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St Annes Park, Dublin

st annes park

It may well be January and a little chilly for some, but for me, Parks and Gardens have to be seen in their Sunday best as well as first thing in the morning – by way of all the seasons, if you get my drift – in order to fully appreciate them. Sunday 22nd January saw me visit St Annes Park that borders Clontarf and Raheny on Dublin’s Northside.

A park I have noted it many times here on the garden blog, but never on its own. A credit to dublin City Council, I have to admit one that I am very fond of and will highly recommend.

A little research look on wikipedia tells me thus:

The park, the second largest municipal park in Dublin, is part of a former 202 hectares (500 acres) estate assembled by members of the Guinness family, beginning with Benjamin Lee Guinness in 1835 (the largest municipal park is nearby (North) Bull Island, also shared between Clontarf and Raheny). Features include an artificial pond and a number of follies.

Not wishing to brush history to one side, the park is a great way to see garden features built as they should be. The views and ‘what is around the corner‘ type challenges exist and adding to that there are many ‘should I take the road less travelled’ routes – or not [?] to its design and layout. Intrigue in any garden, irrespective of size is always good.

More than that, there are age old majestic Quercus Ilex [Holm oaks] all along the banks of the water running streams, their roots exposed for all to see. And equally there are trees clad in Ivy with daffodils just waiting to explode the park into colour. Good parks, nee great gardens should look brilliant at any time of the year – and that includes the months outside of Summer. That doesn’t mean they have to be infinitely perfect – more, at the very least that they should call, invite and want you to want to spend time in them.

The Rules of St Anne”s Park and Rose Garden ? (mp3)

The audio I recorded is a little windy in parts – but irrespective of what I say – I do love St Annes Park. We had coffee and cake there, used the playground, wandered the woods and admired what I can only imagine will be a busy week after for the lawn repairs division.

On a side note, do keep an eye out for my upcoming garden tours to be announced this week on my garden blog.

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Roses And Frank Foley [part 2]

On Saturday February 12th I met with Frank Foley.

Although published first, this is part 2 of the interview. You can listen to part 1 of the interview Frank Foley. Horticulturist. Legend. Part 1

A legend of the Irish horticultural scene and an accredited rose judge, I spoke with Frank about everything to do with roses. From the setting up of the rose garden in St Annes Park in Raheny to the judging of roses and just what it takes to have a rose named after you. From the growing of roses to just about anything else you can think of.

Brilliant. Genius. And for this gardener, an absolute honour.

I really should have published tomorrows story today as tommows chat is more about Frank and his journey in gardening. But, it being Valentines day today I decided to publish part 2 of my chat first.

Many thanks to Clontarf Gardening Society for the introduction to Frank and to Frank for taking the time to chat with me. It was an absolute honour.

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Nollaig Shona

If you didn’t get a Christmas card from me this year. Don’t be offended. I didn’t send any. My reason…

I took the money for this and gave it to a friend of mine called Amy. When you read what she has to say…. you’ll understand.

Amy explains it so well….

I have decided in a moment of madness to brave the Irish seas on December 25th in the name of charity…… I will be trying to raise a few bob for St Francis Hospice Raheny who provided palitive care for my beloved Gogs (Grandad) and invaluable support to my whole family! My Gogs passed away in February 08 and our last Christmas with him was very tough as he was very frail and ill. This has left Christmas in ours a little sad.. so asides from raising money I hope to bring some cheers to the house!

Funny thing is my Grandfather [pop] also passed away there….. Such a kind man that I loved and still miss very much. That said, I’m so happy to have really known him and Christmas will never be an unhappy one with such happy and fond and happy memories of him. If you read my 101 amazing facts – you’ll know why 😉

Back to it…. Heres to Amy, Carol and Jenny and Gog and all those at the St Francis Hospice who I know will be doing only their finest on Christmas Day.

Have a really happy one. And I’ll see you in the new year.


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