Bridget

Posts Tagged ‘plants’

It’s garden visiting time….

In Garden, Gardening, Off the beaten track. on June 5, 2012 at 10:25 am

June, July and August are the months for garden visiting here in Ireland. Gardens are at their best and the weather is usually ok. The weather was’nt great this past weekend but,  undaunted,  a friend and I decided to visit Saffron Thomas’s garden in Ardsoran, about 6 miles from Boyle. This garden is part of the Secret Gardens of Sligo initiative which sees gardens open to the public to raise funds for charity.

The garden is set on a south facing slope and the site is bordered by mature trees giving it a lovely secluded feel. Big wide borders filled with a combination of old favourites and rare and unusual plants make for an interesting peruse. This lovely border filled with blues, pinks and purples sweeps down to one of the ponds.

I love gardens with ponds, so beneficial for nature and of course they add an interesting extra dimension to the garden.

No chemicals are used anywhere in this land. The result is a beautiful garden filled with the humming of bees and busy with insects flying hither and thither. A feast for the senses.

A little wooden bridge leads to a path that takes you on a walk around the perimiter of the big field at the back. Already planted with so many varieties of trees, the long term plan is to have another very large pond on this as yet undeveloped part of the garden. This is a garden that is continually expanding. Every year Saffron collects, plants and nurtures thousands of seeds, resulting in thousands of plants needing planting areas. With a total of 7 acres there is lots of room for expansion.

Several sculptures are set amongst the plants adding extra interest. This is a piece of found bog oak set atop a lovely piece of wood decorated with a spiral. I really like that!

There are also 2 polytunnels and a small orchard here. One polytunnel has just been erected,  the other has been there several years. The long standing tunnel is so filled with plants it has a jungle feel. Vegetables, flowers and shrubs being brought on for the garden all together make for an interesting  feast for the senses. Plants like the climbing Snapdragon above and many more that I did’nt know existed keep one’s interest.

If you are in the Sligo/Roscommon area do check out the Secret Gardens of Sligo. It raises money for charity and opens up gardens off the beaten track that are varied and interesting. They also have a Facebook page.

Click on pics to enlarge.

From Templetuohy to Prospect Cottage.

In arigna, Cooking, Gardening, Off the beaten track., sustainable living on April 7, 2011 at 7:47 am

Templetuohy in north Tipperary is the village I come from. Driving back home to Arigna on Tuesday took about 3 hours as usual. There are places and landmarks along the way that mark the journey. Athlone is the half way mark, another hour and a half to the familiar comfort of the warm welcoming kitchen, the cup of tea, the welcoming dogs, the loving welcome, at both ends of the journey.Lizzie (my Mother) is a gardener too. Unlike me she would not describe herself as a gardener. I always remember a vegetable garden, not from any idea of saving the planet but from economic necessity when we were children and money was scarce. Old habits die hard, 75 next birthday, 2 hip replacements and still there is a garden. The strawberry bed above, weeded and already with budding flowers will supply lots of fruit for jam, desserts and just enjoying fresh off the plant. The weekend desserts were strawberries and raspberries from the freezer, the last of 2010s crop.In the polytunnel there are lots of flowers on the early strawberries. These first fruits of the season will be relished with joy. Anticipation already building for the children. All sorts of receptacles are used for planting seeds into. Old biscuit tins, plastic containers are all saved and reused in the garden. Cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are all grown from seed. There will be enough plants here for my brother’s garden too.

One of my favourite landmarks on the journey is this magnificient bronze sculpture. The Black Bull stands atop a stone wall beside the pub of the same name about 10 miles from Roscrea. A real attention grabber, I love it! I want one for the garden!