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The Niall Mellon Table Quiz

I’d noted the Niall Mellon Township Table quiz here.

Was it a good night……. It was cracking!! Made only more special by you.

Firstly, It is not without my good friend Ciarán and Jackie my youger sister that this would have taken place. After that a huge thanks to Michael Nugent who acted as quizmaster to the sponsors and to YOU who supported me by turning up or by simply picking up the phone and wishing well.

Thank you all. It is so very sincerely appreciated.

Some wonder why I do what I do… why I do some of the more unusual things in my life…. to be very honest… it puts it all in perspective every time I watch the video. Thank you. 😉

Should I go back next year…..? What do you think…?

*more images here

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rothe house and gardens, kilkenny

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I had given the Rothe House and gardens a mention before and I had noted it was on my to do list. And I did go. Sunday 25th October 2009.

I wanted to go on the Sunday morning/ afternoon, but unusual for me to assume different, on Sunday it only opens between 3-5pm. I also really [no offence] only wished to visit the gardens.

Their website describes it as an ‘early 17th century Irish urban garden’. But it was the front of one of their brochures that caught my eye….

Rothe Garden Kikenny. Your chance to ‘own’ a piece of a medieval garden

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I was very intrigued… I’ve visited, researched and been awarded for the design and build of a 17th Century Garden… so this was going to be some treat… ?

The South East Ireland gardens guide tells me that it is only €2 to see the gardens and €5 to see the house and gardens. I went to pay in. I was told €5 multiplied by two. I paid. Money [the amount of that is]  aside, if I had known in advace the ‘price structure’ I would have only paid in to see the gardens.

The question then is to the gardens themselves. Are they 17th century….? Are they medieval…? Honestly, not in my opinion. Or shall I rephrase yes there are fruit trees planted and yes there are vegetables growing. Was I impressed to the standard of…? Not really, being honest.

I am not trying to be disrespectful here. I’m not trying to knock the Rothe House trust who I must admit have done amazing work on the house and the displays within the building. It really does deserve applause and admiration. The work on the [re]construction of building internally and externally is superb.

But with regard to the gardens, if I was simply told that there are some gardens attached and it is €2 in to see them…. would I pay it and would I have any complaints…? Not one.

There are positives. I admire the fact that the brail signs are there; that one can have a tree planted in their or a loved ones name. That visitors were simply sitting and enjoying each others company is also a truly wonderful sight; it is very serene and there really are some nice pieces within… That said, the overall design leaves a lot to be considered. [Although] possibly a factor of funding, the gardens are also young and for them to mature and come into their own will take time. On a side note I should also add that the gardens are particularly well maintained.

The point of this weblog is not to be bold in my writing. But whether the entry is €2 or €200 the question is how honest in my appraisal should I be and more importantly would I recommend for you to visit the gardens…. ? Not really.

UPDATE: 15th Dec ’09 The Rothe House responds

there are more photographs here

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building repak recycle week 09

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Its a little of a crazy one when given a one day build time for any garden… everything must go perfectly according to plan… 

Unknows to most preparation for this garden started about 7 weeks ago. 

‘The greenhouse effect’ was intended to be a full and proper garden but as things do change… the ‘fail to prepare’ cliché definitely lent itself to this one. Once again it is only by working alongside such amaing people that everything runs so smoothly and it [some may say 😉 ] appears to be so easily done.

There are people involved in this short time frame build who where given literally hours notice, there are those who would have been on the phone to me on their weekends and/ or well into the wee hours of the night. In fact there was at one point 2 wheelie bins being cut up at approximately 11pm at night… once again at an hours notice [thanks John 😉 ] To those who did make life that little more enjoyable rather than work stressful. Thank you. It is also because of you that I love so very much what it is I do. 🙂

For more information on repak recycle week 2009 visit www.recycle more.ie

 

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nice people who deserve a mention….

