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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 farmers market, portmarnock

On Sunday[17th May ’09] I took a trip out to my folks home town. I had heard about this new one… but I was unsure. I have this image in my head that there’s a lady who goes out on a Friday, takes a few turnips from the garden, pops ’em into a tweed satchel and pedals from Galway to sell her wares….I jest! But you get the image.. and as a result I’ve been disappointed sometimes for what actually was being sold. It was a market. But not a farmers market entirely. The case in Portmarnock was a lot more to my liking. It’s sill only 6 weeks old – but I liked it. People were happy! The rain was pouring on this particular day, but I really enjoyed it….

What do you do if you wanna give it a go….?
I met André Jenkinson. I had met him before. He runs the one in Portmarnock. He tells me it costs each stall holder €50 per day. He supplies the gazebo. You supply your tables and the rest… One thing to note is a one off insurance that must be held before you start. He says it costs about €250 for the year… but once again a chat with the man is probably best first.

What was Portmarnock like?
I was really impressed. It was lashing out of the heavens [on and off] but it was good. There are some people I must say hello to that I met and who I liked for varying reasons… but mainly their ethos, their products and well, for being nice people.

So hello to Margaret Murphy who had a great selection of plants ; hi to Dan McEvoy who had the flower and herb stall  – these were all grown by his family and also to Jenny  and ‘the man’ who trades as MY CHI – I love your crépes and I love that there is not one additive in your *real* homemade foods. It was delicious by the way.

There is also a guy there who does really *real* coffee. An absolute must. The cakes were adorable, the bread magnificient and the list goes on…. what can you do… pop on down, take a gander, say hello, let me know what you think…. thinking about doing your own – pop on down and have a natter – you’ll love it.

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bishop lucey park, cork

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I suppose I did fit a lot in while I was in Cork. But, although I ‘ve been to Cork so many times I never really took my time in this park. It’s only a small one but I like it. It’s got charachter.

At the time the Coproration were taking down the Christmas decorations and the park itself, horticulturally, was in need of a good manicure and a little tlc. That said…..

I like the fact that the pond walls were built using the remains of the Citys 13th Century City walls. I like that the sculpt is entitled ‘The Onion Seller’ – a little like Liverpools Elanor Rigby. I like that the archways date back to 1860 and were those formerly of the citys corn market, but re-erected in 1985, around the time of the opening of the park. I also like the fact that there were bird feeders in the trees 🙂 For this Cork Corporation deserves applause. I loved it.

1001 gardens you must see before you die

apart from the title... ?

apart from the title... ?

The only thing I didn’t like about this book is the title. A little depressing to be honest. Why it needed Titschmarsh to do the preface i’ll never know [no offence 😉 ]. Why they didn’t just change the title to 1001 garden to make you smile and just leave it at that… ?

That said said this is a great reference book. I have used it many times from The Monte Palace Tropical Gardens in Madeira to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in South Africa and I absolutely love it.

A must have for any garden library. Pretty simple to use. If you do get away, even in Ireland, just have a leaf through and you are guaraneed to find a garden worth visiting near you.

irish gardens [book]

I have selected gardens… whose design clearly illustrates a particular period of garden history, and whose plantings demonstrate an almost obsessional love of plants and the surrounding Irish landscape

irish gardens by olda fitzgerald

irish gardens by olda fitzgerald

The post-its popping out the top of this book will show that this one has been used; and used very well.

Put simply it is not one for the feint hearted. I shall rephrase, it is, maybe, one for the more serious garden enthusiast, those involved [in some research] or those who enjoy visiting the grander gardens of Ireland.

Olda chose 20 gardens and from the original designs to stunning photographs [by Stephen Robson] – this truly is deserved of a place on my book shelf and also‘my books – my reviews’.

That said, some time ago I paid a very worthwhile €65 for this publication. Written by Olda Fitzgerald. Photography by Stephen Robson. First published 1999 by Conran Octopus.