours….. ?

Take a look and see what you think….

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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Osnabruck Botanical Gardens [botanischer garten], Germany

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In 1984 The Botanical Gardens of Osnabruck were born. To celebrate the gardens 25th anniversary I met with Curator Dr Nikolai Friesen [saturday 6th June] to find out a little more about this young yet amazing horticultural gem of north Germany

Opened in 1984 the 8.6 hectare site includes 5.6 of which were formerly a quarry. Similar to other botanical gardens, this one also includes the Osnabruck Horticultural College and also what is known as the ‘green school’ [grune schule] from where courses are held and run.

It is estimated that 70,000 visitors pass through the gates every year. Not bad for such young gardens but what is more amazing is whilst I was there on a Saturday, 4 weddings were to take place, an art exhibition and a butterfly exhibition! A great way to attract new visitors…

The truth is that some botanical gardens, to the non plant/ botanical purist, can be quiet boring… Not in this case! It does follow ‘the rules’. But it is young and that makes it a little different giving it almost an edge on some of the [so many] others I have been to.

The people were amazing, the grounds were superb from the very helpful Jan Eickmann employed by the town right down to Ingeberg who works in the coffee shop voluntarily [her husband is also a volunteer] and makes great coffee 😉 Thank you!

Would I return? In the morning. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. 5/5.

Osnabruck is an amazing town brimming with culture on my way through the alt-stadt [old town] I the honour to meet Eduard from Old Time Jazz. They were simply doing what they love the most… enjoy!

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Irish Beekeeping

When I was in bloom I got to meet some people you may never get a chance to nab a quick interview with… In this interview I meet with Graham Hall of The Irish Bee Keepers Association….

before you watch it…. he was perched on the higher part of the tree base and I on the lower hence my looking slightly uncomfortable 😉 …nonetheless, great information a great association and an absolute gentleman.

the bloom in the park ’09 experience

The sun is splitting the skies, the Phoenix Park looks spectacluar…. you simply can’t imagine what a show Bloom in the Park has turned out to be.

To only mention the gardens is, maybe, what I should be doing…. but, as a garden builder and designer at Bloom – they are all [seriously] amazing and I simply can’t be pushed to just pick one. Anyone who designs and/ or builds a garden here is a genius in my eyes 😉 I will however give an over view of the  entire Bloom experience & some of the interesting people I met on my sabatical 😆

The beautiful Maeve Desmond [International PR for Bord Bia] lets you know what you can expect to see…

If kids entertainment is what you really want…? Go meet the wonderful Orla from Imaginosity. They have an amazing kids interactive garden event [amongst many things] going on just behind the tea rooms at the visitor centre. Go see. Bring the kids you’ll love it…..

More interesting people….. Ever wondered what The Irish Wildlife Trust really do… ?

Of course I met literally hundreds of people that I knew…. here’s a few quick snaps for you to get a gist of what else is going on.

And last but not least….. do get there early. It’s well worth it…. but, I’m guessing the traffic will be a little crazy-er than the Thursday. That said, it is the All-Ireland of garden shows…

To the big question…. would I go again? 110% absolutely yes. [I’ll be back on saturday] I loved every second of it. I got a great chance to speak to the public, the people involved and the traders… One girl sold out of bread in the food stall within 3 hours ?!! Another lady I spoke thought it was great value for money…. others felt it was better laid out this year and that there was more seating…. call it what you like, compliment what you wish… but honestly, the only complaint I heard was that the sun had been shining too much and extra watering would be required in order to have the gardens looking their best for tomorrow 🙂

Do go. Do enjoy. Do let me know what you think after. My opinion 5/5. Well deserved. Take a bow Bord Bia. Bulaidh Bós Mór 😉

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