I have been off traveling around Ireland for five weeks and, as usual, I have a few photos to share with you. The countryside of Ireland is famous for its beauty and rightly so. On the other hand, it was hard to find any home gardens that stood out. Most had just a few shrubs and maybe a pot of flowering plants by the front door. From my perch in bus and train, I saw little evidence of vegetable gardens beyond a couple of community allotments near towns. Maybe the weather puts the Irish off gardening or I was there too late in the season. On the other hand, I noticed the gardening book section in book stores was very tiny....so maybe that tells it all.
In the cities, some of the pubs were notable for hanging baskets of colorful flowers and towns might have a garden of flowers at an intersection. The one thing that really surprised me was how much New Zealand native plants had become part of the landscape. Cabbage trees/Ti Kouka, NZ flax/Harakeke and Hebes/Koromiko were everywhere. Similar weather I guess. The Fuchsia, a native of Chile, had also become very much part of the countryside in gardens and hedges and was in flower while I was there.
Any beautiful gardens of note were always a big private garden at a historic house that was opened to paying visitors and who hired gardeners to look after the place. There were two historic gardens that I visited that I would highly recommend to anybody visiting Ireland. One was the long narrow medieval garden behind Rothe House in Kilkenny. The other was the Victorian walled garden at Kylemore Abbey in Connemara. They were both so beautiful and also so interesting as part of the history of gardening. I also loved Muckross Farm Museum at Kilarney. A lovely country walk around three farms peering into farmhouses of the past.
|Walking street planters, Dublin|
|A pub in Kilkenny|
|Lawn area that also doubles as a helipad for Dublin Castle.|
|Town flowers, Kilkenny|
|Mowing the lawn, Kilkenny|
|Crab apples at Trinity College, Dublin|
|City garden by public stairs, Drogheda|
|Container plants in courtyard at Kilarney House|
|Farm house, NE from Galway. Notice the old potato ridges running up and down the field behind the house.|