Pictured above Peter Donegan with Con Traas of The Apple Farm.
Located between Clonmel and Cahir just off the N24 lies The Apple Farm of Tipperary, is a 60 plus variety 35 acre apple orchard that also grows some plums, pears and other soft fruits.
A little drive down the avenue however and you will find yourself parked outside The Apple Farm Shop that only sells it own on site made produce, made solely from its very on site grown produce. This shed as a by the way also doubles up as the booking office for The Apple Camping and Caravan Park that Con’s parents set up in 1982.
Last week I took some time away from horticulture [?] and decided to spend 4 nights camping there. And without question and by a very long country mile The Apple Farm is one the top spots I have ever had the honour to pay money to and stay in.
Without any doubt, this is one of the finest public parks I have ever visited in Ireland. It’s not massive. It’s not received too much notoriety, at least that I know of anyway. But for me it was an absolute gem as I searched for a quite spot to picnic.
In the park lies a statue-less monument where once stood King William.
D’Alton Annals of Boyle refer to ‘a statue of King William representing his majesty with a crown of Laurel on his head and the Order of the Garter on his knee’. When the new bridge was built in 1834, Viscount Lorton had the monument moved to the Pleasure Grounds. Later ,during the ‘Troubles’ in the early 1920’s, the statue was beheaded. Subsequently the rest of the statue was removed and now only the pedestal remains.
That aside, the park [n 1 a large area of open land for recreational use by the public] is one that I loved. It is very well laid out. The play ground is brilliant and was being used as were the basketball and soccer all weather pitches. I loved the plant choices, that were slightly unusual for a public park [They are generally of the brutal guaranteed to grow variety]. The layout was amazing. It sits right beside the water, has picnic benches and secluded seating, the layout and overall design. The list goes on….
The bits I didn’t like so much were the missing plants and the littered rubbish dotted around the waters side. That said and as public parks go – it is one of the better ones that I have been to in a long while. I would be really impressed and proud if something like this sat on my doorstep. Surprised it wasn’t used more and best of all – it’s free and it’s yours!
Did you ever want to give a County Council, in this case a parks department, whose wages I and you pay – a good kick up the bottom ?
Two parks in two days in Galway is what I set out to do. That’s what I did.
The other was Claude Toft Park. It shouldn’t really matter what two parks I chose to visit – in my honest opinion this parks department needs a radical reality check. If I maintained that park? It wouldn’t be in that state. Or…… I could be out of a job. The options ‘they’ should be given.
Before ‘anyone’ suggests the economic-hulabuloo ? The evidence, horticulturally, is that this neglect has been evident and growing worse for a long [in years] time. Secondly, I personally go to a park so I don’t have to hear about that sort of stuff.
I paid hard earned money to travel to Galway. I spent money when in Galway. If I was a tourist travelling from abroad – I would not return. And with tourism already down 20% – I am beginning to understand why that might be.
To the park – Whilst the outlay remembles a little bit more of what I would consider ‘a park’, once again – zero available information on the internet regarding this place also.
I wasn’t impressed. At first, my mood lightened when I saw a rock noting that it was ‘developed for the benefit of Galways senior citizens by Digital Equipment International B.V. 1984’. I then looked around. Not impressed. My spirits were lifted again when I came across the central water feature and a Mom with kids and dog playing there [the only people apart from me]. I saw a wee bridge. I then saw the now defunct water feature…What?!! Back to brutal.
I’m guessing in 1984 this park was an absolute stunner and the gesture by the company [I assume], in a 1984 Ireland, Saint-like. As an overview the layout is good and the road less travelled pathways and secluded seating places make it a nice place to spend time, possibly, I’m sure. But as of now the park needs attention. Urgently.
Once again – my second park in two days. And of all of the parks I have ever visited. These have to be two of the worst. These are peoples parks. NOT The County Councils.
This has to be one of the most unusual ‘parks’ I have ever been to in my life. ‘An open area of ground with some facilities’, maybe.
On one side buildings, on the other the coastline – in the middle, as if planning suggested all buildings be kept a minimum distance from the water – then later decided to call ‘that bit’ a park…. an almost landing strip was turned to lawn. Before I go any further – The Yuccas, phormiums and some other plants en mass did look well. Also I did see litter pickers out which was nice, but I only saw one litter bin.
I wasn’t impressed. There is little to zero information on the park courtesy of Galway City Council. Wikipedia for example tells me Claude Toft was a former Lord Mayor of Galway. The planting on the roadside/ walkways is of osmanthus [prickly] and cortaderia pampas grasses, a plant that could razor the hand of you. It is of course ground covered with pebble that overspills onto the ground and from my parks experience… pebbles and main roads don’t work so well.
The car park was poor; The play area [although commendable] looked very much the after-thought; The grey stone end nearer the city looked very out of place and contained only 3 picnic benches – but then when I loooked at it from the angle of the new buildings behind…. it fitted perfect?; The boundary between the residential areas was in parts like a dumping grounds – It simply wasn’t very well maintained at all and aesthetically poor. Put all of that together and then try and find any information on the internet? Not impressed. More than that children would find it extremely hard to kick a ball here – even if the grass was cut.
all over Dublin at this moment in time, the Laburnum is in full flower draping over the park rails of Dublin City Centre. The yellow long draping clusters that you see are those of the often called ‘golden rain’ tree – the laburnum.
Of the leguminosae [the legume or the pea family]/ papilionaceae family. The funny thing is these deciduous trees are classed as poisionous [if ingested] and because of this they generally get left out of the loop.
To put into context the first [that I remember] seeing was [one might say] its half sister the +laburnocytissus adamii, of which I’ve only ever planted maybe 5; of the Laburnum I’ve only ever planted maybe about 10. I’ve found it hard to purchase them in a mature state… and maybe for its poisonous listing I don’t think I’ve ever seen it used in a design specification. But around Dublin City… you simply can’t miss them.
Say what you like, think what you may… no matter what the tree maybe it is pure beauty and one of *my* all time favourites. I even have one planted in my front garden….
The most common listed varieties in Ireland seem to be the Laburnum x waterii [L. alpinum x L. anagyroides] which can grow up to 8m high… but its flowers [racemes] are 20″ long and the Laburnum vossii whose racemes are 24″ long.
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