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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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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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outdoor events and greeny gigs

Thanks to my good friend Joerg for some of these…. I’ve got a long list of free events all outdoors and green related that are on over the next coming days….. so go on get outside and enjoy yourselves 🙂

first up…

The Ballymun farmers market takes place on the first thursday of every month. I’ve never been to this one before, so if I can make it [fingers crossed I will] I’m really looking forward to it. If the weather is bad it takes place inside if the Civic Centre – thats the one directly opposite the Tesco shopping centre [scroll below the images……….. ]

phoenix-park-dublin walled-kitchen garden phoenix-park-victorian walled-kitchen garden phoenix-park-walled-garden- kitchen-garden-phoenix-park coultry-park-ballymun coultry-pk-ballymun

The Phoenix Park Summer/Autumn Programme is almost at it’s end. That said, they still have some really cool gigs still on the go. Get the calender out and mark these down…. here are my choices. If you’ve gotta bit of time to burn – a must is the €2 [adult] and €1 [child] bus journey aroud the entire park…..

For Children: 10.30am – 12.30pm a workshop for children [5+] parental supervision required

  • Sunday Aug 30th – medieval life including a visit to Ashtown Castle.
  • Sunday Sept 6th – birds in the park
  • Sunday September 13th – animals of the park

For all ages – from the visitor centre starting 3pm

September Sunday6th is a guided tour of the kitchen walled garden with Margaret Gormley and Declan Birmingham. I highly recommend this if you fancy a bit of grow your own.

Also note the gardeners of the Phoenix Park are in The Walled Garden on the first Saturday of every Month – The next is September 5th btw – from 10.30am to 5pm.  They are all really nice guys…. really 😉 You can go and ask any of the questions and also see how and why in person. I recommend going when the weather is really bad so you get a good one to one information session.

courtesy of the dublin event guide [email dublineventguide [at] gmail [dot] com to subscribe ]

on saturday 29 th august GUIDED HIKE – DUBLIN MOUNTAINS
A Guided Hike along the Dublin Mountains Way is taking place on Sat 29 Aug. A special Dublin Mountaineer bus service is departing at the Sandyford Luas stop at 11:30 and you will return in the 16:08 bus from Grange Road (Marlay Park) to the Sandyford Luas bus stop. The hiking is taking a route through Cruagh Wood and Tibradden Forest and Mountain, joining with the Wicklow Way back through Kilmashogue to Marlay Park. (Length: approx 12km (linear walk) and Duration: 4hr (strenuous walk)) You need to bring good hiking boots, rain gear, hat, water, lunch. Booking is essential. The guided tour is free and there is only a bus fare of EUR 5 to pay for the return trip. Contact karen.woods@coillte.ie or info@dublinmountains.ie
(Phone: 01-2011187) to book! http://www.dublincity.ie/RecreationandCulture/Events/SummerInDublin09

also on sunday IRISH GRAND PRIX – RADIO CONTROLLED CARS

The Radio Controlled Car Association of Ireland will run the Irish Grand Prix – a festival of r/c-racing at St Anne’s Park, Raheny, on Sunday 30 Aug. Racing will take place from 10:30-18:00. The event will feature participants from all over Ireland. All are welcome. For further details, phone 087-2512422 or visit www.orcaireland.ie

and…. also on sunday

the festival of world cultures are on in Dun Laoghaire is on with loads of free events and things on…. too many to mention http://festivalofworldcultures.com/ If you are going my good friends The Riptide Movement are playing the buskers corner [their playing on saturday!!!…] make sure and check them out…. free gig btw 😉 have a listen to theri newest song while your reading away…..

MUSIC IN THE GARDENS – FARMLEIGH HOUSE Sun 30 Aug from 14:00-16:00 the Ardee Concert Band will play in the garden of Farmleigh House. http://www.farmleigh.ie/culturalevents/currentevents/summerprogramme2009/august/#d.en.10372

TREE WALKING TOUR – FARMLEIGH HOUSE
On Sun 30 Aug two Tree Walking tours with guest speaker John Mc Loughlin from the Tree Council of Ireland will take place at 15:00 and at 16:00.
http://www.farmleigh.ie/culturalevents/currentevents/summerprogramme2009/august/#d.en.10372

ST. STEPHEN’S GREEN ENTERTAINMENT
On Sun the entertainment in St. Stephen’s Green will be Mary McEvoy from 15:00-17:00 to celebrate Heritage Week. This event will conclude the Summer Entertainment in St. Stephen’s Green! http://www.phoenixpark.ie/media/St%20Stephen%27s%20Green%20Bandstand%20Summerfest%20August%202009.pdf

I really like this one…… on tuesday 1st September

GREEN DRINKS – SCIENCE GALLERY

Green Drinks is a simple idea that’s gone global. Once a month in 448 cities around the world, people with an interest in green issues get together to chat, share ideas and raise a glass to a brighter future. In Dublin this will take in September in the Science Gallery Café (Naughton Building, Trinity College) on the first Tuesday of the month and (with the exception of October when the event is on the 2nd Tuesday) every month after that. You are invited to a fun eco friendly evening with free admission, drinks and snacks. This event is organized by www.leafliving.com. At the event on 01 Sept (from 18:00) the discussion will be about recycling: Ever wondered what happens to our waste after we throw it away? How much is being recycled compared to the amount incinerated or shipped to the developing world? What’s the scale of the problem and what can we do about it? Robert O’Shea, Secretary of the Irish Waste Management Association (IWMA) will shed some light on the issue. http://www.greendrinks.org. The organisers ask you to confirm your attendance via their facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Green-Drinks-Dublin/73308564711

On thursday OPERA IN THE OPEN – CIVIC OFFICES, WOOD QUAY
“Opera in the Open”, the free lunchtime operas return to Dublin city. Now in its tenth year, ‘Opera in the Open’ returns with five free performances of well-known operas each Thursday at 13:00 from 06 Aug – 03 Sept. Do something different at lunchtime this summer and listen to opera in the informal and intimate setting of the grounds of Civic Offices on Wood Quay in the city centre. ‘Opera in the Open’ is an initiative of Dublin City Council Arts Office as part of its remit to make the best of art and culture accessible to all in the city.
03 September: ‘Idomeneo’ by Mozart
The performances feature Janyce Condon, Stephen Fennelly, Mary Flaherty, Victoria Massey, Simon Morgan, Niall Morris, Sandra Oman, Donna Gallagher and Liz Ryan. Musical direction is by David Wray, stage direction by Niall Morris and narration is by Ted Courtney. http://www.visitdublin.com/events/AllDublinEvents/Detail.aspx?id=237&mid=6152

on the way

WHAT IS LIGHT? – PUBLIC LECTURE
Albert White from www.LightPollution2009.eu alerted me to a lecture that is taking place in September but for which you need to book one of only approx. 120 tickets, so you better decide soon and book early. The lecture is part of the 9th European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky and is entitled “What is Light?” Lecturer is Leo Enright. Leo Enright, a broadcaster on Space Exploration and Science, explores the history of Ireland’s sometimes tenuous connection with luminosity
– while naming and shaming some modern big wicks. He will focus on the importance of continuing public access to dark skies, especially during the present ‘Golden Age’ of astronomy, whilst noting that historically Ireland has sometimes been defined by the absence of light – why else would the Romans have called it Hibernia?
The event will take place on Wed 16 September 2009 at 19:00 in the Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. Admission is free but places are limited. For booking please visit http://shop.ria.ie/shop/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=22&cat=Event%2BRegistration

Whatever you do – enjoy your week outdoors 😉

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