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St Patricks Park, Dublin

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I had been to St Patricks Park before. Just never with camera in hand and an eye on reviewing it. There is a difference.

But I love this park. I like the personal touch to it – the signs of which are, literally, everywhere.

Of particular note *and something that makes the park so very beautiful are the little ode’s to those [possibly surpising] who knew the park so well [as versus political heads who never really went there at all]. One of those is to Tom Keegan, a previous head gardener and he is just one of many.

I like the layout. The park is well maintained. People in there seemed relaxed and the pace of life on entering somehow seems to slow motion slightly.

There’s an unusual mix of old and new…. but it is funny that one wouldn’t be so aware which parts are the more modern. Add to that a fine backdrop of the Cathedral and the fact that the rails between have been left ‘not blocked off’.

It was only last week when I visited here [early Feb], whilst there were minor changes and touches that I may add, the reality is it is one of Dublins better parks.

Two things. First, this is the second mention I have given to the river poddle and [secondly] Nice to see the Lord Iveagh touch here again…. makes me want to say thanks to the chap for such a fine legacy that he has certainly left behind.

Go take a look, bring the coffee, relax and enjoy. Well worth the trip.

According to Dublin City Councils website

Situated beside St. Patrick’s Cathedral, tradition has it that St. Patrick baptised the first Irish Christians there with water from the River Poddle which flows underground.  Developed by Lord Iveagh under the St. Patrick’s Park Act of 1897, work was completed by July 1904 to a layout by Arthur Dudgeon C.E., dated 17th July 1901.  Lord Iveagh continued to maintain the park for a number of years under a joint arrangement with the Corporation who eventually took full responsibility in the 1920’s.

The park provides an ideal setting for the cathedral and recent additions in 1988 include a Literary Parade highlighting the works of Swift, Mangan, Wilde, Shaw, Yeats, Synge, O’Casey, Joyce, Behan, Beckett, Clarke, Dillon and the Liberty Bell Sculpture. There is also a childrens playground.

View more images of St Patricks Park

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The Garden Group Visit The War Memorial Gardens

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I had reviewed The War Memorial Gardens last May. But today wasn’t about my view of the park.

It was about a group of people, a great group of people I should add, who took some time out of their Sunday, to enjoy a little of the great outdoors. On a slight side note it was also about making garden group[s] a little funky 😉

A note of very special thanks should go to the OPW and in particular Craig, from The War Memorial Gardens who gave a very enthusiastic guide to how the park works, its history, the design… put simply he proved just why The Irish Times ranked it number 5 in Irelands top ten hidden gems.

The weather was a little nippy. But on a positive, it didn’t rain 😉 Considering I work outdoors all week and I used to work in this park [some 16 years ago now albeit….] for me it was a really enjoyable afternoon, made partcularly amazing by people I spent it with. Thank you all. Sincerely.

Funny thing, I never ever thought the laughing point of Anthony and Nialls afternoon would involve a joke about pruning roses 😆 That really made me smile!

So the garden group got off the ground and it’s onwards and upwards… Next garden group outing will be announced the first week in March. Looking forward to it now.

More Pictures of the garden group gig over at Pix.ie

UPDATE:

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The Garden Group Guide

Some months ago I popped out a wee blog post to get an idea of who may be interested in [lets call it…] the great outdoors. You see, I was a bit peeved off with [the perception] of some groups.

From what I’m told/ can gather some feel that once one is degree in horticulture-less or without manicured parallel lines of Buxus semprevirens one may be frowned upon. Note: [and please do] This is not to be insulting, in any way. It’s simply what has been portrayed to me and to an extent what I have received myself. But then that is in every walk of life irrespective of gardening? It doesn’t however make it correct. It certainly doesn’t encourage new virility nor an energetic youthfulness [of the mind].

For example, this is how the Photograph Bloggers do it….

You don’t need a big, expensive camera. You can even use your phone and if you check out the photoblogs, you’ll see plenty of superb shots taken in this way. Don’t be intimidated by those with gear you could swap for a car. Remember, a good shot is in the eye, not the camera!

Horticulture was described to me some time ago as a bit like teaching the Irish language or ye olde english poetry in that with the wrong teacher [?] one could be very quickly turned off and potentially for life. I would agree with that. And whilst I have more letters after my name than most some…. 😉 No intelligence should allow one to show ignorance nor assume hierarchy.