First up….. I asked a while ago if your product was amazing and Irish

In Ireland it seems we still operate [to an extent…] by the ‘do you know someone who does…..‘ rule. Sometimes I come across these poeple. Some have no websites. Some just don’t pop up too well when searching in google…. some a bit new or some just a bit Irish 😉

meadowsweet-apiaries-ltd birdwatch-ireland houses-castles-and-gardens-of-ireland

Either or here’s a few that I found in the last while that deserve a bit of a mention…

botanic-greenhouse-company john-farrell-atfar-construction bdf-commercials

  • Meadowsweet Apiaries Ltd
    Contact: Andrew Mc Guinness. Based in Offaly, Andrew had no website when I met him but his prices seem logic enough. Andrew produces honey & beeswax products and also supplies beekeeping equipment. Email: andrew [dot] mcguinness [at] hotmail [dot] com. Either that or call the Irish Beekeepers Association
  • Bird watch Ireland
    I spoke to Niall Hatch of Birdwatch Ireland sometime ago now. Once again I found no website on the information leaflet I was given. You can however email info [at] birdwatchireland [dot] ie for further information
  • Rothe House Family Garden
    described as ‘an early 17th Century  Irish Merchants garden’ this is one on my must do list. Based in Parliament Street, Kilkenny the Rothe House and Gardens are privately owned by the Kilkenny Archealogical Society [KAS] and managed by the Rothe House Trust Limited. www.rothehouse.com
  • Irish Wildlife Trust.
    I’d met Joanne Pender of the irish wildlife trust back in June. Nice lady. Love their magazine. They can be contacted on their website www.iwt.ie
  • The Just Food Company
    Established in 2004 by Deidre Hilliard this amazing story of organic handmade food started as a stall at Middletons Farmers Market and is now a commercial kitchen. I met Deidre and fell in love straight away….. with her organic hummus and rocket pesto 🙂 Contact Just Food at www.justfood.ie
  • Botanic Greenhouse Company
    based in Donabate, North Dublin and managed by Eoin Hurley. I like the fact that these guys cater more specifically for the domestic market and cover all of Ireland. A nice guy and a straight talker. Take a look and see what you think…. then give hime a call 😉 www.botanicgreenhouses.ie
  • D.B. Painting & Decorating
    David behan. Another straight shooter. Another with no website. I said it before and I’ll say it again. One of lifes good guys. Needed a hand out recently. Dave stood up and was glad to do what he could. Gardens and features need painting too… 🙂 contact david behan painting 087 – 2551928
  • John Farrell
    a little like David above. I simply needed a little help and some good advice. I rang John and you might say he answered the call. A civil engineer. Owns Atfar Construction Ltd. Nice, honest and an all round good guy. Contact Atfar Construction via their website
  • John Friel
    B.D.F. commercials really only do big trailers… the ones with 16 wheels. Once again its the nicer guys in life who make thing go that little smoother. John was there when I asked for a little hand out with regards to my own one. Thanks John & Cáitlín 🙂 rivet guns are not something most landscapers own!
  • John Kenny
    absolutely zero to do with the landscaping industry. John’s business is a packing machine solutions company but once or twice I’ve asked and on all occasions answered. Thanks John for the loan of the angle grinder.
  • and finally to Adrian for the computer advice, Rebecca for the sketches, Paul for the timber help and Philip for the wi-fi assistance and the nice chats. Really apprecaited. Sincerely.

As a by the way this list was built up over a 3 month odd period. Usually garden advice plants and the barter rule apply… but sometimes its just nice to say thank you 🙂

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national trails day sunday october 4th ’09

ballyboughal image courtesy of phil-o-kane photography

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Sunday October 4th sees the national trails day arrive.

I love the great outdoors. I love it when I am warm…. and outdoors. This day is all about getting wrapped up and getting out and about. There’s the usual reaons as to why being active is good for you but its is also very much from by point of view about nature and actually seeing, feeling and touching it.

If you are interested… here’s what discover Ireland have to say

It’s autumn. The days are fresh. The colours of the countryside are just spectacular. You should get out there! Why not visit our Discover Ireland website and choose from over 100 scenic looped walks, great forest trails or more challenging mountain trails. There are walks to suit all levels of ability and experience from the relatively easy 2-hour stroll to more challenging 5-hour trails.

I did my own version of this last January around Limerick and Cork and I loved every second of it. There’s also more information at the National Trails Day website.

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see for yourself...

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