Posts Tagged ‘tipperary’

The promise of a sunny Summer’s day.

In arigna, Ireland, nature on July 15, 2012 at 6:56 am

Such a beautiful sunny Sunday morning greeted us here in the valley today. Very still and calm, not a leaf was stirring on the trees. Early morning sunshine casting dappled shade. The promise of a good day to come.

Beyond the trees the shrub border looks fresh and green. The early morning dew still on the leaves. In another hour this will be in full sun.

Daphne is out early too, she comes over and looks at me in a sort of puzzled way. Probably wondering what I’m doing… up and out and about so early. Such amazing growth with everything this year. Look how high the grass is in this field.

The Sycamore tree casts it’s shade over the steps to the chalet. The air is still… allowing the signing of the birds to be heard… crisp and clear…and beautiful.

The promise of a Summer’s day.

The gravel garden has taken well. Planted about a year ago everything is now starting to establish and spread. Sedums have done particularly well…I do love them. So easy to propogate and of course they are a real Butterfly magnet when they are in flower.

Lots of Succulents in pots too although some have jumped from the pots onto the ground below. I remember the walk through the bog in Tipperary collecting the Bog Oak for this little corner garden with my brother Tommy. Happy thoughts on a bright Summer morning.

Yes…all is well…everything is still…and calm…and green. We have the promise of a sunny Summer’s day…

Happy Christmas from Prospect Cottage.

In Folklore on December 23, 2011 at 6:38 pm

So at last it is here…Christmas 2011. It seems the radio and TV have been selling it to us for months now. Thankfully the recession that engulfs Ireland and indeed the rest of the world seems to have reduced the gross consumerism of recent years. The shops are busy but people seem to be much more sensible and selective with their purchases. A good thing in my view. I always try to buy useful presents for family members…things they really want or will find useful. At this point we are pretty good at getting it right. Some of the nieces and nephews are now teenagers and have a liking for money gifts. I’m not a huge fan of giving money so this year we gave a gift and some money so hopefully everyone will be happy.

According to the Met Office the weather is to be mild and balmy…a big change from the last 2 Christmasses when we were snowed in. The pic above of the dogs in the snow was taken 2 weeks ago but that snow quickly disappeared.

My favourite thing at this time of year is collecting foliage from garden and hedgerow to make a wreath. I usually do this before the Solstice as for me the circle of the wreath represents the continuing cycle of life, death and renewal that happens each year. The Solstice was traditionally seen as the   re birth of the Sun. The time when the Sun remains resting for a while before it once again starts it’s climb higher into the sky bringing long days and the renewal of activity. The 12 days of Christmas is said to have come from the traditions of the Celts who celebrated the 12 days the Sun remained steady in one position before starting the upward journey.

The wreath looks pretty good I think and I got great pleasure from making it. The birds have eaten all the Holly berries already so I used Sedum heads for a splash of red.

The wreath of Holly popular as a door decoration in America is said to have been brought there by Irish settlers who left Ireland at the time of the Great Potato Famine in the mid 1800s. Holly grows wild all over Ireland and most people like to bring sprigs of it indoors at this time of year.

I also made a wreath for my Mother’s front door. We did the trip down to Tipperary on Wednesday. We left home early in the morning and did’nt get back until midnight. We had a good long day there and left our pressies under the various Christmas trees. Our presents are also waiting…unopened until Christmas morning. I don’t understand people who open their presents before Christmas. Not for us.

So now all that’s left is for me to say Happy Christmas to you all. May it be happy and peaceful. Thank you to the visitors who read, follow and comment on my blog…I do appreciate it. As is said in Irish “Nollaig Shona Duit” which means “Happy Christmas to You”.

Trip to Tipp!

In Gardening, Off the beaten track. on July 26, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Made the trip to Tipperary at the weekend to visit the folks. My Mother, 2 brothers and their families live there plus the multitude of other relations. Stayed with my Mother, Lizzie, and as usual her front garden is a riot of colour. A lot of these, Sunflowers, Marigolds and Sweet Williams she grows from seed in a small polytunnel. Lots of perennials too plus self-seeded stuff makes for an eyecatching display.

A standard Rose, a birthday present from Andy and I 3 years ago is covered in beautiful blooms.

This Clematis Lizzie grew from a cutting some years ago. It produces a mass of flowers each year. I have taken several cuttings and none have taken. I guess Lizzie’s fingers are greener than mine!