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The funny thing about this group [for this first trip] is some don’t even have gardens. Fact. I’d guess 99% have never had a garden tour. And the maybe more/ a majority have never studied or done a garden related course. And what does that matter?

You see two things will happen here – approximately 20 people will get an insight into one of Ireland’s lesser known parks, from it’s horticulture to it’s history – that they have never been to before.

The second thing that will happen is The War Memorial Park in Island Bridge will have more information available on the web than could ever have been perceived prior to. Which leads me back to paragraph one multiplied by the amount of readers. In which case, my hope is that some readers may go there themselves and maybe you might even hear…

00OOO00h so that’s what Darren was talking about… you see honey what Lutyens was thinking when he designed in those two water features was…. [*reefs out iphone & searches culch.ie] ….I mean what they symbolise is…

Now we’re all talking the great outdoors…? Anyhow… Back to it….. Here’s what I asked previous:

are you interested in the greeny garden outdoors kinda thing but don’t want to fall asleep within the first 7 minutes/ seconds ….? ;)

what if we became the hippest bunch of jimmedy crickets ever to cross the green line ?

All of the great bits of green and horticulture – except in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt [if that’s what you like to wear ;) ]

The response has been amazing. The people wishing to go are simply really nice people. I never thought a green-ee gig, free or otherwise could sell out in less than 3-4 hours.

If you are thinking of coming along to an outing – here are the rules basic principles of logic courtesies that apply. They are of course very simple.

  • If your name is not on the list [left via comment] – you are not going!
  • If you need to drop out – that’s fine but do so as soon as is possible
  • I don’t get paid nor receive any gratuities for this
  • If you don’t make the first quota – put your name down on the waiting list
  • The quota is most likely not decided by me
  • You really do enjoy yourself 🙂

Got a suggestion… thoughts or comments below

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Maximum Minimum Thermometer

update: the digital max/ min thermometer broke after about 4 months. It was left outside… well in a glasshouse… where it is supposed to be left.

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I have to admit I’m a big fan of the old style paraphernalia when it comes to gardens.

As you may also know I like nothing else than to browse the aisles of the garden centres and hardware stores on my weekends off…. 😉

When I was in B & Q this weekend… yes B & Q I was blown away when I saw they sold digital maximimum minimum thermometers.

For those who do not know what the maximum minimum thermometer does exactly…

It records the lowest temperature and the highest temperature on two seperate guages… [or at least it did]. And as you can see in the picture [left] the temperature scale on one side is inverted. As the temperature rises or falls the mercury pushes the blue bit upwards [or down] recording the lowest and the highest temps. The point of the mercury on both sides always showing equally the current temperature. To reset one simply pushed the button and allowed the blue bit to fall. Simple. But extremely effective.

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B & Q however now sell a digital version…..

I can already hear the glasshouses of the ye olde gardene fraternity shudder upon its foundation…

It works. It works quite well to be very honest. It digitally tells me the max and min temperatures overnight… but… where the mercury should rise and fall and manually tell the same…. [the long bit of the object] it doesn’t. It only tells the current temperature. In both lines.

In ye olde terms if I was standing on the pulpit… it’s a fake…. An imposter!

But I’m not on the pulpit…  and digitally it’s extremely good. The only thing I would be concerned about is that for the €15.30 I paid for it, will it last as long as my old pal the manual version…. ?

The instructions do tell you you will need the skinnier version of the slim battery – but what it doesn’t tell you is that you will also need a box of micro chip screwdrivers to get the battery in.

*I have not been paid for this review nor did I receive the product free gratis.

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The Ladybird

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Coccinellidae or ladybirds as we know them are members of the beetle family, generally red with black spots head and antennae and can be anything up to almost half an inch in size. But with over 5,000 species they can also be any colour from yellow to black. The less prettier and often referred to a the mealybug Ladybird cryptolaemus montrouzieri should not be confused with the Coccinella septempunctata or what I should refer to as the common ladybird

The ladybird is most famed in horticultural terms for being predators or the boilogical control of the aphid [whitefly or greenfly] and they really are a gardeners friend. That said if you spoke to my niece Lilly… they are most famed to her because she had a pet ladybird once…. but it ‘flew away‘ 😉

Ladybirds and other garden predators are/ can usually be encouraged easily by having areas of undisturbed ground and also by the introduction of attractive flowers.

I spotted this guy above just sitting pretty whilst clipping some crataegus in the garden yesterday…. 😉



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