Six on Saturday – Lismore Castle Gardens

It has passed through several noble hands. Walter (of the Raleigh), Richard (of chemistry laws fame) and Fred the Dancer’s brother-in-law all had the deeds and seeds.

There’s been some Autumnal giddiness this week along with serious work in the garden and homework in my head. I am in the process of moving my website from WordPress to Hosting Ireland, but I asked the team leader to allow me time to get my Six-on-Saturday up and out. No problem, she said. Amid all this ticking of boxes and following my nose, I had some John Cleese moments in the aftermath of my visit to Lismore Castle Gardens last Sunday. More of that later níos déanaí. My six (plus one) this week comes from the lovely garden in Lismore, twenty kilometres away.

1. Aon

The original castle was started in 1170 and I’m pretty sure they grew a few beans and bushes, along with thorns and truffles from time to time, but the first real attempt to add a garden befitting the castle caisleán commenced in the 1605. My meander through the present gardens, upper and lower, was the highlight of my year. That’s really saying something! I lost myself moving from one section to another through narrow maze-like alleys, eyes ahead in anticipation, moving from one century to the next.

2. Dó

I came upon this erect grass everywhere and I really do want it. Can anyone help me out?

3. Trí

This is the Avenue of Trees na gCrann. one of several throughout, most likely added by some new owner. Speaking of owners, it has passed through several noble hands. Walter (of the Raleigh), Richard (of chemistry laws fame) and Fred the Dancer’s brother-in-law all had the deeds and seeds. Since the 1600’s this has been just one the very many large estates owned by the Duke of Devonshire. The current Duke is Peregrine Cavendish, but I was unable to meet him because of my other Sunday commitments.

4. Ceathar

As I neared the castle walls I sat to enjoy a Hamlet moment, I was joined momentarily by a hedgehog. It crept slowly out of view as I admired the bigger picture.

5. Cúig

Very impressed I was by the many secluded nooks. This one would be ideal for a picnic or romantic moments. I had neither of these but I did sit to take stock of life.

6. Sé

Voila! Here’s the back entrance, the coffee-and-apple-pie café and the newly-established art exhibition gallery. The café was very tempting but the gallery was closed. I saw someone looking down on me from a window, so I assumed an interested gaze at a tree down to my right and pointed the camera away. Later, my thoughts turned to Rapunzel.

One for the road…

The back lawn is spirit-level level, but as I photographed part of the castle from the approaching bank, I needed to shift my weight to my right foot cos. Accordingly, the building is leaning. The builders of banks and castles could not have known at the time that this would cause first-world issues. An image of the Rapunzel in Pisa lingered with me.

That’s my short account of my first visit to these majestic gardens. I enjoyed it so much that I will save up for a season ticket. The gardens will open again in March next year, all being well with the world, so I will have some time to save slowly.

Further Study & Giddinesss

I did mention giddiness at the outset. In fact, it persisted until Wednesday, by which time I had produced a few fun items… photo edits, a tongue-in-cheek article and seven tweets. I’m told I’d do Twitter a great service by not bothering.

Just shocking! Read about it HERE.

Wouldn’t you just love to visit many other majestic gardens or castles from around the World? England, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are well represented on the Six-on-Saturday thingymebob created by The Propagator.

SOS World Tour

Read all about it and follow this week’s gardeners’ gardens. You may join in free gratis, saor in aisce. Ireland has several keen enthusiasts, and my County Waterford is headed up by An Irish Gardener and myself. That’s it for this week. Stay safe, enjoy your garden and garden reading, keep your distance and wash your hands. I’ll be back next week so until then, slán go fóill.

Pádraig,

17th October 2020.

Hyssop and Cavendish

Agastache is also known as Hyssop and has many medicinal, herbal and culinary uses.

Marion’s cycling group are known as G5. I’m going to suggest some hyssup oil for them. In the coffee! Hyssop is known also as Ysup, Herbe de Joseph, and Herbe Sacré. Great for cyclists in appropriate doses.

Lismore Castle is owned by the Duke of Devonshire. No connection to the Hyssop family. Due to other commitments, I was unable to meet him. The current 12th Duke is Peregrine Cavendish. The family seat is at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, and the heir is Lord Burlington (William Cavendish), who is regularly in Lismore. According to regulations the heir must be male. There’s also the important matter of legitimacy.

Keep an eye out for the Hyssop…

Music © Back home by  Winter Foe

Pádraig,

14th October 2020.

Late Breakfast

There’s not much to do in my garden so we visited the beautiful town of Lismore. In the Vault Café, I was thrilled that they were happy to serve me a fried breakfast. Nothing very surprising there, you might think. However, as it was after 3pm, they might easily have said no. The served up a great breakfast (including yummy spinach) and I loved it!
Afterwards, we took a short ramble around the Millennium Park to inspect the Bug Hotel and other environmental initiatives. These hotels are becoming a real fashion. Perhaps I’ll work on a miniature version. Another project for the list.
As we drove home, I listened to an inspiring radio interview on the Ray Darcy Show. Ray spoke to “Mr Ireland”, a young Galway man who combines hurling, modelling and Mr Ireland competition. His story about seeking help for mental health issues resonated beautifully with me. This is also becoming fashionable. Men have tended to be like the ostrich until recently. Now, things are changing. As Bertie used to say: A lot done; more to do.
In my case, I have a few strands to my bow: cycling (both leisurely and intense), gardening and writing. Each helps me in various ways whenever life circumstances become difficult.
The cycling today was leisurely for 55km and moved to the intense side for the final thirty minutes. Just as the lovely downhill return from Old Parish began, somebody lit the fuse, to such an extent that I recorded my max HR as we approached the foot of the descent.
Time for coffee. The Vault comes highly recommended.

Pádraig,

12th February, 2019.

A Lazy Wind

Saturday, 9th February:

We cycled to Lismore into a dirty headwind this morning. A dirty headwind is defined by cyclists as a lazy wind because it goes right through you rather than around you. We were ever so glad to reach the warm comfort of the Summerhouse in Lismore. Later, on our return to Dungarvan, I decided to stop in to the small public garden beside the canal. I have cycled past this spot hundreds of times so it was good to have a closer look. I think it will be a great place during the summer for a longer stop. Perhaps a book and a little picnic too.