On Sunday afternoon Lizzie, myself and nieces Bridget and Shauna went for a drive to Moneygall. This little village has become a tourist destination since Barack Obama visited there some weeks ago. Falmouth Kearney, a maternal great great grandfather of Barack Obama’s emigrated from here in 1850. The plaque above has been erected on the site where the Kearney family lived.

Some people are taking the American link a bit far but Obama’s visit has certainly brought new life to this little village. There’s an Obama Cafe, a new gift shop selling lots of items with Obama’s face and signature on, and of course the bar where Barack and Michelle drank the famous Guinness is doing a roaring trade.

Stopping in the village of Urlingford, Co. Kilkenny, I spotted these pigs sculpted from limestone. Are’nt they great. Pity some vandal broke the snout of one of them. Senseless vandalism, I hate it!

Elephant Hawk Moth & Gravel Garden.

In Gardening on June 8, 2011 at 7:30 am

Spotted this on the bench in the polytunnel yesterday. Elephant Hawk Moth, is’nt it beautiful. It was there all day, I kept going back to look at it. The larvae like to feed on Rosebay Willowherb, Fuschia and Honeysuckle. All plants that are growing in abundance here.

For some time now we have been meaning to do something with the gravel area to the front of the house. Somehow all the garden work seems to be at the other side. Andy dug out the pond about 3 months ago, it is filled by the runoff from the roof. I have been collecting bits of driftwood, stones and old bits of ironwork to put around it, sort of Derek Jarman styleish!

This lovely lump of bog oak I got on one of the Tipperary visits. My brother and I often go walking on the bogs and that’s where we found this and a few other bits that had been dug up by the peat harvesting machines.  These trees have been lying in the bog preserved by the peat for thousands of years. This was probably growing before Newgrange was built. Amazing! Have planted Lavender, Sedums, Saxifrage, Thyme and Eryngium around it.

Lots of succulents have been planted up in pots and grouped together, this will be added to as time goes on. The piece of bog oak was from the same bog excursion. Like the rest of the garden areas this will be a continuing work in progress.

A Visit to “The Home Place”.

In Animals, Gardening, Off the beaten track. on May 16, 2011 at 9:59 am

Returned last night from from a weekend trip to Tipperary, the home place, where I was born and all my family still live. It was my niece’s 11th birthday so everyone was gathered together. The first stop is always my Mother’s house, the first greeters are Scooby and Shaggy, the family dogs. The little one, Shaggy, was found abandoned in a ditch, frightened and starving. Now he is cocky, confident and affectionate. A bit of love is all it took.

My Mother and I share a common interest in gardening. She is a great one at delegating, at 75 she’s allowed! One of my jobs over the weekend was to plant out the bedding plants. All grown in the polytunnel from seed, by herself, of course!

The stone wall, built by my Father as his final job before he was taken by “the big C”, so unfair, he was 59. Now covered by Snow in Summer.

So many flower buds, this Rose was propogated from a stem in a bouquet given by my brother to our Mother. Green fingered Mother.

Huge Strawberries, proudly pointed out to all who enter the polytunnel.

A punnet for me to take home, picked by my niece, abundance shared, hopefully skills and instincts being instilled in her, for the future.   Strawberry smoothies for a birthday breakfast today. Happy Days!

Arigna to Tipperary & back again!

In arigna, Off the beaten track. on April 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Just back from a few days in Tipperary visiting the folks. My Mother, 2 brothers and their families live there. After treating my Mother, Lizzie, and 2 neices to Sunday lunch we decided to go to Kilcooley Abbey which is a short drive from Thurles near the village of Gortnahoe.

Kilcooley Abbey.

The Cistercian Abbey was built in 1182 by Donal O’Brien the then King of Munster. It is a fine limestone building and one can imagine it as a hive of activity in olden days.

On entering the site your eye is first taken by the beehive shaped hut situated outside the Abbey walls. Local historians have come up with various theories about this building. One suggestion was a Columbarium (a place where cremated remains were kept), but most believe it to be a dovecote.

The 3ft wide hole in the ceiling would seem to add credibility to this opinion. The doves would have left and entered through here.

On entering the ruins one’s attention is immediately taken by the tower with the beautiful Gothic east window below it.

It’s hard to believe this amazing stonework was done in the 12th century by someone with just hammer and chisel! True skill and artwork. I returned to gaze in awe at it half a dozen times.The presence of this baptismal font shows that Kilcooley was a place used by the surrounding parish. It is in perfect condition with no restoration evident. What a place to have as your parish church and centre of the community! Will post some more pics tomorrow, am off now to recover after a 3 hour drive.